Millésime Baby loves....

Let's Meet the Maker

WELCOME back to our journal space - we have our next maker for you to meet & we are so, so excited to introduce them to you!
Inroducing our second 'Meet The Maker' guest, Katerina from Lex & Liv. (@lexandliv)
Most of you have probably come across this talented maker, but if not - you're welcome!
Katerina resides in Rochester, New York with her husband and two younger muses. Her specialty is baby moccasins made from vegetable tanned leather. 
I am a proud owner of this makers creations, so I can vouch for the high quality and buttery soft leather that they are made from. What captured me was the unique design and the quality of the make just in the photographs. Let me tell you, they are even better in the real! I am also captivated by the gorgeous palette of colours they are available in. These mocassins can easily be mistaken for works of art, they are almost too good to wear! I can see Katerina's professional background in her designs, the precision of these moccasins is unsurpassed. 
 
So again, grab yourselves a cuppa (or a wine!) and enjoy getting to know a little bit more about this extraordinary maker.
 
Welome Katerina, how did the idea for your business come about?
I’ve always had a special love for tiny baby shoes, it just never occurred to me I’d ever be making them myself. I trained as an architect and had no sewing expertise to speak of. At my daughter’s one year paediatric appointment (3 years ago now!), they informed us she’d failed her lead screen. Fast forward a few days and I’d fallen down the darkest part of the internet rabbit hole searching for possible sources of lead. We lived in a new house, no lead paint. I remembered some baby moccasins I’d just purchased for her (that doubled as her favourite teething toy) and I searched for “leather safety babies” and that’s where it all started. One little Google search that opened up my eyes to the terrible chemicals in chrome-tanned leather that we allow on our children’s skin (and in their mouths). Fortunately, we discovered the lead screen was a false positive but I’d already become interested in finding chrome-free leather baby shoes. When I wasn’t able to find any, I had a crazy idea to source leather hides tanned with tree tannins rather than chromium salts. A few heinous first few efforts at shoemaking eventually lead to something I was really proud to sell.

 

Is there a story behind the name?
Yes. Lex&Liv are my children, Alexander and Olivia. Actually I reserved my web domain about 1 month before Olivia was born, long before I started my business. I had the idea I was going to be a blogger (and strove to be the most boring blogger on earth, quite successfully, I might add…)

 

What is your favourite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
I love the flexibility of working from home- my children are still so young. I feel like I have the best of so many worlds. I don’t have to schlep myself to an office every morning (though I do try my best not to sew in my pyjamas). I can drop them off at school and be there to pick them up.

  

What social media channels are you on?

I'm on Instagram (@lexandliv), Pinterest (lexandlivmoccs) and Facebook (lexandliv). Pretty sure I have a Twitter account, though damned if I can remember the password! Most of my energy goes towards Instagram, which I suspect is the case with many young brands these days. Admittedly, I can’t stand it, but it’s a necessary component of marketing these days.

 

What makes you uncomfortable in the world of social media?

I think sometimes it’s easy to forget that anything we put out into the world is there forever, and you just don’t know who’s looking at it. I try to be mindful of that and not post too many photos of my children. It’s hard because I want to be open and share behind the scenes of Lex&Liv. And yet it’s my duty to protect their privacy.

  

What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

Oh goodness, probably when I received an email from Vogue, letting me know they’d featured my moccasins in an article. I think it was called “Baby gifts fit for a supermodel,’ inspired by the birth of Tyra Banks’ baby (sadly, nobody took the hint to buy them for Tyra). It was a real “pinch me” moment because, I mean, it’s Vogue! And I hadn’t contacted anyone about getting featured, so it was a real shock.

How impressive!!

Who has been your greatest inspiration?

I'm really inspired by handcrafted luxury women’s fashion. Chanel, Marni, Celine, Self Portrait, Alberta Ferretti. Fine detailing without being overly ostentatious. I think we all like to think we pick our baby fashion for baby but it’s really an extension of our own style and taste. Baby only cares about comfort. I knew I wanted to make comfortable baby shoes that were also SAFE but at some point it occurred to me I could create a distinctly sophisticated little shoe that could reflect mom or dad’s style too.   

 

Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?

People might roll their eyes at this one, but Martha Stewart! Martha don’t take no $hit! It’s so difficult for me to put my business ahead of other peripheral distractions. I have a hard time asking for what I want, or saying “no,” or “it’s just not a good fit.” Martha doesn’t pussyfoot around people’s feelings! She takes a lot of criticism for that but I feel it’s an important ingredient for her enduring success.

 

What makes Katerina happy?

Being productive, especially on those days I manage to cook a proper dinner too. Having a glimmer of an idea that translates perfectly from paper to reality. Trashy reality TV (what can I say…) Cappuccinos. Cyprus (specifically on my grandmother’s veranda). Weddings. Family movie night. Chocolate mousse.

