Leonie is the local YYC cherry bomb and designer behind Maple Oak and Designs. Full of spunk and spirit, you are sure to catch her infectious smile and sense of warmth whenever you meet her at a local market.
LEONIE VATTER – MAPLE OAK AND DESIGNS
WHAT DO YOU MAKE/SELL? TELL US ABOUT YO’ SELF.
It is my passion to design and sew vintage-inspired, funky and bold fashion accessories. I mainly work with reclaimed and vintage fabrics but sometimes I can’t resist the temptation of a bright new fabric. When I do, I make a point of choosing organic fabrics or fabric remnants.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU HAD YOUR BUSINESS?
Since January 2012, that’s four years now. Oh, time flies when you’re having fun!
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
It all started while I was still a teacher back in Germany and needed a creative outlet. I designed and made my signature hood scarves as Christmas presents for friends and the rest is history. Well & there’s the fact that I married a Canadian and moving back here to Calgary gave me a good reason to think about my goals in life and start my own business professionally.
WHO OR WHAT INSPIRES YOUR WORK?
I went to university to study history in my early twenties and even though I don’t work directly in that field any more, my fascination with historic topics remains. Old photos, historic artifacts, old diaries and fashions of times gone by inspire my designs as much as nature, flowers, clouds and animals do. Another big source of inspiration is travelling; I always try to travels as much as I can to fill my head with new impressions. But most importantly the fabrics, especially the vintage fabrics that I use spark my creativity. I believe in living as eco-conscious as possible and incorporating up-cycled fabrics in my designs enables me to create unique and one of a kind items while minimizing my impact on the environment. Another advantage of using recycled fabrics is that they already tell you a story. I always know what kind of accessory they’re going to be as soon as I see them.
WHAT DO YOU DREAM FOR YOUR BUSINESS IN THE FUTURE?
That I’ll be able to hire someone to help me with the sewing, so I can focus more on designing new things + working on my business.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM AND WHY?
Instagram! It’s so much fun to take and look at pretty photos.
HOW DO YOU PICK YOURSELF UP WHEN THINGS GO WRONG?
A nice Chai tea in the afternoon, a good craft beer in the evening & a chat with friends or my man. If that doesn’t help, a walk by the river or planning my next travels will surely do the trick. I grew up by the ocean, so that’s the one thing here in Calgary that I miss, so just thinking about going there again will make everything better!
WHAT’S ONE THING NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT YOU? GIVE US AN INTERESTING FACT!
As a teenager I was quite the hippie-punk. I drew the anarchy sign everywhere while wearing fresh flowers in my hair.
IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY SUPER POWER WHAT WOULD IT BE?
I’d love to have the super power to beam myself anywhere in the world within seconds. Just imagine, dinner with my parents in Germany, beers with friends in Calgary and then a midnight stroll at the beach in Australia?!?
WHAT ARE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA HANDLES? (Please include links)
WHERE CAN WE FIND YOUR STUFF?