Follow the Pattern: Family & The Professional Pursuit

Had to post a lil’ diddy about the one and only. . .

What a Lovely Life!

Lee is a Textile Designer at Circa 1801 in Hickory, North Carolina.  She also happens to be my sister-cousin, i.e. a family member I adore so much I actually wish she was even more closely related (a rare phenomenon, I know).  Our creative roots come from our maternal grandmother, Matilda Lee Scarborough Malbon. We are both named after her and strive to emulate her graceful technique.  Matilda’s artistic vision remains strong at 80!  She used to dabble in watercolors, acrylics, pen & ink, and even pottery.  Both Lee & I took up painting early on.  She prefers water colors.  Acrylics for me!  Take a look at how Lee utilizes her intrinsic skill:

Bold Blues

Here are some of her original designs, both past and current – that can be seen all throughout our industry!  I was beyond excited to see the MGBW’s Zondra Chair, upholstered in Lee’s Bukhara fabric, on my employer’s showroom floor.  As a Design Consultant, I’ve got all of Lee’s patterns at my fingertips to specify for client’s homes, so very fun!  You may be asking:

Find her designs near you!

Manufacturers such as Baker Furniture, Duralee, Hancock & Moore, Hickory Chair, Kravet, LEE Industries (quite fitting!), Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams, and Robert Allen (to name a few) have claimed her designs as their exclusives.  Then the prints trickle into retail stores like these ^!!  Bloomberg BusinessWeek named ABC Carpet & Home as #2 of “America’s Best Independent Stores.”

Larger corporations such as Crate & Barrel, Calico Corners, and Target have also carried Lee’s work.  Quite the resume if you ask me!  Major publications have taken note as well.

My go-to home decor mag!

Circa 1801 has been Lee’s employer for six years now.  She was recently appointed to conduct trend research for the company.  Frequenting FIT’s design library in NYC is just another day’s work!  Her time spent there helps to spearhead visual concepts for upcoming lines.  Trade Shows in Vegas and Paris are among past business adventures.  It’s always interesting to dig into designer deets. . . so I asked Lee to share some with us:

Serendipping >>> Name your favored –

Design Icons:  Jonathan Adler, Tricia Guild, Betsy Johnson, Anna Sui

Sources of Inspiration: Fashion, Nature

Vacation Spot: Carova Beach, North Carolina

Indulgences:  Travel,  Music, Jewelry

Bloom:  The blue hydrangeas in my back yard

>>> What advice remains important to you in your design approach? 

– “Walk to your own beat”

>>> What fall 2011 trend has you double-dipping? 


From the trend expert herself . . .

Lee’s professional pursuits continue to amaze me.  Some patterns are made; like Bukhara, Amite & Limba.  And some patterns are engrained; like creative instinct and perseverance towards a lofty goal.  I hope to follow Matilda’s pattern, as Lee has, and make my beautiful grandmother proud. In a “I’m smiling ear-to-ear” kind of way ;-)




3 thoughts on “Follow the Pattern: Family & The Professional Pursuit

  1. LOU! i have never been mentioned in a blog before….i wont lie….i feel kinda fab right now. loving your blog as usual…such a fantastic and talented person. loving and missing my little LM!!!!

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