Our Kind of People – Interview with Pum Lefebure of Design Army
June 29, 2016
Have you been following America’s most recent political campaigns? Or (like me) have you only paid minimal attention to the red-and-blue fiasco that has every news station and radio channel wrapped around its partisan pinky? Well, no matter your political preference, Harper Macaw’s new collection of chocolate bars has one for every party. From Red State (dark chocolate with red berries) to Left Wing (dark chocolate with hazelnuts) and bipartisan bars in between, The (Very) Political Series is sure to satisfy both your love (or appreciation) for political parties and chocolate alike. “I wanted to do something for DC politics to make it a little less ‘bitter.’ I thought it would be fun to pick an idea to give politics a sweeter flavor,” explains creator and collaborator Pum Lefebure, “Creating this interesting product could help transition that bitter flavor in your mouth when you talk about politics to a sweeter flavor. If you love chocolate, but hate politics, you are still going to like this bar.” Lefebure, the woman behind the bar’s striking and conversational packages, is just as edgy and sophisticated as her designs. Originally from Thailand, Lefebure founded her company, Design Army, in 2003 and has been working with Harper Macaw since 2014 with our original Rainforest Collection. When asked about where she gets her inspiration for her designs Lefebure listed travelling as one of her biggest sources. “Being exposed to different cultures and architecture opens my mind visually, which is important. As a creative, you need to be able to speak various visual languages and travel helps expand my visual inventory.” Her other biggest source of inspiration? Her mother. “She’s such a boss,” Lefebure exclaims, “She’s in her 60’s and still kicks ass at her job everyday. She is at the top of her field, the best of the best, and I want to be the best too. She works everyday because she wants to contribute to this world, and I want to do the same.” And contributed she has. Design Army has over forty collaborations and clients including The Academy Awards, Disney, and the Smithsonian Institute among others. Lefebure enjoys working on a variety of projects, especially those that get her out of her comfort zone like the Political Series. “It was great to work on this project,” she said, “because it was also a marketing savvy project as it coincides with the political season, and the mind-sets of DC’s population.” She continues, “I loved the whole process, from start to finish. It was so much fun to come up with the names,collaborate on the flavors, and design the packaging. It was very intellectual, we came up with an edible product that speaks timely to the mood that is found in DC at the moment.” Although Lefebure isn’t American, she finds American politics to be very interesting - “What I love about the US is that you can’t predict anything.” - which couldn’t be more true. Yet, Lefebure says it’s more than that, “Everyone has the freedom to think, anything is possible. People really take that for granted, I’m so grateful to be here - especially coming from a place with a very unstable government.” Even so, Lefebure is a very strong and stable businesswoman. The secret to her success? Setting goals and making things happen. She states, “I set I set goals for myself about expanding my team, getting good clients, and working on amazing projects. There are so many decisions to make that trying to reach certain goals helps keep me on my path.” Additionally, Lefebure is also a big fan of exercise, “Keeping my ass in shape helps keep my brain in shape. In the morning, I take 45 minutes for myself - the rest of the day is for everyone else.” When asked if there was anything more she wished she could have done with the Political Series, Lefebure expressed that she wishes she could have done a Blue State bar, wondering how well it would have sold. And with the chocolate itself ? “I would take it to the founding fathers of chocolate,” she replies, “and see what they think about it.” Keep up with Pum Lefebure and her company, Design Army on their website and on Lefebure’s instagram.