Vintage lovers and color fanatics, meet Heather DeSimone—owner of Leetie Lovendale, the store where retro meets modern-age and the art of color is brought to a new level.
Created from the remains of a Rhode Island plastics company, Leetie Lovendale products creatively take advantage of the strange odds and ends that otherwise would’ve been thrown away and wasted. Colorful and unique, these pieces of jewelry now shine off the ears of their lucky owners and reflect the amount of love and care dedicated to production.
Heather carefully hand-makes each piece from her studio at home while caring for her two young sons. A passion for craft and color can easily be seen in her impeccable products. Her creations are one-of-a-kind and irresistibly smile-inducing!
What got you started? Where did you begin?
Leetie Lovendale was born of leftovers, really. I have co-owned a bead and jewelry supply company since 1993 with my mother, Jan Parker. In 2004, we purchased the contents of a manufacturer’s warehouse which supplied Avon, Coro & Trifari, among other jewelry designers in the 60’s, 70’s & 80’s, with jewelry components made of lucite. We sold loads of vintage beads over the past 8 years, but we still had all of these other funky plastic parts such as macaroni shaped hoops, holeless beads and balls and other shapes. I began to experiment with a torch-like device which sets these parts together and finishes them off. Working with industrial dyes, etc. and a line of fresh and fun jewelry, Leetie Lovendale was born.
What do you hope people will receive from your products?
I hope to make people smile. This jewelry is not to be taken too seriously. With its bold colors and retro and familiar shapes, it usually brings smiles to peoples’ faces. I like that.
What inspires you?
I’m currently in love with the mid-century modern aesthetic. I love the bold shapes and the industrial and space-age influence found everywhere from the prints in the clothing to the clocks on the wall and in the decor.
What do you always try to keep in mind while you create your products?
Wearability. It’s easy to go crazy connecting various shapes and parts together the way I do. But I always want to be sure that when a fan picks up an earring or sees a piece online that they realize it’s light-weight and comfortable even thought it might make a bold statement.
Where do you hope your business will go?
Ideally, I would love to see Leetie Lovendale on the shelves at Lilly Pulitzer, Nordstrom and Anthropologie. I’d love some more wholesale accounts, however I am really happy with the boutiques that carry my goods now and enjoy selling retail online as well as at various markets. I’m looking for other sales reps to sell retail at Open Markets around the world. Hit me up if you love to smile and sell colorful things!
What advice do you have for those just beginning to sell online?
Work smarter and not harder. If don’t have money but you have time, invest your time. Believe in your brand even if you don’t have others that do. And partner with people who know what you do not, whether that’s site design, marketing, photography, or pricing.
Do you sell offline too? Where else can we find your stuff?
Yes, I sell to several boutiques throughout the US as well as at Open Markets in Maine & Boston. Sowa Open Market is one of my favorites and I’m there almost every Sunday from May through October. It’s in the funky and trendy South End of Boston.
What is the most fulfilling aspect of your business?
I get to be surrounded by color and my kids. My studio is right off of my house, so I can be home with them when I need to be. That’s worth a lot to a mom of two busy boys.
What’s your favorite thing about CraftLaunch?
I love that I only have to update one channel. Since it streams from my Etsy shop, I can keep that fresh and up to date, but my website will mimic the changes I made there in minutes. My time is so scarce lately so this is a huge value as a growing business. I also love that I didn’t have to invest $1000’s of dollars to start up an e-commerce site. With my other business, I have done that and I still am not able to do the maintenance myself. With CraftLaunch I didn’t have to invest up front, just monthly which is easy on my budget, AND I can be in charge of maintenance.
What’s something we should have asked but didn’t?
Do I love what I do? Yes, I really do. I am lucky.
Leetie Lovendale: http://leetielovendale.com/