The Hilarious and Talented Lex Lee: Furniture Designer Extraordinaire

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Recently, FIDM collaborated with FIDM Interior Design Grad and Furniture Designer, Lex Lee. Lee took over the “FIDMCollege” Snapchat and @FIDM Instagram, giving followers insight into her life as the owner and designer for Lex Lee Studio. With a lot of humor and stunning imagery, she created incredible content. Check out the full-recap below.

Instagram Takeover: 

Meet Lex Lee…

13658484_161637034263935_848601395_n“Hello FIDM! It’s Lex Lee here…owner of Lex Lee Studio (real original name, I know). I’m taking over FIDM’s instagram today and even though I look super calm and laid back in this photo, it took A LOT of hard work to get where I am today…which appears to be in a bed, with my dog, holding one of my designs. I’m happy to have this opportunity to share with you how Morty & I got here. And yes, it began with FIDM. Well with Morty it began with the West LA animal shelter…but we’ll get to that another time. So turn on your post notifications, my darlings, let get this TAKEOVER started.”

The Magnificent Chair…

13636055_156546124782276_179255536_n“The year was 2013 and I entered FIDM’s Chairing Styles Competition as an Interior Design student. This meant I would be responsible for designing a chair. Yes, you are correct, it is the chair you see here. And yes, you are also correct, I did indeed win. My mom made me say that last part…I’m usually pretty humble. This chair is the cornerstone of my first furniture collection and it is called the “34C” Chair. It is available in any custom finish and fabric on www.lexlee.la.

What Does She Even Do? 

13628331_1642982392680793_446540100_n“So what do I do? I make furniture. I get up and go to my workshop in LA and I draw, I cut, I glue, I sort, I email, and email, and email. You’d be surprised how much email is a part of building furniture. You email your clients to come look at progress. You email fabric showrooms to make sure your new 16 yard order is from the SAME dye lot as the previous order. You email your lumber supplier and beg him to get you 500 linear feet of poplar in 2 days and you promise you won’t ask him to do this again. But you will do it again. You email your mom to let her know that you’re ok. You’re 26 and you’re ok.”

We All Need A Good Mentor…

13658528_1780369098842947_523442889_n“I’m trained by one of the best in the industry and let me tell you, he does NOT understand what an “Instagram Takeover” is. What he lacks in social media knowledge, he makes up for it with his impeccable manufacturing quality. The man has made me a total seat snob! I don’t even like sitting on my own sofa because I didn’t make it. Actually it’s pretty comfortable, but it’s my competition and I can’t be fraternizing with the enemy! What you see here is called 8-way hand tying. It takes a long time, it feels REALLY good, and it costs a lot of money. Great.”

A Nice Throwback…

14052720_183967795355967_985094598_n“This is a picture of me going through some of my old projects at FIDM. I remember I took everything so seriously…I mean these things were printed on foam core and I was so proud of them! That’s the great thing about design school is that no one tells you how to complete a project or to design like someone else. What you end up with is something entirely your own that you should be happy to add to your working portfolio. Each project is a great opportunity to determine how you would tackle a problem in the real world. So no phoning it in!”

Feeling Discouraged? Don’t DWELL On It…

14031786_1783166021923815_2030203842_n“You should NOT be designing for a grade, you should be designing as a way to figure out how you’d like to perform in your future career. Did your teacher ask you to prepare a mood board, but you’d rather create a glossy spread of your designs that just happens to be professionally printed and spiral bound? YOU SHOULD DO THAT! If your teacher gets mad, tell them to DM me @lexpotato and I’ll sort this out. But they won’t get mad, they will love that you took a personal interest in going above and beyond your assignment. Just try it once. Pretty please. This is my trade show booth for Dwell on Design. No teacher, no grade, 100% real life.”

Not Your Average Pillow…

14026646_587668564767138_291591349_n“One way I like to go above and beyond for clients is in how I apply fabric to furniture or how I position it for pillows. You see this fabric with the pretty dramatic ombre going on? Well, I’m making a pillow shaped like a pyramid out of it and depending where I cut, I can get some pretty different colored pyramids. Stay with me. If I moved the chalk lines lower, I’d get a pillow that’s basically dark blue. If I move it up…light grey. Sometimes a client has a tiny fabric sample to work with and has no idea the full scope of a giant roll of fabric. I make sure that you are getting no surprises. Remember I told you about emailing clients to come in and see progress? Well this is definitely something I go over in great detail when they have selected a fabric with a large pattern. When in doubt, pick a solid colored linen! Write that down!”

Dogs Are The Best Inspiration…

13745136_860919864008877_1822765046_n“I tried to make these captions shorter…noooo I didn’t. This is Morty and he wasn’t even alive when his mother made those client project boards. He’s sitting on my residential thesis project and I thought I was being funny by using only Ikea furniture. Jokes on me…I LOVE IKEA. Here’s another pro tip: adopt a dog. What does it have to do with design? Nothing. Just do it for your soul. ”

The Grand Finale…

13651708_153110398460973_1012798606_n“I thought I’d end this takeover with a preview of my website relaunch. You’ve seen my past, my present, and I’d like to be profound and finish this with a look at the future. Super corny. I hired a real life photographer to shoot this photo of my Spike Pillows (for sale online!). The fact that I could actually hire a photographer is a feat in and of itself. And that’s MY rubber tree that I bought in the back ground. Those towels? I bought those too. They were on sale, but still. What I’m trying to say is that just because you are creative…doesn’t mean you are destined to be starving artist. I just hope you like to eat towels. Now come join me on my personal page @lexpotato or help support a young company @lexleestudio. I am so grateful to FIDM, to you all for reading these, and to everyone who takes even a split second to make sure their home looks kinda nice. #blessed”

Snapchat Takeover:

The Lex Lee Snapchat takeover was full of laughs, key tips, and even a customized geo-filter!

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A huge shout out goes to Lex Lee for these great collaborations. Check out her website here.

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Author: Whitney Sutherland

Whitney Sutherland recently graduated from FIDM's Merchandising & Marketing program. She’s an adventurer, a movie lover, a social media enthusiast, a health nut, a passionate writer, and a lover of life.

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