Monday, September 14, 2009

HOUSE CALLS: Lori Marie from Pretty Little Things

I am bursting with excitement to be able to introduce my new post I am calling House Calls. Here you will find interviews with my favourite artists and designers, and discover exciting insights into these magnificent people's work. Join me in delving into the inspirations and passions behind their art.

So to kick of this new series, my friend Lori Marie from Pretty Little Things gets the top spot. Anyone who has visited Apothecary Fox will know just how much I love her work. So it is fitting that the person whose work inspires me the most gets to begin House Calls. Lori, over to you...

Describe the work that you do.
"The simplest way to describe the work that I do is to say that I make pretty little things"

Agreed! These are THE prettiest...Daydreamers.

What was the career/education path you took to get to this point?
"I was a Math and Science nerd in high school and went to college at UC San Diego for a degree in Aerospace Engineering. I always knew I want to be a designer, I just didn't know what I wanted to design. I love to know how things work, but I didn't like all the math and computer I started taking some art classes to balance the load. The college experience taught me that I really need to LOVE what I do if I am gonna have to get up and do it everyday. I never dreamed I could get up and make art's a dream come Ani Difranco says..."art is why i get up in the morning, but my definition ends there ......."

My first job in the design world was working as a designer and pattern maker for a leather handbag company in Berkeley. It was a very special hands on experience. I was the only designer and all the patterns were drafted by hand. The handbags were made 'in house' which means they were not sent out for production. My office was a small room with a couple of windows at the front of a small factory. I cut all my leather by hand and worked with a couple of sewers to create the samples....I worked here for a couple of years and gained a world of experience about the process of how bags are made...and the importance of a good pattern and quality construction.
Since all the leather and lining was black....I started craving some more interaction with color after a couple of years. I had been doing hand embroidery since college as a hobby...making little hippy tank tops for the grateful dead shows and such.

So I put together a small collection of embroideries to use in my portfolio. I stumbled across a job listing for a freelance position for Pottery Barn Kids and I jumped at the opportunity. I went through a series of interviews with a couple different departments over the course of a few days...I was 'hired' on valentines day of 2002 and my first project was a heart quilt mock up. PBK was an unbelievable opportunity to be able to do what I love and also be surrounded by people who had similar passions. I never dreamed I could make a living embroidering hearts and flowers. I have worked off and on with this company ever since....."

Where do you get your inspirations?
"I get my inspiration from all the loot I have gathered over the years. I like to collect all sorts of prints and textures and ribbons and trims. I just buy what I like, often times without any rhyme or reason. I am always amazed at how everything seems to go together so perfectly in the end."
Perfect colour combinations

Describe your creative process for designing and constructing a particular piece.
"I usually do a couple of chicken scratch sketches on a nearby napkin or something and then I sit on the floor in the middle of the tiny house pull together different combinations that I like...I don't use any patterns...I don't have the patience for patterns... I just lay everything out on the floor and start cutting."

Delicious bundles of candy coloured fabric and felt,
just waiting to be turned into something pretty.

Where do you create your work? The Tiny House

Look, a tiny house inside the Tiny House!

Share any of your favourite artisans, whose work you admire.
"I can't say that there is anyone in particular that I is always changing. For the most part, I admire artists with outstanding creativity who have the passion and drive to move forward in a ridiculously competitive marketplace season after season."

Where do you sell your work?

A selection from Pretty Little Things' current collection.

What/who are the things you love most in your life?

"I am a total fact, there are times I won't leave for a week or more. I am lucky enough to have an amazing guy in my life who tolerates both my messes (well, most of the time) and my crazy creative ramblings. Matilda, my French Bulldog is my constant companion. I call her my little 'company keeper' and she is very good company indeed."

The singularly adorable Matilda.

What would you do “in your wildest dreams”, if there were no restrictions (like money, or responsibilities!)?
"I think I would do exactly what I am doing would just be easier to pay my bills...oh, and I could do all the repairs and interior design I dream about doing to the house."

What is new with you and your work?
" Like I said before, I love to know how things work....and since I am a sucker for simple, I am always trying to come up with the easiest/quickest way to do things. I also love to share my passion for creativity with others, so I have been putting together a collection of kits to help inspire people to bring their own ideas to life."

A selection of Lori's new Kits

Thank you Lori!! I have loved learning about your journey, and getting a deeper insight into your creative life.
I too believe that you have to LOVE what you do if you are going to do it everyday. I believe in the saying "Live the Life you Love", and Lori certainly does that.
Visit Lori's blog if you would like to lose yourself in even more pretty things, and don't forget to check out the project she did for Martha Stewart!


  1. I love the tiny little house. What a dream! Great color, too!

  2. killing it helgs. love the interviews. j

  3. looks perfect, sarah! thanks for taking the time to write up such thoughtful questions. i hope people enjoy what i had to say:)

    smiles and hugs

  4. I know that others will get the same inspiration I did from reading your thoughts. Thanks again! xx

  5. Wow, I just discovered your blog (love the name!) via BYW and will visit Pretty Little Things too. Thanks for the interview. I love the colors both you and Lori favor.

  6. Thanks Mitzi. Lori is an inspiration and a good friend. Check out her latest collection in her store. Too too cute.


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