Five for Friday: Author + Teacher + Creative Cookie founder Lesley Ware
An interview with NYC style maven, educator, and author Lesley Ware!
Our FFF feature this week is Lesley Ware, founder of the Creative Cookie Studio in Brooklyn, New York. One of the most stylish people I've ever had the pleasure of knowing, Lesley is not only known for her trademark eclectic accessories but her fabulous children's sewing + fashion books! We got the chance to talk to Lesley about her creative process, inspiration, and more. Check out what she had to say about her journey!
1. WHERE DO YOU FIND STYLE INSPIRATION?
I find style inspiration mostly from my mood and how I feel when I wake up lately. Being quarantined is strange and I’ve been trying to dress in a way that is consistent with how I feel. Some days I put on bright colors to match my excitement, other days I might need to sparkle and some I wear what feels like I’m wearing a hug.
2. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE?
My overall look is librarian chic but my style is sort of all over the place. I like to experiment and tinker therefore it’s something that evolves constantly and can be quite eclectic. For example, last summer I experimented with my version of a grungy look which was lots of fun to push my style in a new direction
3. IF YOU COULD HAVE DINNER WITH ANYONE (DEAD/ALIVE) WHO WOULD IT BE?
Ohhhh….Diana Vreeland, the Empress of Fashion, she died in the late 80s. I would love to pick her brain, about the future of fashion and get her advice on my career and what I should do next.
4. WHO WOULD YOU SAY HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST INFLUENCE, STYLE-WISE, PERSONALLY, OR PROFESSIONALLY?
My mom, Gwendolyn Williams, she’s a hair stylist + barber so I grew up in a salon which was full of fabulous fashion. She’s also the one who taught me to sew and she has great style. She was brave enough to teach me to sew at 4. If it were not for her I would not be so fashion minded today.
5. WHAT IS SOME PROFESSIONAL ADVICE YOU RECEIVED THAT HELPED YOU NAVIGATE YOUR CURRENT PROJECTS + CAREER?
My first boss strongly encouraged us to subscribe to the trade publication of our industry to stay on top of what was happening. Back then it was the Chronicle of Philanthropy, my first job was in nonprofits and foundations. Now that my work straddles fashion and craft I look to Business of Fashion, New York Times, and Craft Industry Alliance.
6. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE OTHERS LOOKING TO CHALLENGE SOCIAL NORMS?
Don’t be afraid to be yourself! It’s OK.
7. PERSONAL MOTTO?
8. FAVORITE PIECE OF JEWELRY? (We'd love to hear about something special/specific to you-- a gift you received from a great friend, a sentimental heirloom, your first big purchase, etc).
Right now my favorite piece is my grandmother’s wedding ring! My mom gave it to me when I went home a few Christmases ago. My grandmother, Cora, was a very elegant, stylish, woman with great taste. She died when I was 3 but I remember her essence and how gorgeous she was. The ring is beautiful with diamonds and white gold. I wear it on special occasions - like my wedding day, birthday and I also wore it on Day of the Dead.