An Interview with Oilily

Posted on Apr 9, 2014 in The Buzz |

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Welcome to the blog and thank you for answering our questions!

How did you get where you are today? ‬‬‬

Dutch fashion house Oilily has been a hallmark of creativity in the cupboard of women and children since 1963.  Virtuoso use of color, cultural influences, playful details and a certified high quality has brought Oilily a large number of fans and faithful customers around the globe.‬‬

What are a few words you would use to describe your brand?

Creativity, beauty and joy‬‬‬‬.‬

What are the core values of your company?

Our brand values are:
Creativity: We like to play with classic design by merging elements of seemingly opposing conventions in order to create a new convention: Modern beauty.  An Oilily Product – In essence – is best described as the result of ‘clashing conventions’.
Vibrancy: We have changed the rules of the industry by creating bold color combinations such as red, pink and orange.  What sets us apart from other brands is that we like to combine colors that do not mix easily.  It is our way to create a virtuoso and compelling color palette.
Craftsmanship: Everything we create represents a high level of workmanship and exudes prestige by a handmade look and feel.  Dots are not perfectly round and stripes are not as straight as an arrow.  It takes a great eye for detail to work this way.  That is why we like to call it ‘The Perfect Imperfection’.
Eclectic: We like to mix and match high quality materials from different corners of the world.  We try to use these materials in new ways.  This notion captures the dynamic core of our collections and it fuels the premium feel of our product.
Playfulness: We think life is worth celebrating everyday.  That is why we add a humorous touch or an unconventional detail in everything we create.  We hope it puts a smile on your face.

Tell me about the origin of the company’s name?

Olly’s used to be the name of company.  It was the nickname of founder Willem Olsthoorn.  By the time Olly’s became more popular, a Swiss company of children’s clothing named Molly’s filed a lawsuit and forced Olly’s to change its name.  Two ‘i’s were added and the name OILILY was born.‬‬‬

Can you tell me about one of your biggest challenges as a CEO/Founder/CBO?‬‬‬‬

Our biggest challenge is to find dedicated employee’s that share our beliefs and instinctively feel what is necessary to reach the level workmanship we want to achieve.  Consistency is very important in our business.

How do you see the company moving forward in the next five or ten years?‬‬‬

Oilily likes to play with classic design conventions.  We turn and twist them a little bit just so we create our own design convention.  An Oilily product – in essence – is the result of ‘clashing conventions’.  The next five or ten years we will develop more and more into a brand that stands out because of this design philosophy.  Our playfulness will make difference.

What are your hopes for the company?‬‬

We hope that our customers continue to appreciate the uniqueness and creativity our designs exude.

How do you think one of your employees would describe what it’s like to work for the company?‬‬‬‬‬

It takes hard work and dedication, but it is fun to be part of a brand that was built on creativity.

At Livie & Luca we put a lot of emphasis on Sustainability in the largest sense. What does the word mean to you and your company?‬‬ ‬‬‬

Oilily strives for sustainable growth in product categories that are a natural fit to our brand and in markets that are familiar with our heritage.  We try to create products with respect for mankind and nature.

Thank you, Oilily!

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Flotsam Flotilla!

Posted on Mar 26, 2014 in The Buzz |

 

REI, The Watershed Project and the Coastal Commission recently invited Livie & Luca on a tour of the San Francisco Bay by kayak, aka the Flotsom Flotilla!  Earlier this month our intrepid group set out to experience the beauty of the South Richmond Shoreline and more specifically to learn about the impact of pollution on its ecosystem.

The city of Richmond, which has a special place in our hearts because of our playground build, has one of the loveliest shorelines along the bay. The purpose of the project is to draw corporate awareness not only to its beauty and history, but also to the plight of its flora and fauna due to pollution and trash.

The Watershed Project works to restore and preserve the SF Bay’s unique ecosystems and brings a watershed perspective to the urban environment, promoting green design and supporting natural cycles. Martha and Juliana of the Watershed Project educated us on the history of the Richmond shore as well as the effects of pollution.  During our journey we made a pit stop at a beach to collect trash, mostly single serving wrappers – the biggest pollutant of the bay.

With their many years of kayaking experience and expertise, Karl and Robyn of REI  gave us a kayak lesson and led our group’s journey. REI encourages the active conservation of nature and inspires the responsible use and enjoyment of the outdoors and also donates millions of dollars a year to conservation efforts nation-wide, such as this one.

