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sherry b stein - A DESIGN HISTORY

Sherry Blankenship Stein grew up in Northwest Colorado in a creative, outdoor loving family (see links below to read about the work of her sisters Judy Blankenship and Char de Vazquez). Fly fishing was her parents passion, so weekends camping on the banks of local rivers was the family norm.

After college (University of Colorado), Sherry set up a studio in San Francisco to design and construct canvas and sheepskin outerwear. This small line, under her blankenship name, sold in shops in Aspen and Vail. A few years later, she teamed up with sister Char in Santa Fe to build Char & Sher Designs, an expansive line of Southwest-inspired clothing sold in Barneys, Saks and numerous boutiques in the U.S., Japan and Europe. 

An art hobby transpired in this decade as well. Sherry, in partnership with designer Jody Norskog created The Cadillac Couch project:  the rear quarters of vintage Cadillacs (found in bone-yards) were fabricated into state-of-the-art couches and sold to private clients and in prestigious fine art galleries in the Southwest and Chicago.

In 1992, a degree in Industrial Design from Art Center College of Design, Pasadena,CA, expanded her horizons as a designer. She took a job at Nike where she designed footwear in the ACG Outdoor and Women's Fitness lines. Shoes continued to be her focus with her own consultancy Sherry Stein Industrial Design, with clients FIla, Reebok, Capezio and Ariat.  In 2001 she joined the design team of Gap Design in New York as Director of Men's Accessories.

In 2003, Sherry set up an independent studio once again, this time in Santa Fe. She developed a cast-silver flatware set, worked in graphic and book design and experimented with lighting design. However, it was a vintage brick-layers bag picked up at an antique market that kept her scratching her head. Inspired by the classic shape and clean utilitarian design, she grabbed some canvas, leather, hardware and webbing and began her own take on industrial chic. After many iterations at the workbench, and heavy road-testing on the street, the S.STEIN WORKBAG line was born. With a strong web presence (thanks to photographer Peter Ogilvie - see link below) and dedicated accounts like Heath Ceramics in Sausalito, CA, her business soared. (Heath later acquired the workbag line, now sold under the label HEATH + STEIN online and in their stores in San Francisco, LA and Sausalito).

In 2012, bitten by the 'writing bug', Sherry began writing a youth series. She took a sabbatical year from her workbag company and traveled to China to research the first book, Lucy & James: The Shanghai Six.  She is presently researching the second story, Lucy & James: The Whale Diaries set in Iceland.

Sherry has one son, Jesse Stein. His family - wife Jimena and sons Jack, Alec and Diego, live in Key Biscayne, FL.  She also has two beautiful and talented sisters - see the links below.


Judy Blankenship:

Char de Vazquez:

Jesse Stein:

Peter Ogilvie:

Heath Ceramics: