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Meet Laurel Lee and Sarah Spada of Matdalee Studio in Fashion District

Today we’d like to introduce you to Laurel Lee and Sarah Spada.

Laurel and Sarah, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
We met at a trade show in Vegas a few years ago and became friends over gin martinis while discussing how much the industry had shifted in such a short period, and how traditional wholesale was changing. Fast forward, two months later, we were working together. Another year later, over prosecco at a café in Paris, the idea for Matdalee was born. We wanted to find a way to work with brands and retailers that was both more fun and also more efficient. It took another nine months for Matdalee to actually come to life. Literally. Our best ideas come about with gin or some sort of bubbly, and Paris.

Has it been a smooth road?
That would be amazing if it had been a smooth road, but it’s definitely been more of an adventure, that’s for sure! We started the company and literally hopped on a plane and didn’t stop, we went from LA to New York, London, Paris, and many more trips to New York. We said yes to everything and everyone in our first year. Eventually, we learned that “yes” wasn’t always the best answer, and saying “no” wasn’t saying no to our business. We learned our strengths by going through tough situations as a new company.

Our second year was probably a bit tougher than the first, but it was also the most successful so far. And it’s where we started to really establish who Matdalee is as a company, along with finding our own identities as business owners. We figured out how to utilize our individual strengths and differences, to collaborate successfully. We are true yin and yang, and you can’t have one without the other! And we always make time to laugh, mostly at ourselves.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Matdalee Studio story. Tell us more about the business.
We specialize in jewelry wholesale sales, and we work with our brands as if we are in-house sales, but also utilize our extensive experience to assist our brands in all aspects of their business, from increasing margins to creating assets for sales campaigns and working on big-picture sales strategies. We also value and prioritize our relationships with our retail partners. We’re “old-fashioned” in the sense that we prefer in-person meetings and calls over emails. We’ll go that extra mile for both our brands and our retail partners. We live and breathe jewelry, simply because we love it. We’re immersed in the industry and so many of our friends work in jewelry all around the world as well, which helps us stay current. We think what we’re most proud of is the foundation we’re building for Matdalee. We started the company during one of the most difficult times in our careers and were passionate about creating a positive work environment, where not only we could grow, but our relationships could thrive. It’s this network and our relationships, along with our uncompromising work ethic that sets us apart.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Our industry changes so quickly, including downsizing of companies, which is essentially why we started Matdalee to give ourselves a strong foothold during the transitions we saw happening. Honestly, our industry is in the largest state of flux that we’ve ever seen, in the last 10+ years we’ve been working in it. It’s a very exciting time but also keeps us on our toes, as we have to be able to pick up and run, as the industry’s been changing almost every three to six months. We’re seeing a huge shift to sustainability and a shift away from fast fashion, which is apparent by the closure of some of the largest fast-fashion retailers. We believe the industry will continue to trend toward sustainability and eco-conscious manufacturing and brands. We also see technology and social platforms becoming a larger player in the way we do business and how we work with retailers. We also see companies downscaling their infrastructures and outsourcing traditional “employee” roles, which is what we saw happening around us, and why we founded our studio.

Contact Info:

  • Address: Matdalee Studio
    Los Angeles, CA 90015
  • Website: www.matdaleestudio.com
  • Email: hello@matdaleestudio.com
  • Instagram: Matdalee Studio
  • Facebook: Matdalee Studio

Image Credit:
Eugene Lee and Anthoula Medenas

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