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8560 Westown Way
Vienna, VA 22182

Telephone: 703-850-3114

Year Started: 2005

# American Employees: 14
  Laura Lee did not set out to design purses. She never went to school for that. Following graduation and degrees in hand, she headed for the corporate life where she held marketing positions with companies including Nike, Apple, American Express, and Ralph Lauren. The corporate world was her comfort zone and all she really knew. It was at Apple that the marketing bug kicked in. She worked to develop, improve, and distribute Apple's "Power Book" product. There she honed the skill of brand integrity. She developed an appreciation for strong branding and began to notice it everywhere. In her spare time Laura Lee spent time running and felt particularly inspired by the Nike Just Do It philosophy... so much so that she wrote a letter to Phil Knight and Runner's World telling them how the Nike philosophy motivated her to become a better athlete. Laura Lee's moving letter was published by Runner's World and Nike employed her as a wear tester. Nike sent her pre-release products, and she would wear the merchandise and report on its quality. Eventually she began working at Nike in global forecasting, a position that meant overseas travel. It was during this time that she caught the international bug. "Don't live the 'woulda, coulda, shoulda' life wondering what you could have done." Eventually she settled in Hong Kong employed by PCCW, Asia's leading Communications Corporation. At PCCW she was responsible for developing and implementing international marketing initiatives with companies such as Microsoft, Disney, AOL Time Warner, Hewlett Packard, and Oracle. Laura Lee grew up in Southern California which influenced her love for athletics. An avid runner and triathlete, Laura Lee remains active and loves to get outdoors for some training. But for all she has done, her biggest influences came from her Mother and Grandmother. Her Mother always encouraged her to make the impossible possible, and her Grandmother's quote has always stayed with her: "Don't live the 'coulda, woulda, shoulda' life." It means don't be afraid to do something out of the ordinary. Really, it's quite simple: Do what you love and the rest will follow. Grandma said it best.  
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Thoughts on America:
Many designers I know in New York have taken their business overseas. I'm sensitive to this because I saw first hand how business is done there...and I started mfg. there from the beginning. But there is no better time, no BETTER place to do work in the USA than now! I did the opposite of what my peers are doing and brought business back to New York. I feel the impact it has made for my team and sometimes that smile and thank you from them is the very reason I love to tell customers, 'I'm not doing it just to say 'Made in the USA', but mainly because it's THE RIGHT THING TO DO. I'm proud of being any American, and what better way to show my pride than by employing my own countrymen and women?? So proud of this country and being able to keep the business intact in New York City!
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