Leo Collective was born February 14th, 2019 with an affirmation written on a note card and taped to a bathroom mirror.
We are Krystal and Ariana and we met working for a non-profit retail store that resold designer goods and donated proceeds to organizations that helped kids and pets. Quickly becoming friends we realized our paths were similar. Both of us have worked in retail our entire adult lives. From managing small businesses to working our way up in luxury retail to helping start a non-profit, we had seemingly done it all. We watched season after season of shipments and goods overstock the shelves only to be deeply discounted to make room for the next round. Where was all this stuff coming from? Why was there so much of it? Who made this $10 shirt and how much did they get paid? And why is everything wrapped in plastic?
Attempting to shift our careers in the direction of a solution, the non-profit wasn’t fulfilling our desire to curate a beautiful, artfully inspired space and we found ourselves in piles of someone’s old sweatpants looking for treasure. We knew we wanted to do something different but what came next?
In November of 2018, we embarked on a twelve week course called, "The Artist’s Way: A spiritual path to higher creativity", by Julia Cameron. We committed to three pages of writing a day, weekly solo artists dates and to digging up old childhood traumas and hidden insecurities and over time we started to find ourselves and our way. Inspired by a Leo Tolstoy quote, we realized that we were withholding good from the world if we weren’t fully realizing the creative gifts and vision we had been so generously given. It started as wondering outside the perimeters of what seemed possible in our current roles and ended up becoming Leo Collective.
With a love for art and beauty, a conviction for women's empowerment, a dedication to the environment and a responsibility to individuals who are employed in the fashion industry we began to define our mission and values. Providing beautiful, sustainable, artisan goods and education for discerning customers who care. We want you to fall in love with the items we carry just like we have, know that we’ve done the homework to bring you responsibly and ethically produced apparel, accessories and apothecary. You won’t find our products on Amazon. We’ve searched under every rock to find hidden gems and small brands with integrity.
We believe in nurturing creativity and individuality, treating people and the planet with respect and integrity, transparency of production practices and profits and raising up others. We realize our great privilege to start a company and feel compelled out of gratitude to give away some of the abundance through the Leo Fund.
The Leo Fund is our non-profit dedicated to distributing 10% of our sales annually to a women rebuilding her life after domestic violence or substance abuse in the form of a micro grant. We work with non-profit partners to find women already involved and committed to programs that support their healing and growth. Because we believe in prosperity consciousness, we know that abundance is available and want to participate in the circle of giving and receiving.
Rather than putting our focus on the injustices of the fashion industry, we are here to offer another option. You will see us share recent findings with statistics and information that makes our hearts break. But we are doing it with the intention to inform so that we can all remember how important the decisions we make are and encourage us all the take whatever steps possible toward systemic change. We’re doing our homework behind the scenes, too. We use recycled packaging and reuse packaging from our vendors whenever possible. We order modestly so as not to contribute to the overproduction wave followed by the deep discounting trend of larger retailers and fast fashion companies.
We are so grateful for the opportunity to do what we do. We don’t take it for granted for a second. In addition to popping up around the US to meet you in person, scouring the world for artisan made goods and running Leo Collective ourselves we spend our free time traveling, caring for our families, connecting with friends and exploring artistic endeavors. We’re all moving forward. Let’s move forward, together.