Fashion Made In Estonia #3 With Stella Soomlais

Tere tere minu kallid,

I hope you are enjoying my project "Fashion Made In Estonia". The female touch stays however this time it is different we are moving further to meet an accessory designer who works with leather for men and women. Stella Soomlais is the third Estonian artist and caught my personal taste with leather accessories. In the interview she will teach us the exclusivity of leather.

Fall4Me: Dear Stella, thank you for being a part of my project. We are all excited what handicraft means in Estonia and happy to know it from you. What is typically Estonian about Stella Soomlais Design? What makes it exclusively 'made in Estonia'?
Stella Soomlais: All the products are handmade in my Tallinn studio, so the items carry the philosophy of myself and my team, who all love to live and work in Estonia and care about the reputation of our home. We want to make an effort that a stamp "Made in Estonia" would mean good craftsmanship, original ideas and good design.

Why exactly did you choose to concentrate on leather accessories? Who and what were your motivations?
Designing and making leather accessories is something where all my interests meet. I had always liked to sew and make and invent things. On the other hand I was very fond of mathematics as well as organising and starting new projects. In my everyday life now I have all that - I can do handicraft, be creative and have my office routine. My motivation has been a wish to make a difference, to build something that would matter. With my own company and brand I have this chance. As for the material then leather kind of accidentally became a material to work with, but now looking back at this coincidence then it seems a very logical decision, because I really like the characteristics of leather and the technological possibilities it enholds.

What can leather accessories do what metal accessories such as gold and silver cannot do?
Every leather and skin is unique and therefore has its own story. Metal can be melted and reshaped into something new again and again. Leather keeps its marks and therefore to me is more precious and meaningful - you really need to think twice before cutting it.

How popular are leather accessories in Estonia compared to other countries?
Leather accessories have been quite popular throughout the history in Estonia, but lately the market has became extremely versatile. It is very common now that students after graduating start to build their own brand, so we have a lot of very cool young designers who are now more and more transforming the local design market. Leather accessories and the designers get more and more attention and this increasing competition is good for the design and production quality. I'm not very familiar with other markets, but it's seems that the tendency is the same everywhere. Leather accessories seem to be a very popular all over the world.

What can the world learn from Estonian fashion designers?
We have a lot of small creative enterprises, where the designer her-/himself is a hands-on kind of person. The fashion designers in Estonia have very strong handicraft skills, which enable them to add a personal touch to their products. People appreciate when someone makes products with their own hands, customers like to know who exactly has put an effort into the product they are buying, so I guess this kind of honesty behind the scenes is something that Estonian fashion designers can be proud of.

A sentence that everyone should know to say in Estonian is…?
I like the Estonian idiom "Tasa sõuad, kaugele jõuad", which is also one of my mottos. This means that when you take it slow then you'll reach afar. I've built my company very slowly, trying to make sure that the foundation is strong, so that my brand would endure all the hard times that come on the way of fulfiling my goals.

Stella Soomlais' original products are available all over the world. Visit her online and on Facebook to get the direct contact and enjoy exclusive Estonian quality.

Xoxo ♥ Johanna

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