Interview: WaiWai

Thoughtful jewelry and home decor pieces carefully handcrafted exclusively from leather scraps.

LN: How did you came up to the idea to use leather scraps for your designs?

I’ve been working on small projects with different materials such as polymer clay, wood, glass beads etc for a while until one day I got a bag with leather scraps from a local fabric store. I made few jewelry pieces for myself and right away fell in love with this amazing material. Some bits were so tiny but I was able to use them. That’s when I realized that a lot of such precious pieces are just being thrown away. I reached out to a couple of local leather makers and I was right. They either had bags of scraps they had no idea what to do with or just had to discard those little pieces. I want to divert as much usable material from landfill as I can and hopefully bring attention to how much leather is being wasted and add value to this precious material by creating quality, long-lasting products from it.

LN: Where do you get your inspiration from?

Inspiration comes from everywhere. First of all, the qualities of the leather itself give a lot of ideas. It is such a supple material that is easy to manipulate.
Thinking of a special piece for a certain person many times inspired me to design a piece that turned into a bestseller.

Architecture is a big thing for me too. I love browsing architectural and interior design sources and often ideas spark just seeing nice textures, shapes or colour combinations. And of course Nature, it’s an endless source of inspiration.

LN: Can you tell a bit more about your leather designs?

I tend to create pieces that are timeless and work well with any style. Leather is a very durable material and having this in mind it makes a lot of sense to me to design pieces that would effortlessly complement any look. Sustainability and minimalism are the key values for me when it comes to creating a new item. This inspires me to think of multifunctionality. I have convertible necklaces with many possible ways to wear in my collection as well as reversible earrings that give you a chance to play with creating different scenarios. I use only organic treatments and sturdy hypoallergenic hardware to make my products work well for anybody. I prefer to create simple designs to emphasize the sophisticated, elegant and exquisite look of leather.

LN: Why is leather such a unique material?

From ancient times it has been used in a variety of utilitarian and decorative ways. We still continue to learn to utilize it for many innovative uses. I believe it has no true competitors considering all the qualities combined together.

LN: Why do you think should leather be the material of choice for consumers?

Everyone needs to be educated, seriously question what he/she chooses to consume and make the best possible decision not only for selfish needs but with a lot of respect to the Earth. My decision to use leather is based on the desire to keep it away from landfill where with all its unique qualities it is of no value to anyone.