Hello friends, it’s time for our very first Designer of the Week for 2014! I’m so delighted to take you across the globe today to meet Leslie from Alita Crochet con Sentido in Viña del Mar, Chile. Leslie has crafted an adorable amigurumi teddy bear for today’s review, and he’s had our little reviewer grinning ear to ear all morning.
This darling crocheted amigurumi teddy bear is 100% handmade from natural Chilean cotton, with a hand embroidered snout. His lavender t-shirt contrasts delicately with the natural cream yarn in the body, and he’s the perfect size for little hands (approx. 20cm tall). Leslie offers a selection of t-shirt colours, including yellow, light green, and dark green.
Alongside his lovely styling, this teddy features safety eyes which can’t be removed by little fingers. He is also hand or gentle machine washable, and is suitable for kids of all ages. Leslie’s craftsmanship is excellent and I was very impressed with the quality and design of the Alita teddy bear.
The verdict… Loveable, huggable, and covetable!
Leslie launched her label in 2010 after quitting her job in a restaurant to pursue her passion for handmade. She explains, “I had an awful work schedule, so my time for doing things that I love was null. One day while talking to my mum I thought, the only thing that will make me really happy would be having time to do things like knitting, painting, and cooking… The next day I made the decision to quit my day job”.
Leslie chose her business name from a song called “ala de colibrì” by Silvio Rodriguez, a Cuban singer and songwriter. Her husband had given her the nickname “Alita” in honour of the song, and Leslie says, “I identified with the lyrics in the song, as I was going through a tough time, and crocheting was my cure”.
Leslie is a mum to a gorgeous little guy called Pascual, who is one year old. Pascual loves music (Leslie’s husband Roberto is a musician) and his best friend is his pet dog, Olivia. Pascual provides a great source of inspiration to Leslie, along with her love of nature, the sea, the beach, the forest, animals, books, cooking, photography and movies.
Here’s a few fun facts about Leslie (in her own words):
I studied theatre at university and then cooking, but I m not an actress or a chef because I haven’t finished studying. I want to be so many things, and it’s difficult choose only one career! So I prefer to craft.
I hate chocolate and oranges, but I love little oranges dipped in chocolate, rare!!
I love “mate”, and every day in the afternoon I drink mate with cake or cookies.
We love antiques and have many rare things that we have found at the flea market.
The Alita collection includes a range of handmade toys, accessories and clothing. Leslie works with the finest materials and loves to add special details to her products; for example, the pots for her crocheted cacti are made by a metal artisan from Viña del Mar, Chile – Don Luis Rojas. Leslie says, “Luis is a lovely man who makes little pots especially for my cactus. His work is beautiful and delicate, and he is an important person in my work. Every object that I make is made with soooo much love”.
You can visit Leslie online via the Alita Etsy store – look out for some brand new items being listed this week!