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FUSE Speaker Spotlight: Sandra Lee

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In the weeks leading up to FUSE 2011, we're going to be hearing from the speakers! Today we have Sandra Lee: Company Owner, CEO and Brand Guardian Of Crabtree & Evelyn. Ms. Lee will be presenting "Reviving An Icon: How to Stay True to Your Roots Whilst Becoming a Global Icon" on Wednesday April 13th in the Brand Strategy track at FUSE along with Tess Wicksteed, Strategy Director, Pearlfisher, who we featured on Wednesday. To learn more about FUSE, download the brochure here!

Tell us about a Crabtree & Evelyn project you are working on or recently completed that you are proud of
I am really delighted with our newly launched Floral Fragrance Collection, comprised of four exquisite single note scents, Iris, Rosewater, Lavender and Lily as this collection truly offers moments of indulgence to women of all ages. Formulated in partnership with master perfumers, our luxurious body care formulations and perfumes bring to life the timeline elegance, beauty and romance of the garden in full bloom. The collection is artfully crafted and presented in elegant packaging that features quintessentially English water colour designs that are a modern take on the botanical illustration that are inspired by the vibrancy in nature.

Think ahead 5 years, what major changes for design do you see?
I believe design will become more individual and more expressive in the future. Our markets today are highly saturated and brands are often competing for the same space and mindset. Design is increasingly the differentiator, it is how brands create a strong sense of identity, create experiences and express their specialness. I see design in the future very much becoming intrinsic to brand value, especially the intangible that makes brands unique. I think more and more brands will recognize this and we will start to see more original design with a stronger sense of individuality and expression. Especially as we continue to emerge from the financial crisis, I think it will be a very exciting time for design both in terms of ideas and aesthetics.

What inspired you to get in the field and spearhead the Crabtree & Evelyn brand? What keeps you motivated?
I have always felt a strong connection with the Crabtree & Evelyn brand. I can vividly recall the moment I first encountered our iconic Jojoba Seashell soap while on holiday in Carmel with my family 20 years ago. Even then, I immediately felt the richness of the brand and felt the strength of its heritage. However what also excited me was the brands potential. Crabtree & Evelyn is such an iconic brand with a truly wonderful story, but like all good icons it's on a journey and needs to remain relevant and desirable to suit the needs and lifestyles of today's consumers. It needs to do this whilst remaining true to its roots and heritage. I remember the first time I used the product and how the fragrance and experience delighted my senses. This first encounter motivates me and reminds me of the brands truth as we take Crabtree & Evelyn on its global journey into the future. Crabtree & Evelyn transcends beyond being purely a product, and I am motivated by the power of aesthetics and design to bring the brands truth to life for our modern day consumers around the world at every touchpoint of their lives

What is one thing you're excited about for this year's Fuse?
I am thrilled to be here to able to learn from so many great minds and leaders in the industry. Design is a crucial element for Crabtree & Evelyn to deliver upon our brand values for our customers and so we have much to learn from the masters!

What is your favorite brand?
There are too many to list! However, a brand that I do admire and enjoy very much is Prada. It is contemporary, relevant yet remains true to its heritage and workmanship.

If you could invite 2 people to dinner (dead or alive) who would they be?
Mother Theresa and Anna Wintour. Quite an unusual combination I know, but I really admire the inner resilience, tenacity and strength of these two great women. Mother Theresa was able to continually give of herself despite her own doubts and challenges, and the same inner strength is also undeniable in Anna Wintour, who is able to lead the fashion trends while remaining true to her own style in the ever-changing fashion industry. It would be an honour to have dinner with these two amazing ladies.

What is your dream project?
Every project I work on for Crabtree & Evelyn is a dream project for me as it is a joy and delight to create new collections that offer moments of indulgences for our customers. I am privileged to work with a brand with such a rich heritage, strong design principles and genuine brand values. My vocation has now become my vacation when working with our master perfumers, skilled formulators and gifted designers!

Learn more about Crabtree & Evelyn at www.crabtree-evelyn.com.

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