 

If you could talk to one person from history, who would it be & why?

I’ve thought about this question quite a bit and I don’t know why it gives me so much trouble. Perhaps because I can’t narrow it down to just one. Susan B Anthony, abolitionist and arguably the founder of the American feminist movement, lived only a couple of miles from where I live now. I’d love to take tea with the woman who helped turn the patriarchy on its head, especially now that it’s become such a hotly debated subject again. Tea with Susan AND Martha, even better. 

 

And that's what is - Lex and Liv. There is always a story behind a maker, so I hope you have enjoyed getting to know this designer that little bit more. Do yourself a favour and check out their website here.
 
Love fIONA x

 

All photos were supplied by Lex & Liv

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Let's Meet The Maker

 

WELCOME to our new journal space - a place where you will find hints and tips on all things woollen, plus we will introduce to you a few of makers along the way who continue to inspire us!
Our very first Meet The Maker guest is Grace from Grace & Koh. (@graceandkoh)


  A long time fan of this makers creations. You will find exquisite pieces that are so intricate in design with fine detailing, it is hard not to fall in love with every single piece. You may love or hate me for introducing you to this maker and her incredible designs!!
We were lucky enough to interview Grace from Grace & Koh, with a few questions - it is so nice to get to know these makers and also a surprise to see that you have a little bit in common too!
Grace lives in a beautiful part of the world - Newcastle, Australia with her husband and two younger children. Her specialty is couture tutus. So grab yourselves a cuppa (or a wine!) and enjoy getting to know a little bit more about this talented maker.
 
Hi Grace, how did Grace and Koh start? How many years has it been going?
Grace & Koh began when my son Kohen was almost a year old and has been running for over 2 years now.
 Are you still offering the same products now, as you did from the start? Or has Grace and Koh evolved over time?
No, nothing like where I began. I began making boys and girls baby clothing from linen in
cute vintage, inspired styles. I absolutely loved those pieces and still do but I was moving
in an even more luxe and one of a kind direction. 

  

What do you look to achieve in each piece you design?
I strive for all of my pieces to be a little bit magical and memorable, a piece that you will
always remember wearing or your child wearing on their special day. They always need a
little bit of sparkle or a touch of lace for the real couture treatment.
 What has been your favourite product that you have ever created? Why? 
My favourite product I ever created has to be my daughters first tutu. I have always
dreamt of having a daughter and when I dressed her in that tiny tutu that I had made her,
well, I was a little bit sentimental. It will be one piece I will always remember.

 Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
Business wise I see myself still hand stitching away creating more one of a kind, special
pieces for you to treasure. I would also like to be making professional ballet tutus for dancers, so watch this space if you have little ballerinas.

Personal wise I see myself in denial that my kids will be at school and no longer babies.
Who are your business inspirations?
I always find myself looking up to the amazing Australian couturiers that we have here, for their unique and recognisable designs. Which is something I want my work to reflect also. The works of J'Aton Couture, Steven Khalil & Signor Mont Couture never cease to amaze me.

  Describe your typical day.

A typical day in the Grace & Koh household begins with a wake up from Kohen to get him
some breakfast. I crawl out of bed, feed and wrangle the children to get dressed and try to get some washing/tidying/sorting done. I basically spend most of the day trying to tire out my 3 year old son and pray both him and the baby nap at the same time, so I can finally get some tutu magic happening. By the time night time rolls around and the dinner/ bedtime battles are over and it's finally time to relax, I pretty much feel like going straight to bed. Then I feed the baby to sleep. Continue this a few times throughout the night. Repeat.
 Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
I love fromZION. I love how successful they have become, the quality of their products and
that they really have taken a niche market and ran with it. They really have such a cult
following, not to mention the most comfortable clothing. I pretty much wear fromZION on a
daily basis. Knowing that when I buy from them I am supporting a small
business and family just like mine.
  What makes Grace happy?
It might sound cliche but my babies really have my whole heart, they make me the
happiest. Apart from them and my husband, creating and seeing my ideas come to life and then hearing how happy people are with their pieces is quite humbling.
If you could attend a dinner party with absolutely anyone, who would it be & why?
I'm a self confessed Kardashian fan, so it would have to be them for no other reason than
the fact that I am a total fan girl.

From tutus to bedtime rituals to being a fan of the Kardashian girls, we now know, just a little bit more about the talented maker behind Grace & Koh. Hopefully you are thanking me for introducing you to this incredible label!
I hope you have enjoyed swinging by, we hope to bring you both the fun and factual to our journal space!
 
Love fIONA x

 

All photos were supplied by Grace & Koh

 

 

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