So last winter, while searching for some unique items to gift our teenaged and young adult nephews I came across Holly Strate's shop; Hollyhawk. I was making an effort to shop locally as well as handmade and did a search within my province and Hollyhawk stood right out of the crowd, so much so that I was wishing we had the budget to allow for me to buy myself a gift.
We decided on an iphone case for one of our nephews and I sneakily asked him what type of colour combination he'd like most (which was good idea on my part, our original choice was not what he preferred). Holly sent out the case quickly and when I opened it up I was so blown away by her excellent craftsmanship.
I shouldn't have been surprised, since Holly finds working with leather extra appealing, which always means that there is a great deal of passion involved in the work. She says that there are so many interesting things that can be done with leather like dyeing, printing, stitching, embossing, molding, carving, painting, riveting... Holly transforms the material into unique, snappy wearable and useful items, and boy does she ever do a fabulous job.
What drew me was the combination of fresh colour choices (red, turquoise, purple, chartreuse and dusty sage) with beautiful, organic and modern graphics printed in ink. We went with the rotary phone graphic for the tongue in cheek factor.
Holly is trained in Fashion Design, and she learned about leather work by apprenticing. Through experimentation, she became really inspired to make pieces of her own design to share with the world. to find out more about Holly and Hollyhawk you can find her on Facebook and Twitter where she keeps her fans up to date in what's going on; like the recent addition to her family in the form of a handsome baby boy. Holly also has a website that lists where you can find her accessories, purses and jewellery for sale and she has a blog where you can get more information too! As always; if you see something you like, click on it! All images are linked to Hollyhawk.
Can you describe the palette you use to create with, what colours do you always “reach” for?
I love the contrast created by combining bright colours with more muted ones. I can’t always reflect this in my work though, being somewhat limited in the leathers that I can source out, but then it’s more of a challenge. There’s just something about working with leather that really appeals to me. It’s quite versatile and one of my favorite material to designs and create with.
Do you listen to music when you create? If yes, what's on your play list right now and why?
When I’m feeling creative I to listen to Luke Vibert, his music is this amazing collage of sounds and beats, very inspiring and you can bob your head to it. When I need to get stuff done on the assembly line I usually listed to CBC radio, it’s made me an expert in useless information.
What was the last shop/ item you hearted on Etsy?
The Strap Less Dress in Golden Apples by LesEnfantsSauvages.
I like to eat fruit and nut chocolate bars while watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer; what’s your guilty pleasure?
Dipping dark chocolate in tea so that it gets all soft and melty, but I don’t feel guilty about it.
Which Children's book character would you be and why?
Pippi Longstocking, when I was a kid I wanted freckles more than anything in the world, just like Pippi and my Mom would braid my hair into piggy tails all the time. She didn’t have anyone telling her what to do. It wasn’t as though my parents were strict, but I’m a Sagittarius and we love nothing more than freedom to explore.
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