We are inspired by the work of these two organizations and Livie & Luca is honored to have participated in this exercise of stewardship of our local environment.

 

Livie & Luca ready for a challenge!
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Training session!

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Mark is right at home with the paddle!

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Erica and Amie run aground

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Excitement from Allison and Brittany

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Pretty Beach – time to collect some trash

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Erica and Mitzi rockin’ their gear

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Let’s Build Another Playground!

Posted on Mar 3, 2014 in The Buzz |

 

Why stop now? We’re already thinking about a second playground! Last year’s playground build at Belding Garcia Park in Richmond was such a success that we’d like to do it again. Now over 1,100 kids and their families have access to the renovated park. Our new playground has brought the community together and is helping to reduce crime by keeping the area clean, well-lit and beautiful.

You, dear Solemates, are the reason this is possible. 10% of all our online sales go towards these sort of charitable efforts and if you keep loving Livie & Luca, we can pass that love along to those who really need it.

We’ve been touring other parks in Richmond, CA, looking for that perfect spot. We’re ready to pour our love and resources into a playground that can bring the same positive impacts to another neighborhood.

Here are some spots we were sniffing out (Nola, Mitzi’s Frenchie, was an especially helpful sniffer)…

 

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CCA Design Challenge Finalists!

Posted on Feb 7, 2014 in The Buzz |

Meet our two CCA Design Challenge Finalists – Hao Dong, whose design was picked by Livie & Luca’s Facebook Fans and Sophie Ray Lee, whose design was selected by the L & L Design Team.  If you haven’t kept up with the buzz see what it’s all about in this post: http://livieandlucablog.com/?p=1431.

Here are interviews with Hao and Sophie and a closer look at their concepts.

 

 Hao Dong

Facebook Fan Winner

 

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Tell us a little about yourself….

Where did you grow up?

I was born in the very north part of China, when I was four I moved to a city named Shen Zhen (near Hong Kong), at the very south part of China.

Why did you decided to study fashion?

I decided to study Fashion Design because I was born and raised in a background of design family. I think fashion is an very interesting area to step into, and it would be easier for me to start my own business.

What does the term sustainability mean to you?

Sustainability is a very new and energetic term to me, since it is a new direction for people and Fashion, there are many parts that we can learn and experience. It would definitely be helpful to the world if people keep on trying. I have my own goal of starting my own brand, but before I am ready I have so much to learn in Fashion.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

In next five years, I would love to try to understand more about the Fashion business.

What would be your dream job?

My dream job would be a head designer of a well-known brand, then I will  start my own brand and design company.

 

Hao’s Design Concept

 Hao deconstructed several Livie & Luca singles with scissors and a craft knife and then re-purposed them into coin purses using the decorative elements of the shoes. She used a sewing machine for the body and hand sewed the decorations.

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Screen Shot 2014-02-06 at 11.19.30 AM Final bag and coin purse 2 Final bag and coin purse

 

Sophie Ray Lee

L & L Design Team Winner

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Tell us a little about yourself….

Where did you grow up?

I was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio.  I currently live in Portland, Oregon where I study at the Oregon College of Art and Craft.  I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to visit the California College of the Arts last semester (fall 2013) with the Mobility Program as an exchange-like student.

Why did you decided to study fashion?

Where my personal pursuits as a Fibers artist are concerned, I’ve always been interested in fashion with a little “f.”  I began as a hobbyist, celebrating my personal style by elaborating on pieces from my existing wardrobe.  I was lead to making complete works of wearable art as soon as I realized I was able to!  Now that I have a grasp on it, I make both functional and conceptual garments to prove our post-consumerist ability.  I like to abstain from big business.  My experience as a maker is influenced by the same philosophy expressed by craft advocates before me (read: William Morris – The Revival of Handicraft).

What does the term sustainability mean to you?

Sustainability is a lustful concept but an immense one, too.  In my work, I obsess over a concept recognized in the field of Sustainable Fashion as “The Craft of Use.”  My wonderful teacher and mentor from CCA, Lynda Grose, introduced this terminology to me – little did I know, I’d been practicing it for years (and you might be too)!  The Craft of Use aims to encourage a sentimental connection to our clothing and belongings.  There are many impressive feats being conquered in the sciences surrounding the textile industry.  Compostable fabric sounds super cool – but what about what we already own? Instead of finding less damaging ways to produce more (fueling our culture of disposability), I’d like to simply spend time loving what already exists.  I think this desire is evident in the “Mix-Matched Shoes” idea I proposed to Livie & Luca.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Exploring and making! I hope to travel far and wide and to continue producing work that proves I have listened along the way.

