Monday, September 14, 2009

Leeloo- Unique Design Online

I'm sure many of you have heard of Leeloo, 'an online community and store for emerging independent Australian designers and artists'. Angela (Leeloo's director) very kindly agreed to do an interview for Australian Etsy Blog readers... was created to solve several ‘problems’. Firstly, I needed to remove myself from corporate ‘slavery’ and have a job that suited my skills as well as my passions. Having always loved fashion, design, art and all things gorgeous, starting a store that would provide support to young artistic types, so that they would not end up in a job they hated and ignore their creative inclinations as I had was the obvious answer, and felt right. Our online store was launched in November 2007, after several months of planning and creating the infrastructure, scouting for designers keen to take a punt on a new business and away we went!

Who is the real Leeloo and does she help you pick products for the store?
The lovely Leeloo is my dog, who was adopted from the RSPCA. She has a protein allergy, was the runt of the litter (by a big size difference) and wins the heart of whoever she meets. As she is now about 4 and a half years old (and therefore maturing) has some input on who we have in the store, but mostly just likes me to hold her paw as she sits next to me while I do my work.

What do you look for when designers are submitting their work for consideration? Any secret tips for designers hoping to become part of the Leeloo club?
Every week I receive several expressions of interest from designers who are keen to become part of the Leeloo family. I look for several things in both the product and the designer themselves. E.g. If the products fit with the Leeloo aesthetic and the overall feel of the goodies we have in store, that they’re made in Australia, and if they have already put themselves ‘out there’ on the internet, that puts the artist in good stead. In terms of the designer, it helps if they’re passionate, patient, organised and have thought about their work as a brand to some extent. They must also be friendly and keen. We only have nice people in the family.

What advice would you give to independent designers/artists and online small business owners?
I believe research and planning are integral to starting your own business, whatever field it is. In my experience, many young designers get over-excited about the fun stuff, and unfortunately there’s a lot of tedious parts to having your own business as well, but without executing these parts correctly, it can all be pointless. Still, with Leeloo we like to think we allow the team to focus on their creativity so that they don’t have to do the sales, marketing, logistics, delivery, accounts and ‘yucky stuff’, although there is an element of that in any business.

It's often quite difficult for independent creators to find affordable and effective ways of advertising- do you have any suggestions, seeing as you have a lot of experience in the area?
Social networking and the media of Web 2.0 are an independent designers best friend. Get a store on etsy, madeit, eBay or wherever suits you and your business (and is the most cost effective). Set up a Facebook Fan Page, join the Twitter community, create a Flickr page with photos of your work. Set up a blog and request link swaps with blogs you read and like. The lovely people in this community are very supportive of one another, and you have to be brave and a little bold. They can only say no, right?

. . .

Leeloo is holding an exhibition in November at aMBUSH gallery, based on the theme 'Once Upon a Time'
'Keeping with the theme, all accepted artists will be allocated a fairy tale to provide a basis for interpretation for the works which will be displayed'

Interested readers of the Australian Etsy Blog are invited to apply, but hurry because submissions are due by 18th September!!

(click on the image above for details)

. . .

You can find out more about Leeloo here:
Leeloo's Dog Blog
The Leeloo Forum
Leeloo on Facebook
Leeloo on Twitter


  1. wow thats very nice gift for someone. Small of small and sweet gift. I am very happy to see all your post here..

    nintendo dsi r4

  2. Interesting… I might try some of this on my blog, too. It’s quite interesting how you sometimes stop being innovative and just go for an accepted solution without actually trying to improve it… you make a couple of good points.
    online marketing


Thank you for commenting :) Morphologica

Blog Widget by LinkWithin