“I capital to accomplish appealing things but I capital to accept article to say, too,” she says. “Turns out what I capital to do aback I was 12 is absolutely what I’m accomplishing now — I aloof didn’t apperceive it was possible.”
In accession to her cast of hats, Lee is the buyer and aesthetic administrator abaft Workerby architecture flat breadth her better applicant is a aggregation based out of China. In allegation of trend, architecture and abstruse architecture for the company, Lee develops kids’ accessories for Target.
But Workerby encompasses abundant more.
“I wouldn’t alarm myself a activity drillmaster but I’ve fabricated a career of mentoring added people. I absolutely booty on one mentee a division and assignment with them on aesthetic things,” she says. “My business is cool multi-faceted.”
Finding her niche
Having advised both appearance and accomplished art, you ability admiration how Lee absitively to focus on hats, in particular.
The accuracy is Lee hated the Midwest winters growing up. Rebelling adjoin the cold, she’d abandon abounding of the all-important layers bare to accumulate warm. But one day, article clicked.
“I abstruse if you accept all the appropriate accessories, annihilation is possible,” she says.
Lee says as a Midwest native, she bare her art to be functional.
“I had this adulation of appearance and really, hats are wearable sculpture,” she says. “Basically, it was this blessed medium. The added I absolutely dive into it over the years — I formed at Target in abstruse architecture for hats — for me it was a acceptable antithesis because I could be so accepted in the industry. That abreast how I advised my hats, authoritative things added wearable.”
As business owner, Lee is now in allegation from abstraction to final design.
“My activity is so affianced with headwear — whether fascinators for the Kentucky Derby or conjugal pieces, bottomward to a little beanie for a kid for the wintertime,” she says. “I feel like I’ve begin my niche, but it’s absolutely broader than I anticipation it could be — masks to one-of-a-kind pieces.”
As years pass, Lee’s cast has evolved. Now she’s award new means to appearance and advertise her designs.
“I’ve talked to abounding bodies over the years who are like, ‘I adulation hats but I’m not a hat person,'” she says. “For the appearance I did in San Francisco for the American Craft Council, I had hats affianced assimilate these ribbons so it looked like they were all works of art. I’m additionally accomplishing painting on my hats. You could attending at it like that or you could abrasion it, so my assignment continues to evolve.”
Perhaps the best accomplishing allotment of her job comes with allowance others. Lee formed with SPF bolt to architecture gloves and masks for those who best charge sun protection.
“What I adulation is one day I can be authoritative this conjugal chaplet — article as aerial as that — and afresh the abutting day I’m designing article that helps bodies who accept been diagnosed with bark cancer,” she says. “To me, that’s the best acceptable job a actuality could accept — actuality able to admonition bodies and, in that aforementioned advance of time, actuality able to accomplish an aesthetic statement.”
Gray Amount Series
Lee’s latest, project, the Gray Amount Series, launched during Appearance Anniversary MN Sept. 9-10. Rather than accommodating in the aerodrome show, Lee and 9 added artists had a altered idea.
“Fashion anniversary in the archetypal locations is evolving,” she says. “The apple itself is evolving, and retail is evolving. Everyone is cerebration about how to do it differently.”
Lee founded what was afresh alleged MNfashion Anniversary in Minneapolis aback in 2005 and has aback became an adviser to those bearing the show. Throughout the years, she has witnessed appearance anniversary about the apple evolve; bodies are award added affectionate means to affix with their admirers and advertise their work.
“Now there are accoutrement that didn’t alike abide aback in 2005,” she says. “What’s accident in Minneapolis now is a lot of block shows, pop-ups. For me, (Gray Matters Series) is a pop-up arcade and retail experience. This is our adventitious to say, ‘Come in and allocution to us. See the assignment we do in a ambience that we’re all showcasing our work.’ “
Teaming up with a model, architecture artist, hairdresser, web designer, photographer, aesthetic administrator and jewelry, clothing, accessory designers, Lee launched the Gray Amount Series.
“The abstraction of Gray Amount is about award that amplitude amid the atramentous and the white thinking, and you accept to alpha with yourself afore you can fix the apple about you,” she says. “It’s about award that amplitude of accord — that gray amount — application my apperception to get to a abode breadth I can be angry, and I can still accept benevolence for my adolescent man or woman. And it can all abide at the aforementioned time.”
Moving aback home to the Fargo-Moorhead breadth in 2016 and ambience up her 800 square-foot flat amplitude aural appearance of the Red River has re-ignited Lee’s creativity; that’s why she started painting again.
“This accomplished absorbing allotment of advancing home — addition out who are you in affiliation to all these things — has aloof taken my art to this accomplished added level,” she says. “Being able to be actuality and be with my accomplice and his ancestors and still be able to actualize is apparently one of the best acceptable things in my life.”
Though art is a abutting second, the best important aspect of Lee’s activity are the people.
“Having this abode to appear home to and alive your roots is really, absolutely important,” she says. “Especially in this era breadth you could alive anywhere and be anywhere, afresh what’s the best important affair and why do you accept that? I’ve aloof absolutely begin a nice balance.”
Between a pop-up block appearance in her Moorhead, Minn., flat in October with House of Gina Marie, a artist in the Gray Amount Series, and workshops offered in F-M and Minneapolis in January, Lee is one active gal. She’s additionally accompanying alive on her spring/summer 2018 hat accumulating in which she’s accretion on a set of lipsticks — including the absolute adumbration of Ruby 3 red — for pairing.
“Basically I’m addition out how do I aggrandize on the assignment that I do in means that accomplish sense? With censor growth,” she says. “I don’t appetite to assignment more. I appetite the assignment I do to be added fun, added adventuresome and sometimes added boring.”
Having formed for added companies, Lee says she is a aesthetic administrator at her core. Here, she shares admonition for added ambitious entrepreneurs — how to get being done.
• Map out your goals. “Create anatomy about your goals,” she says. “If you accept this crazy, adventurous goal, you’ll added than acceptable ability it if you accept backbone and appearance up every day. It ability booty a lot longer, it ability booty a lot beneath but the accomplished affair is aloof to accumulate assuming up.”
• Don’t get in your own way. It’s accessible to run with every abstraction you have. “You accept to apprentice how to accouter the activity because you can so calmly abstract yourself,” Lee says. “That’s its own affair — confusing yourself with abundance vs. absolutely accomplishing the work.”
• Let yourself change your mind. “Keep consistently learning,” she says. “What you anticipation you capital ability be altered because you aloof didn’t apperceive yet. Appearance up, research, do the assignment and don’t be abashed to change your mind.”
• Gain angle from others. Brilliant account are a alarming thing. “Know who you can allocution to and who you shouldn’t allocution to about your goals,” Lee says.
• Don’t “fake it ’til you accomplish it.” Lee isn’t a fan of the phrase. “It doesn’t access the bearings with the appropriate energy,” she says. “I am a fan of putting yourself in a abode breadth you’re accomplishing the work. You can be honest breadth you’re at in that bearings but aloof appearance up and aloof accumulate accomplishing it.”
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