What would be your dream job?

For my final project last semester in my Sustainable Fashion class at CCA, I wrote a rough plan for a “business” called Skavenjers Collective: Makers Replacing Industry… You can read about it here –> http://sophieraylee.blogspot.com/2014/01/skavenjers-collective-250-word-statement.html .  I think it’s one of those “so-crazy-it-just-might-work!” type of dreams… And that’s why I’m so excited about it :)

Thanks again!
Sophie Ray Lee

www.sophieraylee.blogspot.com

 

Sophie’s Design Concept

Does a pair of shoes need to be a perfect match? Sophie’s idea is that a pair of shoes “needs to be the same size and of a similar style so that the comfort of the shoe is not compromised. They don’t really need to be an intentional pair at all…” Sophie constructed a survey to see how people felt about buying mismatched shoes that were of the same size and comfort for their children. Her results showed that the majority of people under 40 would be willing to do so if it meant it was promoting sustainable practices.

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Sophie’s idea = match up our orphans in size and style type and either give them away or sell them.

 

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Why we chose Sophie’s concept

Sometimes the greatest ideas are ones that don’t alter the magic of the shoes. Using the single shoe in its entirety and pairing it with another shoe that compliments it, gives the shoes a new beginning and opportunity to spread joy. It is different but the same! We also loved all of the market research Sophie provided us with. Not only did she have a great idea but she proved that it was something people would be interested in.

 

Thank you Sophie and Hao and all the other designers at CCA. It was incredible to work with you all and to be witness to your sustainable solutions!

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Top Ten Designers of Design-A-Shoe!

Posted on Feb 3, 2014 in The Buzz |

Here are the interviews with the top ten designers of our Design-A-Shoe Competition!  Thank you all for participating!

Alexis Garrett

Winning Designer

 

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Genevieve

 

Tell us a little bit about you- what makes your heart sing?

My name is Alexis Garrett.  I am married to my best friend Tyler, we’ve been married 10 years and have two fantastic children, Jackson (6) and Genevieve (2).  I teach art education to 475 elementary students, Kindergarten-6th grade.  As a family, we love to be outside camping, or hiking, and our newest adventure is snowshoeing.  We just love exploring together, rain, snow, wind (there is a lot of that here in Wyoming) and shine.  During the evenings, after the kids have gone to sleep, I head to my studio/garage to design and produce jewelry and accessories for my company Alexis Drake, LLC.  I have been in business since college and after taking a hiatus to have children, I have gotten back full force into production this last year.  Being an artist runs through my veins and I continue to feel blessed to be able to live it through my business and share it with my children and my students every moment of my day!

Where are you located?

We live in Cheyenne, WY – I grew up here, however, studied at The University of Arizona – graduated with a degree in sculpture and headed to Chicago for 6 years before returning home.  From one windy city to another. ;)

What was your inspiration to enter our contest, and what inspired your design?

I can’t remember ever entering a design contest before and I knew from the moment that I opened your email that this one was something that I would be passionate about.  I look for good design everywhere – kitchen gadgets, art supplies, furniture, coffee mugs, silly things — they always are better when good design is involved.  Your shoes are designed well, the soles are specific to the size of the shoe, your materials are durable and colors are versatile for those of us looking for a shoe that can make a statement AND go with most any outfit.  My daughter Genevieve, has put your shoes to the test, and they have passed with flying colors.  The design inspiration is two-fold.  First, the grosgrain ribbon edge dangling from a sweet straw hat and that of sophisticated fun.  Think of the children’s story of Madeline and her adventures in Paris, which always include her sweet navy pea coat and of course her straw hat with those grosgrain ribbon edges.  Yeah, I am a bit obsessed with those ribbon edges, BUT, they add enough detail without going overboard.  The eyelets allow for the repeated shape of the ribbon edge and add simple detail.  Second, the name Genevieve, (our daughter’s name) helps complete the story of simple, sophisticated Parisian style with clean lines, coupled with a lot of personality.

