Meet The Face Behind

LEIKEY DESIGNS

A BRIKA maker story

Keiley Stewart

TORONTO, ON
"The name Leikey (pronounced LEE-KEE) is a nickname given to Keiley by her two little cousins. Many of the products she makes are inspired by them."
“I believe in cupcakes... I love it when I know a design is finished... Words I live by are “Get outside your own head”.”

“Making handmade goods is important to me because I have a direct relationship with the product I’m making. There are no cookie cutters here. Each toy I make develops a personality - It’s individuality.”


“When I was younger, I wanted to be a marine biologist. I was mesmerized by fish and aquariums. Seeing The Little Mermaid probably had a very formative impression on me.”


“Making handmade goods is important to me because I have a direct relationship with the product I’m making. There are no cookie cutters here. Each toy I make develops a personality - It’s individuality.”


Keiley is a textile artist in Toronto, Ontario. Growing up, she developed a vivid imagination and had a pretty magical childhood because of it. This, and the creative influences around her, led Keiley to study Textile Design at Sheridan College. Upon graduating, she launched Leikey Designs: a small-production textiles company producing handmade toys, needle felting and accessories. Every element is designed and handmade by Keiley herself.



What are 3 things that make you happiest in the world?

Family, friends and milkshakes.


How did you start your company?

My two little cousins would ask me to make them toys. Soon I had custom orders from friends, and friends of friends. From there it grew into a business.


Who or what inspires you to do the work that you do? Why?

Family has been the greatest source of inspiration for me. My grandparents, my aunt and my mother have been makers all their lives. And many of the toys are inspired by my little cousins.


Tell us about a challenge you’ve had to overcome and how it affects/has affected your work.

Self-doubt and anxiety have definitely been a challenge. I have moments of panic, ‘what am I doing, this looks terrible’. But, I use my work to combat those feelings. A lot of the textile work is repetitive and can be meditative. If I get anxious, I’ll use designing and sketching as tool to work through it. Another challenge, dye lots and when fabrics are discontinued.

“I look up to my mom. She is an endless source of creativity and optimism.”
PRODUCTS BY LEIKEY DESIGNS
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