Meet: Lee Coren

Lee Coren is a textile and accessories designer based in Tel Aviv, Israel. 

I became a big fan of her work the moment I laid my eyes on this clutch she made.  It's a rare thing to say that a handbag can not only serve its utilitarian functions but can make you feel at peace. Lee has achieved this with her unique design approach. Gorgeous photographs taken from her trips to the Dead Sea, Nevada, California (the list goes on) are printed onto sturdy cotton that are then shaped into backpacks, totes and other travel wares.

As a fellow lover of nature and travel, I couldn't help but wanting to know more about Lee's background and story. So without further ado, here's what she told me.

What made you want to be a designer? Was there an aha moment that led you down this path?

I always wanted to create something, since I can remember. I stumbled into the maker world after taking an undergraduate degree in Visual Communications with the goal of studying Curating in graduate school. 

However when I graduated there was a persistent tingle in my fingers for textile design. Until then, it was a field I had very little experience in, so after graduating I started taking different courses to expand my knowledge and fell in love with traditional and modern printing techniques, and the combination of the two. It wasn't long after that I realized this is where my heart is.

I am very much influenced by the environment I am in - doesn’t matter if I’m visiting it or living in it - it’s always what surrounds me.

Can you tell us about your signature line and how you developed your unique approach?

My designs are inspired by a mixture of two strong elements in my life: the urban surroundings and the need for escapism and a breath of fresh air. The collections feature handmade screen printed fabrics and original prints from scenery captured on camera transformed into versatile essentials, built to last but never boring. It’s like my newly composed tag-line, ‘Made to Travel, inspired by modern exploration‘ –  I am very much influenced by the environment I am in it doesn’t matter if I’m visiting it or living in it - It’s always what surrounds me.

My designs are inspired by a mixture of two strong elements in my life: the urban surroundings and the need for escapism.

How do you overcome a creative block? Any specific tips and tricks?

Zone out completely: Get my favorite fruit shake, put my cell phone on mute and put it in a hidden corner so I won't even see the notifications. In other words, silence all I can: no music, no distractions.

Either that or high beat and high volume music. 

Since starting your own business, have you made any surprising discoveries about yourself?

I learned I can work much harder than I thought before, that friends are your best asset, that there's always more to learn, and that you must have an end goal, to know why you're doing what you're doing.  The ups and downs of a sole entrepreneur are inevitable. After 3 years into the business world I lost track of that, and I got confused. I found that having a clear understanding on what my goal is makes the path to getting to it much clearer and the tough times more manageable. I can then tackle things by answering to myself - does this action takes me forward into achieving my goal? 

I learned I can work much harder than I thought before, that friends are your best assets, that ther’s always more to learn, and that you must have an end goal, to know why you’re doing what you’re doing.

Where would you like to travel to next?

We are traveling to Mexico and Guatemala next!!!

What does your piece of Everli jewelry mean to you?

I'm the proud owner of the Ordinary Beauty band. It's such a delicate, well-made ring, with subtle nature.  I find the name, much like the ring design, celebrates this humble simplicity life has to offer us, an effortlessly elegant detail.  

A well lived life is...?

A well traveled life, of course!

Lee wears the Ordinary Beauty Band. Check out more of her designs here and follow her @leecoren

Images via Aya Wind Photography

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