Jieun Lee, 28

Eighth Ave and 37th St

Jieun Lee

Jieun Lee Photograph by Jay Muhlin

What do you do? I co-own a design firm called Spil Creative. We do everything: apparel, websites, packaging, full collections, interiors....

How's business—isn't the city crawling with competitors? We can't complain. It's only been a year but we've already outgrown two spaces. We try to do things differently and not compete with other firms. It's a homey little studio.

Do you and your business partner always agree? It's a challenge. He is actually also my partner in life. We butt heads, but we bring very different things to the table, so we complement each other nicely.

What's in the bag? Well, I tend not to leave work at work—

You even bring your business partner home. [Laughs] I do! It's a never-ending thing. I'm carrying presentation boards for a meeting we have coming up.

Do clients ever ask for something totally stupid but you have to go along with it because the customer is always right? [Laughs] Absolutely. But then we ever-so-subtly try to convince them of our ideas.

How many cats do you have? Cats? [Pauses] Oh, because of the hair on the back of my coat? I actually have two dogs. I don't get how people keep their black things clean. Apparently short-haired dogs shed.

What kind are they? One is a Staffordshire bull terrier. She looks like a little pit bull, but she's such a sensitive girl—the pit-bull thing is totally a stereotype; they're actually very sweet. The other is a Jindo—a Korean breed that's very snooty, like cat-personality dogs.

Speaking of stereotypes. [Laughs] I used to have cats! I love all animals, really.—Kate Lowenstein