Name and official title of the designer:
Aram Lee, designer of ARAMLEE
Tell us about your business.
ARAMLEE is a fashion and lifestyle contemporary product line. Aram is focusing on the practicality of the product while also keeping it fashionable and unique. With 17 years of fashion experience in which she has worked with kate spade, GAP, and Kooba, Lee excelled in every single position that she held.
Aram’s idea for the HANA bag pushed her to start designing last June. Lee learned about Kickstarter, started preparing samples early 2016, and plans to launch in December.
The HANA bag is a convertible shoulder bag that transforms into three different shapes to accommodate to people’s needs: large, medium, and finally a small envelope sized bag. The bag is made of high quality Italian leather and is proudly made in the USA.
ARAMLEE is a one woman show for the time being.
What makes your company the leader in the fashion industry?
ARAMLEE is a direct to customer business, and does not intend to follow traditional retail techniques. Lee says that with the direct to customer approach, she can focus more on the quality of the product. Adding a middleman to the equation marks up the price at least 5 times before it even reaches the customer. To avoid overpriced products, Lee is reaching directly to customers online. ARAMLEE is manufactured in America and is made using Italian leather. Aram can ensure that the products will last longer by going through the right manufacturer that uses high quality materials.
What contributions have you made/ are willing to take towards the world?
“In the future, I would like to help charity in some way: a percentage of the price or profit of ARAMLEE products could serve as a donation.” Aram plans on looking more into the specifics of her charity venture as her December launch approaches.
ARAMLEE’s goal is to reduce waste. The fashion industry standard wastage of leather ranges from 20%-50% depending on the size of the leather piece. Aram uses all of the scraps of leather leftover from the HANA bags to make pouches. The leather patch shapes are determined by the scraps, so each pouch will be unique.
Lee takes her recycling concept a step further by also including wood key fobs to the ARAMLEE product line. The wood pendants on the fobs are made of scrap pieces that are sourced in Brooklyn, NY.
What has influenced you?
“Everyday life is the influence.” Lee is always thinking about how she can make a product better. Aram was also influenced by all of the negativity and waste around her that she encountered in the fashion industry. There was so much waste created to make just one product. “The world revolves around the idea that ‘we need more products’ and the consumer wants to consume more.” “I wanted to make a better product that people could use that is practical and fashionable enough to eliminate the need to have multiple.”
The “fast fashion” culture also influenced Lee to make a change. Stores would sell a lot of a very low quality product for a cheap price just for the sake of a trend. People don’t feel guilty buying a ton of these products, they stop trending, start to fall apart later, then just end up being thrown away.
What key qualities do you look for in your team?
ARAMLEE looks for energetic individuals who have a great work ethic, and can be a team player with good chemistry with their team members.
Words of advice for others growing their business.
“Kickstarter is an excellent platform if you have a good idea. Use online platforms so that you don’t have to work with a retailer. Share with the community or contribute to the world somehow. One tiny movement can help the world and community, it’s a positive influence.”
Written/Edited by Savanna McKellar, PR Agent