Yoonmi Lee

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Yoonmi Lee established her Etsy shop selling handmade baskets earlier this year. All the baskets are created in Yoonmi’s Williamsburg studio using cotton ropes and jute twines. She places an importance on authentic handmade products, made locally in New York. She sources all natural, biodegradable materials from neighborhood shops, and dyes the individual ropes by hand. The result is baskets that are sturdy yet soft. Even though Yoonmi recently launched her Etsy shop she has already made a custom order of 20 baskets to be used on a bookshelf in a Brooklyn loft. Yoonmi would also like to wholesale in the future, and during March 2016 she will be selling her baskets at Artists & Fleas in Williamsburg.

The Shopkeeper

Yoonmi Lee, a New York based women’s fashion designer, was inspired to make her baskets after she made some miniature versions for her Christmas tree. Yoonmi enjoys working with her hands and loves to sew, but was surprised to discover that making baskets required a whole set of different techniques.  She finds it similar to making pottery, keeping a steady pressure to maintain the shape, and knowing what angle to hold in order to achieve the desired shape.  Yoonmi loves the energy in the fashion industry but finds it very saturated with product. Creating baskets allows her the opportunity to work with her hands, making something more everlasting, meaningful, and less harmful to the environment. She decided to open an Etsy shop because of its huge audience and as it’s an established platform for people interested in craft. She understands the importance of making a strong connection with her customers, and one day would love to have a physical shop where people can touch and feel her products. Yoonmi loves shops, for fashion the inspiring installations at Dover Street Market and Colette in Paris. Closer to home she buys all her candles and perfume at Aedes de Venustas in the West Village, and is a frequent customer at Sprout Home, a plant and garden shop in Williamsburg, and People of 2morrow a vintage lifestyle shop in Greenpoint.

On Opening a Shop

“There’s a feeling of enchantment whenever you discover a new shop.  Every neighborhood has a different history, characteristics, and personality. I would love to be able to give people an experience that’s unique that’s only possible through being in a physical space. “

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