Celebrating My Win as the Best Clothing Designer of Tampa Bay 2023


As I sit here, humbled by this incredible honor, I can't help but reminisce about the journey that led me to be named the Best Clothing Designer of Tampa Bay in 2023. Moving to this vibrant city three years ago, I had a burning desire to finally unveil my artistry to the world. Little did I know that my passion for sustainable fashion and up-cycled clothing would pave the way for this remarkable achievement. 👏 


Through my love for art and design, I discovered a unique way to breathe new life into second-hand clothing. Combining my creative talents as a painter with my expertise in apparel design, I found a way to transform forgotten garments into truly one-of-a-kind treasures. Each piece I create tells a story, bringing together my love for art and my commitment to sustainable living. Every piece deserves a second story.

Sustainable Fashion and Upcycled Clothing

upcycled clothing lara dee artistryUpcycled clothing has become the heart and soul of my brand, as I understand the importance of minimizing waste in the fashion industry. Fast fashion has drastically affected our planet, from the exploitation of resources to the pollution caused by discarded clothing. By upcycling and repurposing pre-loved clothes, I am able to contribute to a more sustainable future for fashion.


My Artistic Process

My artistic process begins by carefully selecting high-quality second-hand garments. I find inspiration in the colors, patterns, and textures unique to each piece. With a meticulous eye, I paint on the fabric, incorporating my own artistic style, and transforming the garments into wearable art. From hand-painted dresses and tops to custom-designed journals and bookmarks, each creation showcases my dedication to sustainable fashion. Check out my shop!

Babe Crafted Awards and the Power of Women Entrepreneurs

The Babe Crafted awards served as a powerful platform for me to showcase my designs alongside some of the most amazing woman-owned businesses in Tampa Bay. Babe Crafted is not just a business organization; it is a supportive and inclusive community for women entrepreneurs who want to make themselves known online while building genuine connections and refining their skills.

Joining the Babe Crafted community was a turning point. I had spent over a decade working as a graphic designer, photographer, and apparel designer for my clients but never truly focused on my own creative vision. Through Babe Crafted, I found a tribe of women who understood the challenges and joys of being an artist and entrepreneur.

The Babe Crafted awards serve as a remarkable opportunity to showcase the outstanding woman-owned businesses in Tampa Bay, including my own. This recognition not only emphasizes the significance of sustainable fashion but also highlights the immense talent and innovation present within our community. It is heartwarming to witness the rising influence of women entrepreneurs and the positive impact they create through their businesses.

My Love Letter to Tampa Bay: Becoming a Maker

Tampa Bay, with its vibrant arts and culture scene, provided the perfect backdrop for me to nurture my talents. The support of this amazing community has been paramount to my growth. I've had the opportunity to collaborate with local boutiques, participate in art shows, and connect with fellow Tampa Bay makers who share a passion for sustainable living and artistic expression.

Embracing the World of Upcycled Fashion through My Artistry

Through my sustainable fashion journey, I strive to promote conscious consumerism and a love for unique, handcrafted pieces. Each creation I design is not just an item of clothing; it's a testament to individuality, artistry, and the potential for change. By choosing sustainable fashion, we can break free from the cycle of mindless consumption and make a positive impact on the world around us.

I am grateful for the recognition bestowed upon me as the Best Clothing Designer of Tampa Bay in 2023. This award is not just a personal achievement, but a testament to the power of second chances, perseverance, and the strength I found within myself to pursue my passion wholeheartedly.

As I continue to create for myself and share my designs with the world, I hope to inspire others to embrace sustainable fashion and appreciate the beauty that lies within up-cycled clothing. Together, let us redefine the concept of fashion, one hand-painted garment at a time.