Meet: Lee Vosburgh
Lee Vosburgh is a Canada-based art director and the creative mind behind Style Bee, a growing online destination that inspires readers to explore their personal style and to shop thoughtfully.
I first "met" Lee via Instagram. What initially caught my attention was, of course, her impeccable style. But what has since left a stronger impression on me is her commitment to responsible fashion. Facing an industry that constantly tempts us to buy more, Lee is a steady champion of owning fewer, better things. She puts this philosophy to action by showing how a few beloved essentials, with a bit of creative flair and experimentation, could turn into a multitude of looks.
What ultimately surprised me the most was learning that her seemingly full-time endeavor was actually an after-work creative project! Without further ado, let's find out how Lee embarked on her journey and her advice for anyone who wants to seriously pursue their passion project.
When and how did you start Style Bee? How has it evolved since its beginning?
I started Style Bee about half way through 2013 as a creative outlet for my obsession with all things style. After about a year I began to really feel the effects of the never-ending carousel ride that is fast-fashion and trend-driven marketing. It was wearing my creativity and my bank account dangerously thin and I constantly felt as though I needed to keep up.
In 2015 I started my Lean Closet Mission through which I've been exploring the meaning of personal style, slow-fashion and building a small hard-working closet of clothing that truly represents the woman I want to put forth in the world. Turns out a lot of women had been feeling the same pressures and this lean closet mentality has really taken off.
What inspires your style?
Thoughtful simplicity. Not just minimalism for the sake of being sparse but design that employs restraint with a purpose. When something is useful and beautiful, that’s the style sweet spot for me. My favourite looks and pieces are always the result of form and function coming together in a way that makes you wonder, how had I not thought of this before?
You've been a champion of "shop small". Was there a specific turning point that led you to this philosophy? What impact has it had on your life?
It’s definitely been a gradual transition although now I’m in full slow-fashion mode. The key moment that stands out to me was the first time I purchased a garment from a small designer that makes everything to order using stunning materials and creates ingeniously simple and wearable pieces. It’s still one of my favourite items years later and really stopped me in my tracks at the time. I also felt a tangible connection to the creative process that went into its creation.
After that I was still shopping from the usual big popular brands but the thrill of just buying something new had subsided. If it wasn’t special what was the point? At the start of this year I made a commitment to shop responsibly from small, ethical and sustainable brands exclusively and it’s been a wonderful, albeit learning, experience so far.
With another full-time job outside of Style Bee, how do you balance it all? Any specific tips and tricks?
It’s honestly not easy. I’m lucky I have a relatively flexible day job schedule and lots of support from my family and partner. I think it’s key to really be passionate about the side project, which in my case is Style Bee. It never feels like ‘work’ and I don’t begrudge a single moment that I put into it so while the late nights and weekends are tiring they are equally rewarding. My #1 tip would be get ridiculously organized and plan, plan, plan. I have two agendas, one for my day job and one for my blog life and a separate notebook for each too. Making tons of checklists is the only way I can keep track of everything.
What does your Everli jewelry mean to you?
I am lucky enough to have a few Everli pieces and they’re all part of my go-to accessory repertoire. Each time I put one on I’m reminded to keep pursuing what I love. They’re beautifully designed and embody ‘thoughtful simplicity’ so perfectly.
A well lived life is...?
A combination of hard work, seeing beauty wherever possible and embracing every opportunity for a good laugh.