Morgan Leigh, owner and designer of LOVEleigh Designs, could not have chosen a better name for her brand. Morgan is all smiles, her personality inspires, and we could not be any happier to have her as a part of Eclectic Array. Her designs are versatile, one-of-a-kind, and absolutely stunning thanks to the different fabrics she gets from around the world. Get to know more about the blue-eyed gal with these 10 questions...
1. What do you like most about where you live?
Living in Mexico is an incredible source of inspiration. Not only is the landscape incredibly rugged, but beautiful, the people are incredible and the way of life is second to none. Moving to Pescadero (a small town an hour north of Cabo San Lucas on the Pacific Ocean) has really allowed me to slow down and reevaluate all aspects of myself, my brand, and what I hope to do with LOVEleigh & The Collective in the future.
2. How did you get started?
My Mum has been sewing since she was a young girl, a skill she passed on to me. I grew up around it, helping her sew costumes or cross stitch pillows. We had a very creative house hold. One year I was back in Canada for my best friends wedding (I was studying overseas in Australia at the time) and I had lots of spare time so my Mum, who had suggested I start a clothing company numerous times before, finally dragged me down to the fabric store. I think we bought 200+ meters of fabric that day and I' haven't looked back since.
3. What's the inspiration for your brand name?
Our family has this long running love of using our last name 'Leigh' in things. Pets names, my Dad's company, etc. I always thought it was so cheesy, but ironic that when I started my company, the name LOVEleigh Designs kept coming to the front of my mind. I named it that as a placeholder until I could find the right name. But the moment I told my Grandmom the name of the company, and saw the pride in her eyes, the project and the name in particular, I knew it was set in stone.
4. What's a fun fact about you?
LOVEleigh Designs is a side job; my real career is working in Human Rights. I do contract work all over the world in different areas of development in different countries; clean a water projects in Malawi (Africa), to women's development projects in Indonesia, to community outreach projects in Mexico.
5. Would you tell us about your experiences in Africa?
The first time I was ever able to understand the relationship my fashion company would have with human rights was when I was first living in Africa. I met a young boy, incredibly smart, who had been offered a place at a very good school. The tuition for the new school was quite expensive (for Malawian standards). After meeting with his family and speaking to the headmaster of the school, I decided that I would take a portion of sales from all of the "Africa Collection" (a one-of-a-kind collection I made from all the fabrics I had sourced while living in Malawi), and put the money towards putting this young man through school. Not only were the fabrics incredible, but more importantly buying the piece, understanding that money DIRECTLY from that sale would go to put a boy through school, and feed & house him opened up a whole new area for opportunity. I saw something in my customer change, a fire inside that solidified something I have always felt, that people are inherently good. People will help each other when giving the chance. It was an incredible realization, and since then, through LOVEleigh, we have been able to help countless people in developing communities.
6. How would you describe your brand?
I would say LOVEleigh Designs is most importantly and ethical clothing company, not only in production and fabric sourcing, but more importantly with the overall entity of the brand and how a portion of sales is used to help developing communities worldwide. The style of LOVEleigh on the other hand is very beach bohemian. It is flowy and exotic and colorful, very reflective of the places and spaces where I choose to spend my time. The brand has expanded to a Collective now, where I work with 21 local artisans showcasing their things, giving them not only a place to sell their stunning pieces (clothing, jewelry, bikinis, yoga mats & more), but also a sense of community & purpose.
7. What makes you different?
What makes LOVEleigh different is that it is an ethical company first, and a fashion company second. The main premise of the brand is all about what we do after a sale is made, where the money goes to, who we can help, and how we can help in the most effective way. Also, the fact that every piece of LOVEleigh is sewn by me is an obvious point of difference to most brands out there today. Outsourcing of labor is not something we do at LOVEleigh. All pieces are limited edition or even one of a kind.
8. What is your favorite item to make or sell?
I LOVE versatility, if there is a piece that can be worn numerous ways, I'm sold. Right now my favorites to make and sell would be: The Ikebuchi Kimono because it is so easy and versatile and was actually the first style I ever created and is still going strong, the Noosa Maxi Dress, our best selling dress, which can be worn numerous ways, halter, criss-cross straps, t-back straps or even as a wrap skirt (this is new!), and then the newest piece the Alexia Set, which is another versatile piece consisting of a skirt and wrap top that can be worn so many very different ways.
Don't miss our blog on the different ways to wear the Noosa Maxi Dress!
9. What brand(s) or people inspire you and why?
I am most inspired by people and places, and less so by other brands. I try to focus on what I am doing and how we can reach more people. My mother has always influenced me creatively, and my father has always influenced me in a business sense. The bright colors and fabrics and prints you find in Mexico (especially Oaxaca) provide me with endless amounts of inspiration. Also, my time living in Africa will forever feed my creativity and design aesthetic.
10. Anything else about your fabulous self...
I am so grateful right now to be working in a time where the customer cares about where their clothing comes from. The consumer demanding transparency and voting with their dollar to choose ethical fashion instead of fast fashion, is a pretty great movement to be a part of. So thank all of YOU who choose to support small company, collective and individuals trying to make this world a better place.