MEET THE MAKER : MIKAELA FROM LEO THE LABEL
Meet the Maker: Mikaela FROM LEO THE LABEL
How long has your business been operating?
2015, almost 3 years. Although I didn't get serious until about half way through 2016
What do you make and create?
I started making and altering pieces for myself throughout high school and I have always had an interest in fashion but I wanted to share my creations with others. I studied Pattern Engineering for Apparel at Melbourne Fashion Institute to further develop my pattern making and grading skills and to give myself the opportunity to make more than one size in the designs I had created.
I work on a range of ready to wear pieces and can work with you to create your perfect custom piece! From the design, to the construction, every item is handmade with love in my home studio in Melbourne. These range from all forms of clothing, bags and accessories.
How "hands on" to the creation of your products are you?
I am a one woman show and design and make everything myself, I am very hands on in this sense! I work on a design, develop a pattern, sample and fitting then grade the patterns to allow various sizes until finally I sew up the finished piece! Even my swing tags are hand made from scrap pattern paper and each one has their own unique watercolour design.
Tell me about the person you are in everyday life? (where you live, kids, family, activities?)
I live in the South Eastern Suburbs and work full time as a Manager in retail. It is a task to juggle my full time job and working on my own business but I am very passionate about what I do so it is easier to put in those long hours and is very rewarding to be able to see what you can do when you really put your mind to it! I love music and will always have something playing!
Tell me about why you love to create your products or brand?
Each piece of Leo is unique and involves a lot of love and work from myself. I pride myself on making different quirky pieces that are true to my style and brand. Being so involved in the process is very rewarding and I enjoy making people happy with my creations. It is an amazing feeling when someone says they love your products and brand.
Tell me about the space you work in to create your products?
I have set up a home studio and have everything I need to make it a functional workspace; a industrial straight stitch machine, overlocker, pattern/cutting table, desk, motorised cutter and a fabulous selection of fabrics and trims. Although I have such a great space I do tend to spread out into other areas of the house and you'll almost always find a stray sequin or piece of thread floating around in our house!
Does your family or friends help or have any input into what you do?
I love hearing feedback from anyone! It is a very important aspect of my sample making I like to get a feel of what the vibe will be and if there is anything I could add or improve on. I like to bounce of other people, my boyfriend and Dad have come up with a lot of tips for me from the market set up to actual finished pieces of Leo!
What are your short term goals?
I am working hard to develop my brand and presence in the market, people are coming up to me at markets and telling me they bought a piece from a previous market or event and its great to get that brand recognition and lovely to see that people are enjoying my creations! I want to do more markets and develop a stronger online presence with a online store!
What are your long term goals?
I would love to make Leo a full time gig and stock some of my pieces in store!
Why do you love being a part of the Mermaid Sorority Markets?
There is such a good vibe around the Mermaid Sorority Markets, not only amongst the customers but there is a great support within the makers community and it is really rewarding to network with other creatives who loving doing what they do as much as I do!
THANK YOU for such an enjoyable insight into what you do and create!
For more information on Leo the Label CLICK HERE.