Freeport, ME, February 5, 2021
A Conversation with Maine Studio Artist Sara Fitz on Her Exclusive Coast-Inspired L.L.Bean Collection
Photo credit: Brea McDonald
Local Maine studio artist Sara Fitz is the newest name in L.L.Bean collaborations, bringing her fresh, coastal style to our signature cotton percale sheet collection in a limited-edition release. The line captures joyful seaside style through lobster and buoy motifs, a product of Fitz’s New England upbringing, which she describes as “inspired by summers on Nantucket Island, and brought to life along the coast of Maine.”
We had the opportunity to talk with Fitz about her first-ever partnership with L.L.Bean, details about her design process, and her go-to outdoor activity.
Sara Fitz Buoy Percale Sheet Set
Sara Fitz Lobster Percale Sheet Collection
What is your first memory with L.L.Bean?
I grew up around Bean clothing! I fondly remember my dad wearing L.L.Bean Boots when I was a little girl. Being from New England, L.L.Bean was naturally part of our lives.
How did your partnership with L.L.Bean begin?
My team and I have enjoyed participating in pop-ups and meet-and-greets at L.L.Bean for a few years now. (Our first ever was in a yurt in an outdoor courtyard!) At some point along the way, the L.L.Bean Home Store picked up our line, and exciting conversations about product collaborations began from there. We so value our relationship with the team at L.L.Bean – it is always warm and enthusiastic.
Tell us a little more about the brand of Sara Fitz.
Sara Fitz is a family-owned brand offering a variety of goods illustrated with my New England-inspired artwork. Our collections range from stationery (gift wrap, note cards, notepads, art prints) to homewares (wallpaper, cotton yardage, oversized pillows). We're honored to team up with other brands on collaborations, like this one, to expand our offerings in new directions and to reach new customers.
We may be biased, but we think there is something special about being a Maine-based designer. What does being a Maine-based designer mean to you?
As a designer in Maine, I'm inspired by my surroundings every day. Our state is sprinkled with charm and I tend to soak up the simple things, like weathered shingles, blooming hydrangeas, and oh-so curious seagulls. I celebrate those familiar icons in my work and try to reintroduce them in fun ways!
Tell us a little about the unique patterns featured on the L.L.Bean percale sheets.
The lobster and buoy prints are reflective of our beautiful spot here in the Northeast. The artwork was originally hand-drawn and watercolor painted in my Maine studio.
Sara Fitz Stationary. Photo Credit: Brea McDonald
Sara Fitz Painting. Photo Credit: Brea McDonald
So, we know our favorite print, but maybe you’ll share your favorite?
Both are unique in their own way. I love a classic blue and white print, so the lobster print resonates with me in that way. And the buoys have such character! Their colorful palette and aged details make that set so special.
Tell us about your team and how you ensure your vision comes through to the finished product.
We've worked very hard to curate a reliable, hard-working team of U.S.-based manufacturers that truly understands the look and feel of our brand. From our wallpaper plant to our custom framer to our print-house, the priority is exceptional customer service and high-quality (pretty and happy!) products. They say design is in the details, and we're definitely all about them.
If there’s one piece of advice you would give to a young designer, what would that be?
Use whatever fear, passion and excitement as a motivator for you. Channel that energy into taking your next (or first!) step. Don’t forget: small steps, and hard work, add up over time.
You know our purpose at L.L.Bean… What’s your favorite outdoor activity?
Without a doubt, family time at the beach. There is nothing better than spending the day building sandcastles with our boys, eating picnic lunches on the sand, and watching them play in the Maine waves.