Happy Valentine's Day, kittens!
I've been a huge fan of Laura's from Le Animale for a while now, from the moment I bought one of her little clay fox necklaces all the way through to when I bought three more pewter totems, all of which went to extremely happy homes.
We were lucky enough to quaff a glass of fizz together when she visited London last summer and even spent some time sitting on the steps of St. Paul's Cathedral under a moody sky.
If you want to know more about Laura, do be sure to read my special interview with her below. She's one extremely talented lady.
Where are you from?
I'm from North Carolina. I grew up in Wilmington - a cute historic town wedged between the Atlantic Ocean and Cape Fear River. I now live in Raleigh, North Carolina's capital in the good ol' rolling hills of the Piedmont.
Why and when did you open Le Animale?
I opened le animalé in 2011, just for fun really. Before I knew it le animalé was my full time business and I was all in. It is hard to believe it's not even been three years yet; it's been such an incredible time!
My animals represent totems, but still with a lighthearted feel, which sets me apart from polymer clay artists who aren't into the spiritual aspect of totems at all, and also from folks who take the totem aspect even more seriously.
What makes you different?
I think my in-between approach makes totems an easily approachable subject for everyone. I very much believe that animal totems can help us grow and gain new perspectives if we approach them with an open mind, but I also like throwing a bit of sense of humor and lightness into my work, because there's also nothing wrong with just collecting cute little animals! Posting new pieces so regularly (every Wednesday) keeps my shop fresh and allows me to develop my skills on a regular basis. Even though I'm always moving forward with new things, there's a consistency in my work, my brand, and my schedule that my customers can count on. Stylistically, the fact that my animals don't have eyes sets me apart in one more way.
What's your favourite thing to do?
I have so many favorite things. Creative things, traveling, spending time with my boyfriend and our dogs. I'm kind of a homebody, so when I'm not traveling I don't really go out exploring very much, but I love that I am close to an airport to head out to wherever I want! At home I work on my business, write, paint, play music, have pizza parties with my boyfriend, daydream, study random things. I also like to shop; hunting for a good bargain never gets old. I love that in Raleigh you can easily have a lot of your own space - a yard and house that are set away from neighbors and busy streets. Personal space and quiet time are important to me.
How did we meet?
I am often not so great at remembering how exactly I become acquainted with people, but I believe in the beginning you featured my work that you'd stumbled across on Etsy, and we started chatting, then eventually had the opportunity to meet up in London this past summer! I love being able to meet folks like yourself through my business; that's definitely one of my favorite parts!
Describe your shop in three words
Cute handmade totems.