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J. Fleet Designs was established by Emily Rubin Persons in 1995. While Emily lived and traveled in Asia for six years, she discovered the beautiful lacquerware products of Vietnam. She was captivated by this amazing, ancient handicraft that the local people were still producing using the same artisan techniques that their ancestors had used for centuries. The opportunity to bring an art that was both beautiful and functional from Asia to America and other western markets was too irresistible for her to pass up. She decided to marry the ancient art of lacquerware, perfected over centuries, to her own updated designs and, in 1995, J. Fleet Designs received its first order.


What sets J. Fleet Designs apart from other Asian lacquerware producers is our ability to create luxurious colors and beautiful designs through painstaking attention to detail. Our process, based on ancient technique, is all done by hand. Nothing is mass produced or machine-made. Each piece has 15-20 coats of lacquer and is created through 100 days of patience and hard work by talented, dedicated artists. Our luxurious colors and designs are made by layering foils and hand-mixed lacquer colors. We also use the traditional arts of mother-of-pearl inlay, burning and inlaying cracked eggshell. The rich variations in color and texture that occur in creating our lacquerware make each piece uniquely beautiful and a treasure to own.


While traditional techniques are used to create our pieces, we work with contemporary designers who create updated, extraordinary shapes and patterns that are exclusive to J. Fleet Designs. We also offer custom, one-of-a-kind designs. In order to execute these designs at the highest level of quality, J. Fleet Designs has sought out only the best Vietnamese lacquerware artisan workshops. The limited number of artisans we work with ensures that our collections always meet the high quality standards of our customers. Our defect rate is less than one-half of a single percent and many of our client relationships began from the establishment of the company. We relentlessly pursue perfection in product quality and customer service.


J. Fleet Designs is committed to remaining true to the art and history of lacquer. Since lacquer is a natural product, only colors found in nature truly work well. Take a drive on a beautiful fall day and you will find the color palette of our collections. We do not produce trendy colors because this deviates from the true nature of lacquer. Black is the traditional foundation color of lacquer and that's why it is found on all our pieces.  In terms of design inspiration, we look to international design trends with an eye always on the origins of the craft. 

A little personal about Emily: Before starting J. Fleet, Emily worked for many different companies from umbrella manufacturer to fur coat retail to Avon Products to golf shirt manufacturing to outdoor furniture showroom all of which were the perfect training for running her own business.  In total, she has over 25 years of experience in the areas of giftware, home accessories and entrepreneurship.She has always love the entire process of bringing product to market, meeting buyers and sellers at trade shows and being her own boss. Emily lives outside Manhattan with her husband and 3 boys.