What is your all-time favorite Livie & Luca color combination?

All time favorite color combinations. The gray patent with the plum sueded flower is my favorite – Genevieve is in love with your new petals in the fun purple. She says it, “pawpul”.  :)

 

 Shanda Barnett

Fan Voted Designer

 

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URMYSUNSHINE

 

Tell us a little bit about you- what makes your heart sing?

I’m Shanda Barnett, born in Mississippi and raised mostly in Haleyville, Alabama. I am a Mommy, wife, photographer (www.shotsbyshanda.com) , and Kindergarten teacher (Haleyville Elementary School). I love capturing the expressions, smiles, laughter… those special moments that capture just who you truly are. I love children, and I thank God for giving me the courage to pursue my passion for photography as well as teaching.

Where are you located?

I live in Haleyville, Alabama. “Home of where 911 began.” ☺

What was your inspiration to enter our contest, and what inspired your design?

My daughter and I love your shoes, so as soon as I saw the contest I wanted to design something! My whole life my grandmother has sung, “You Are My Sunshine” to me. Now, I sing this song to my 21 month old every night. I love the sunshine, clear skies, and summer days!  Lydia is my sunshine when I am having a bad day.  My kindergarteners also make me laugh daily!  I have this quote painted in my classroom to remind them that they are my little sunshine’s! ☺ I can only hope I am the reason one of them smiles each day. I love the song and thinking about sunshine! (Especially today! 20degrees! Brrrr!)

How do you feel about being chosen as the #1 voted designer by our fans?

Estatic! ☺ I am honored that the facebook family found MY design to be their favorite! <3 Thank you for all of the votes and to the people who helped spread the word!

Have you ever designed anything before?

YES ☺ I won a design contest for the Southern Belle T-shirt company. The back of the tshirt says, “The Bible says ‘Hebrews’ ” and has a picture of coffee cup. I have also designed a couple of t-shirts for various school functions and athletic teams. Before I had Lydia (had more time), I painted murals in children’s rooms. I have painted several classrooms in our school as well as other schools in the surrounding area.

What is your all-time favorite Livie & Luca color combination?

I love, love, love the mustard yellow color! Anything with Turquoise too! ☺  So turquoise and mustard would have to be my favorite combo.

 

Melissa Thompson

2nd Place Designer

 

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Paige

Tell us a little bit about you- what makes your heart sing?

I am a mom of three. Owner of TangledTangerine on Etsy. I love design no matter what the shape or size, be it fashion, interior, or graphic! I am inspired by my life around me, my kids, colors, nature, and people. I once read a sign that said “being artistic isn’t a hobby”. I can relate to that because to me, art isn’t so much a choice for me, but a part of me, without it i feel empty… I’m always creating, when I’m not trying to be the best mommy I know how!

Where are you located?

I am in Ohio.

What was your inspiration to enter our contest, and what inspired Paige?

The inspiration for my design came from my children.  I take hikes with them all year round, but in the spring we get most excited to explore the ponds. As the ice melts away we are always awaiting the first signs of life. I decided for the two different shoes, because in my house I always mark an “L” on the inside tongue of the left shoe. I then have my little ones hold up their hands to find the hand that makes the “L” to help teach them their right from left. I thought differentiating shoes would make my life, as well as other parents lives, easier.

What is your all-time favorite Livie & Luca color combination?

I love the turquoise and red Pio Pio’s. Brilliant color combo!

 

Adriana Ribeiro-Snead

3rd Place Designer

 

Adriana

PaintedPeacocks

Tell us a little bit about you- what makes your heart sing?

My name is Adriana and I am a stay at home mom to 4 kids, ages 9, 7, 3 and 6 months (3 girls and 1 boy). I stay busy homeschooling and enjoy baking , crafting/decorating, and have a major love of children’s clothing and shoes!

Where are you located?

We live in Jackson, Michigan (in a winter wonderland LOL)

What was your inspiration to enter our contest, and what inspired Painted Peacocks?

