Rick Lee

From a gnarled oak tree to a sleek pocket knife, award winning San Francisco industrial designer Rick Lee finds inspiration in everyday objects. An innovator at the vanguard of modern design, Lee combines rational thinking with radical influences to create minimalist pieces with deft whimsical touches.

Upon obtaining a degree in industrial design, Lee began his career in Chicago with notable furniture manufacturers and design studios. Relocating to Milan, he then honed his distinctive artistic style seen in his work today. Incorporating minimal principles of Bauhaus with experience he gained collaborating at the irreverent Studio Alchimia, Lee nurtured a unique aesthetic that is both vibrant and charismatic.

After more than 15 years of multi-disciplinary exploration in San Francisco, Chicago, and Milan, Lee and his team now design for major furniture manufacturers and independent clients including Bonaldo, Frag, Magis, Surface Magazine, Bombay sapphire, American Leather, DWR, Creative Accent rugs and the San Francisco Opera Guild. His work has appeared in movie sets and in celebrity homes of Bruce Willis and Michael Jordon. Lee's designs have also been widely exhibited and reviewed in notable publications such as the New York Times, Metropolitan Home, Surface Magazine, Case De Abitare, ID, Metropolis, Interni and Dwell.

Lee's theoretical approach to design hinges on the tactics of an actor. Working with a wide range of materials and resources, he prefers not to work with any one particular material on a consistent basis. Lee considers "California cuisine" an apt metaphor for his work's mix of seemingly incongruent ingredients carefully combined to create something new and fresh.

http://www.rickleedesign.com/

Nate Gilreath

With a passion for creativity and design, Nathan Gilreath approaches each new project with a balanced sense of reality and unlimited possibility. Raised in Mammoth Lakes, a small town nestled in the heart of California's Eastern Sierra Mountain range, he developed a great love for organic designs found throughout the natural world. Having long been a student of Nature's canvas, a perceptive attention to elemental balance, space, scale, color, and variation accompanies all design efforts. Viewing every opportunity to create as a new challenge to design not only a stand out product but also an object that will develop a resounding sense of harmony within its surroundings.

Currently living and designing in Los Angeles, Nathan's love for art and music keep him constantly excited about new forms of creative expression. By working on diverse aspects of product design through his personal studio, The Progressive Nature, an ability to understand various disciplines and reach diverse demographics has emerged as an invaluable trait.

Working within the Creative Accents design labs and manufacturing facilities, Nathan has developed a great perspective of procedures available, allowing a full exploration of textures, patterns and movement within each design. Continually looking for new territories of expression has allowed some great new developments in our Creative Accents portfolio and we are glad to be showcasing Nathan's work.

Colleen Schaeffer

Colleen Schaeffer, a third generation Creative Accents family member, was born with a keen eye for color. Her natural talent for design and color coupled with a lifelong immersion in the textile industry has caused Colleen's skills to flourish and mature over time. Her worldwide travels through Europe and Latin America have influenced her designs, exposing her to a variety of patterns, colors, and flavors from around the globe.

Colleen's fresh perspective on color has also helped us expand our ever-evolving color palette. We are proud to have a member of the third generation so essentially involved in the design aspect of our business.

Mike Hensler

I was born in Washington state and raised all over California. At one point during my childhood, my parents bought an old, gutted food truck to live in on the beach in Mexico. We lived in luxury or poverty, but rarely in between. Taking monetary and material risks for the sake of a greater vision was an everyday reality in my family.

As a child, I was subject to the whims of two very artistic, creative people who didn't put much stock in the conventional "American dream." As a result, I don't have the nostalgic memory of one solitary childhood home, with neighborhood kids gathering at the cul-de-sac, or a single elementary school where I learned my ABC's and graduated from the playground to middle school.

I do, however, have a deep, uncompromising desire for authenticity, spontaneity, and courage. These are the things that drive me in business, and motivate every aspect of my life. Because values like these cannot be compartmentalized, they are the driving factors in everything we do, and are, here at Creative Accents.

When my dad got into the carpet industry, I was a 10-year-old kid who thought driving a forklift and skateboarding around the factory was the absolute coolest thing. Later on in high school, while the rest of the family lived on the beach in Mexico, my dad and I slept on the floor of the factory, working non-stop trying to re-build the pieces that were left after a bad business deal. I saw firsthand the sheer determination and resilience it takes to build and run a successful business.

I've always loved the creative process. From the mysterious creation of an idea, bending and forming in an individual's head, to the expression of that idea on pen and paper, paint and canvas, fingers and instrument. This process is what drew me to Creative Accents full-time in my early 30's, and what continues to motivate me almost 30 years later.

Here, we get to collaborate with extremely gifted people to create a tangible product, handcrafted from the best raw materials. And every day, I am grateful that I never have to compromise my deeply rooted value system. What we do here, from the raw materials to the design and manufacturing processes, is authentic and original-every time.

Ryan Beauchamp

How does a professional rodeo cowboy become the Creative Director of a small, family-owned manufacturing company in the California desert? The most evident explanation is as ancient as time itself; a beautiful woman and a diamond ring. When Ryan fell in love with Katie Hensler, he was pursuing his dream of professional rodeo, and Katie was along for the ride. Neither Ryan nor Katie ever would have dreamt that Ryan's real future lie, not in being a rodeo cowboy, but in Katie's father's business.

But below the surface of the cowboy lay a deep well of creative energy and a sharp eye for design. In a world of etched leather and gem-inlaid belt buckles, Ryan always had a thirst for functional color and design; the kind that makes you feel balanced and at peace.

So when money ran short and Ryan took a temporary job at his father-in-law's manufacturing company, sorting yarn and making braided rugs in an old steel building in the scorching California desert, he didn't automatically think he had found his true calling.

Now, almost 15 years later, Ryan divides his time between designing new products, working with fonts, color, layout and fibers, working directly with designers, and representing Creative Accents at furniture markets like High Point. He enjoys the diversity and constant evolution of his job, from stepping into the manufacturing warehouse to discuss the status of a rug with Leo, the head tufter who has been with the company for 25 years and knows the names and ages of Ryan's three children, to brainstorming marketing ideas with Bruce Birnbach, president of American Leather.

Other than his endeavors at Creative Accents, Ryan feels most alive when snowboarding with his wife at Mammoth Mountain or riding through a herd of cattle on his horse with his sons and daughter. His search for quality and balance extends to a passion for the perfect cup of coffee as well, and you can usually find him, cup in hand, content but never satisfied; enjoying the present, but looking with passion and energy toward the future.

Andrew Hayes

Andrew Hayes first came to Creative Accents team in late 2013 and while he served in other areas for the company, he was immediately attracted to the processes of rug design and design as a whole. Through the next two years, Andrew learned more and more about design and even contributed some of his own to the Creative Accents' catalog. As his passion for the field increased, Andrew decided to return to school in Sacramento to become a graphic designer. He hopes to be able to work on a variety of design work, ranging in everything from album covers to rugs.

Karel McKinney