We've been featuring ethical clutches from Leotie Lovely since we launched in the Summer. There is a certain Canadian boho babe behind the brand who I was fortunate enough to meet whilst working in London several years ago. Our lives have taken very different paths, but fate has brought us back together to collaborate once again.
Holly embarked upon a 3 month adventure this year living out of a van in California, selling bags & writing whilst her husband sold his photography. After a dreamy first few weeks surfing, eating fresh food & falling asleep under the stars, their van broke down. They ended up high tailing it to Colorado in search of fast money on a false promise. Sleeping in walmart parking lots and working a job that never paid was significantly less romantic than they had imagined.
But the high and the low of the adventure taught Holly and her husband so much about the difference between living a dream and living in reality ... and living a dreamy reality. Here is the reality behind the Leotie Lovely dream.
Who is Leotie Lovely?
A nomadic rambler of the bohemian variety who lives in a way that shows Love for Mama Earth and her inhabitants.
What is (a) Leotie?
Leotie means 'Prairie Flower' in Sioux, a tribe native to the northern prairies of the United States and Southern prairies of Canada, including our home province of Manitoba. Leotie is a reflection of my borrowed heritage, and has served to instil respect for First Nations people and their culture, as well as nature and the earth, in me. My mother borrowed the name and gave it to my little sister as a middle name,
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Travel for sure, and also the fabric itself. I'm limited in some ways as the fabric I use will be a certain size and made of certain materials so I have to work with the fabric. All the finishing is done by hand so I'm constantly having to develop new skills by figuring how to make the clutch look as good as posssible
Where do you source your materials?
All over, the rule is that all the fabric, interior and exterior must be up-cycled - I never buy material new. Which is a terrible business plan because it means each item is either one-of-a-kind or extremely limited edition - but it's the only way I feel good about producing Eco friendly products - is to use what's already in existence.
So the exterior fabric is often found in charity shops and vintage shops and the interior fabric comes from charity shops or the offcut bins from fabric stores. I feel like the fabrics find me not the other way around, I'll get this weird tingle in my body when I see a charity shop like something's calling to me, sometimes I find nothing, but most the time, when I get that feeling, I find something great.
Where are you heading next?
Right now we are in Paris, the plan is to stay here and work until the spring, then we're heading back to the states to see what further adventures await us!