My love of children’s shoes is what inspired me to enter the design a shoe contest.  I am very passionate about children wearing good shoes that are important for development of little feet. I adore Livie and Luca shoes because they are great for little feet and are colorful, fun, and fashionable!  My daughter Isabella was the inspiration for the Painted Peacocks.  She is 9 years old and has been drawing everyday since she could hold a crayon. She loves animals and loves to draw them as well. One night she left a picture of a peacock , and next to it the pink and teal color she created with her watercolors!  I just LOVED the picture of her peacock, the colors she picked for it and I combined it with my love of our other Livie and Lucas to create my design. The trim for Painted Peacocks, inspired from the Livie and Luca Baby Bluebell Gray , are my favorite shoes to put on my little 6 month old! The trim is the sweetest and thought it was a must for my shoe design. Isabella worked with me recreating the colors she made so we could work on our final picture and was so thrilled to be designing a shoe with me! She has since asked for several other templates to use for her projects and has a couple of shoe designs in the works! She already told me she hopes you have another contest soon!

What is your all-time favorite Livie & Luca color combination?

My all time favorite color combination is the pink and silver (Pio Pio), my 3 year old LOVES her “birdie shoes” and so do I, they are the sweetest shoe ever and the colors go with almost everything in her closet!

 

Adrienne Hughes

 

Adrienne

Velo

Tell us a little bit about you- what makes your heart sing?

Family, teaching, art, travel, cooking, friends, and music are my passions.  I have a happy little life with my silly 5 year old daughter, Rose, and my musician husband, Russell.  We enjoy traveling together, having house parties with blues jams in the basement, being ridiculous, cooking up food from our local farmer’s market, and turning our living room into a movie theater with popcorn and dimmed lights.  During the day, I teach the smartest, happiest bunch of 2nd graders you could ever meet.  Their families come from all over the world, and I have a beautifully diverse classroom.  After school, I volunteer to teach a small group of students about famous artists and methods.  Recently, we had a little gallery show and visited The Thinker by Rodin together.  For a few years, I’ve been saving up for a big trip with my daughter.  We travel often, and I’m thrilled to be able to take her to Paris and Edinburgh this summer.  We will have a tiny flat in the neighborhood of one of my favorite films, Amelie.  Rose is a wonderful little artist, and I’m so excited to take her to to the homes and neighborhoods of Rodin, Monet, and Van Gogh.  Life is sweet and to be cherished.

Where are you located?

Japantown, San Jose, CA

What was your inspiration to enter our contest, and what inspired Velo?

Livie and Luca shoes are my favorite brand.  They provide tons of style and comfort.
My daughter just loves her bike and looks like she can fairly fly on it.  She helped me with the paint color and design ideas.

What is your all-time favorite Livie & Luca color combination?

I love any kind of London boot.  Although we have at least 5 other styles of Livie and Luca shoes, Rose always grabs her London’s. They are perfect for a tree climb, are our favorite travel shoe and are worn year-round.  They’re adorable as well.

 

Stephanie Hunter

 

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Patricia Quick

 

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Grace

Tell us a little bit about you- what makes your heart sing?

My children, music, art, and spreading good vibes/energy are all closest to my heart! I am a stay at home mom with 3 little ones aged 5,3, and 2! I also sew and sell children’s clothing online when I find a little extra time.

Where are you located?

Deerfield, MI

What was your inspiration to enter our contest, and what inspired Grace?

We have been huge fans of L&L since my oldest was a baby and I have always wanted to design children’s shoes for Livie & Luca! I mean who doesn’t right?! When I saw the contest posted we grabbed our crayons and paper and my little’s and I got to work! It was so much fun thinking of different designs and making them fit onto the shoe template. We all decided to pick our favorite memory and landed on our time spent watching the swans at our local park. Their grace and beauty bring the most beautiful smiles to their faces!

What is your all-time favorite Livie & Luca color combination?

We have the turquoise pio with the red bird in four different sizes! It is my absolute favorite color combination!

Jo-Anne Steggall and daughter Riley

 

JoAnne

RainbowConnection

Tell us a little bit about you- what makes your heart sing?

I (Jo-Anne), entered, because my daughter is too young to have a Facebook account, but since my 9 year old, Ryley designed the shoe, the rest of the answers will be hers.

I’m 9. I’m in 4th grade.  I love to draw, play the violin, do crafts, and most of all read.

Where are you located?

Oberlin, Ohio, but we used to live in Northern California, and my little sister and my Mom did a couple of fittings at the Livie and Luca studio.  I was always at school.

What was your inspiration to enter our contest, and what inspired Rainbow Connection?

I entered the contest because I love shoes, especially Livie and Luca shoes. I have 3 pairs (my little sister has a lot!).  Rainbow Connection was inspired by my little sister.  She loves rainbows, and shoes.  She is 2 1/2.

What is your all-time favorite Livie & Luca color combination?

My all time favorite shoe is the violet Cartas, but my Mom likes the navy and fuschia blossoms.

The attached picture is just Ryley, buy if you would prefer one with both of us I can send it.  She did all of the work, I really just submitted it.

 

Violet Stephens

 

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MaryMews

Tell us a little bit about you- what makes your heart sing?

My name is Violet. I am nine years old. My birthday is April 8th. What makes me the happiest in the world is smiling, drawing and making friends.

Where are you located?

Oakland, California

What was your inspiration to enter our contest, and what inspired Mary Mews?

Well, my dad told me about the contest. I just learned a new way to draw cats (and I love cats), and I thought of my little cousin and what she would like to wear.

What is your all-time favorite Livie & Luca color combination?

Brown and blue (robin’s egg blue, of course).

 

Jess Suzuki

 

Jess

SheLovesMeKnot

Tell us a little bit about you- what makes your heart sing?

My name is Jess Suzuki, I am a daughter, sister, friend, wife, and mother.  I was born and raised in sunny Southern California.  I came to the San Francisco Bay Area to attend school, received my bachelors in Human Development with an emphasis in early childhood education. I was fortunate to teach for five years.  I now have the privilege of staying home with my son, Mason.  What makes my heart sing? Well, my husband does sweet things like draws me pictures (he’s a terrible artist).  My favorite was a turtle dove…it was literally a turtle with wings. It was amazing.  He also decided that I should collect crushed pennies- so he brings me pennies from all over the country.  Also, when my sister comes visits me and makes me laugh more and harder than any other human on this earth. My son really makes my heart sing.  When he hugs me and hums, when he wants to kiss me and grabs my face. And then the small stuff, a good rainy day, a delicious latte, a good run.  The simple things get me every time.

Where are you located?

Castro Valley, CA

What was your inspiration to enter our contest, and what inspired She Loves Me Knot?

I love the opportunity to really push myself in life.  I think creatively it is the most challenging because it’s subjective.  To put your creative energy out there is difficult, I find it to be a very vulnerable experience (so my husband pushed me a little to do this).  She Loves me Knot was inspired initially by my friend Rachel who just had her first baby, a girl named Della.  Rachel is a super artistic creative and trendy person herself. So of course,  Della’s nursery is a feminine anchor theme, which I found to be so original and refreshing (lots of mint, touches of red, and rope details).  I love that girls don’t have to be all pink and floral…it opens so many new possibilities!

What is your all-time favorite Livie & Luca color combination?

My son actually wears the brown ruler Livie & Luca shoes…he gets lots of compliments on them.

 

 

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What to do with an Orphan Shoe? The CCA Design Challenge

Posted on Jan 22, 2014 in The Buzz | 2 comments

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Most of you know that at Livie & Luca we care deeply about sustainability and community and we try hard to put our beliefs into practice – we use non-toxic and recycled materials, we donate shoes to needy families and our local children’s hospital and we’ve built a beautiful playground.

In line with our sustainable and community-oriented projects, we came up with a challenge for a class of design students at California College of the Arts. What to do with all the lovely single shoes Livie & Luca ends up with? Yes – just like all those single socks you amass, we have single shoes!

It seems such a waste to throw away these orphaned gems so we asked for a solution from the students, led by Lynda Grose, a leader in sustainable practices in the world of fashion design.  We wanted them to propose a way to re-use or re-purpose these orphan shoes, either as a do-it-yourself project to share with customers or as a creative solution on the post-production level.  While we had their inventive minds on tap, we also asked them to come up with a new design for a shoebox that would have the least packaging waste.

We feel it is important to encourage sustainable and creative thinking in students who will soon be working in the industry; their ideas will shape the future. By giving students the opportunity to work with us on this type of project, we are showing that the industry is invested in their future and eager and interested in discovering new ways to approach sustainability.

Lynda Grose says “Connections to industry partners in the junior year of CCA’s fashion design program are invaluable. At this point in their education, students have built ideation and making skills and are able to express their particular ideas effectively. Linking with companies gives students a taste of real life design practice in fashion.  They get to test their own ideas within the style of a particular company or brand, and build a sense of where they’d like to work. Projects like this one with Livie & Luca are both highly creative and build a real project for student portfolios.”

This wonderfully creative group visited our offices for an introduction to the challenge and to sift through our bins of orphan shoes. We encouraged them to take as many as needed to assist them in the fruition of their ideas!

 

IMG_6226Our designer Emily on the right, explaining some aspects of the challenge

 

IMG_6198 - Version 2Lynda Grose and Amie

 

IMG_6232 IMG_6229Sifting through the bins…

 

We asked for DIY projects that customers could possibly do at home and not just solutions on the manufacturing end. This way we can give you, our customers, ideas about how to re-use old Livie & Luca’s or a single shoe (because we know toddlers are great at losing their shoes…) By sharing these ideas with you, we’d like to engage you in the process, to start a conversation, which you can continue by voting on your favorite ideas!

So stay tuned for our next post where the students present their projects, including step-by-step instructions and a finished sample, and YOU vote for your favorite one!

 

IMG_6238Mitzi and a student in perfect color coordination!

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Backstage with an L & L Solemate: Melanie Gonzalez

Posted on Jan 15, 2014 in The Buzz | 1 comment

Welcome to the blog, Melanie!

Tell us a little bit about yourself…

I am a stay at home mom of two awesome children, Aidan and Ella.  I’m currently the coordinator of my church’s Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) group and am in the process of starting my own Etsy shop to sell girl’s boutique clothing. In my spare time (when I have any), I love to read and sew.

 

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Tell us a little about your family?

My husband Albert and I have been married for 8 years, and we have two children- Aidan, 5, and Ella, 2. We also have a little chihuahua named Piper. With two little ones in our family, our house is always very loud and active. Aidan just started preschool last year, and Ella started gymnastics. We are also very involved in our church which keeps this momma busy. Although life can be very hectic, I thank God for my family every day.

Where did you grow up and where do you live now?

I grew up in Texas and currently still live here. For a while after college, I lived in a couple of other states, but decided to move back when we wanted to start a family.

What are you passionate about?

I am very passionate about raising my children to love themselves, others, and God. There are so many negative influences in this world, and it can be very scary raising kids knowing the challenges that they will face. It’s definitely a struggle and we continuously make mistakes; but I know that with God’s help, my husband and I will be able to provide my kids the love and encouragement that they need to be successful and happy as they follow God’s will for their lives.

 

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Who has been the biggest influence in your life?

My mom has been the biggest influence in my life. She is a great mom and I still look to her when I need advice. She is a good listener and I hope I can be as good of a mom as she is to me and my sister.

What is your favorite family tradition?

Since our kids are still really young, we are still in the process of forming family traditions, but we do have a few.  We love to go to a local farm in the spring to pick strawberries. For my kids to be so small, they can eat a surprising amount of fresh strawberries. Another tradition that we started a couple of years ago is going to an indoor/outdoor waterpark in the summer. Other than that, we love going to the zoo, children’s museum, and just hanging out with the family.

 

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If you could travel to any place and time what would it be?

I would love to travel to Paris. I have never been to Europe and it just seems so beautiful there.

Where did you first see a pair of Livie  & Lucas and what do you like about them?

I first saw a pair of Livie & Lucas on a Google search for “shoes made for kids with wide feet.” My daughter Ella has an extra wide foot and I was having a hard time finding shoes that would fit her. I ordered her first pair online and have been hooked ever since. My son doesn’t necessarily have wide feet, but he still loves his L&L’s because they are so comfortable. Livie & Luca is my favorite brand of shoes because they are so comfortable for my kids as well as being so stylish and cute. My daughter continuously gets compliments on how cute her shoes are. L&L shoes are also very well made, so even after my kids have outgrown them, they can still be passed on to another child for more years of use.

What are your favorite Livie & Lucas?

It’s hard to decide because I love them all so much! If I had to choose, my favorite Livie & Lucas would be the pink and red Elephant shoes and the yellow Toi Toi.

 

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Is there anything you’d like to see from Livie & Luca in the future?

I love all of the shoes and am just excited to see what you will be releasing for spring. Can’t wait!

Thank you!

Thank YOU, Melanie! Your strawberry eaters are darling! Good luck with the etsy shop!

 

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