Maker Crush  - Colleen Wasilewski of Notyers

Maker Crush - Colleen Wasilewski of Notyers

Remember when we were allowed to not only leave our house, but to actually travel? Ahh those heady days when your biggest worry was catching a bit of jet lag? A few years ago I along with a group of friends headed to Reykjavik, a city I had been wanting to visit for ages. Let me tell you - it did not disappoint. From the otherworldly terrain (lava and moss dominated the landscape instead of trees and grass) to traipsing around on an ancient glacier, to swimming in geothermal pools in the ever-present sunlight (we visited in July which is peak “Midnight Sun” season), it was a visually stunning trip.  Read on to see how one of my favorite leash makers Colleen Wasilewski was so inspired by a trip to Iceland that it inspired her to start her own company.  

I am in love with your leashes! Tell us all about Notyers. 

Notyers is all about amplifying you & your pets personality through fashion. So don’t be afraid to go ahead & turn it up a notch! As an added bonus it’s all designed & hand crafted in the USA.

Why start your own line?

I started Notyers because it was something that lies at the intersection of my love of animals and my love of fashion. My background is accessory design & I saw an opportunity in the market for trendy pet fashion. I look at a leash like it is a handbag, you are carrying it everyday and this is something both of you want to look fresh & on point. 

Have you always been someone who enjoyed working with your hands?

Yes! I have been creating things by hand ever since I was a little kid. It’s actually my favorite part of the design process. It’s such an amazing feeling when you sit down & physically create something out of nothing. I often loose myself in these moments where it is so refreshing to temporarily escape our increasingly digital world, find my zen and simply weave, dye or sew. 

I'm obsessed with Iceland - talk about how your weaving technique was influenced by your travels there.

I want to start out by saying Iceland is truly magical! It’s one of those places that around every corner a new and unique treasure awaits. I was on a road trip there & stopped along the way at a tiny coffee shop that was full of local fishermen. The fishermen had these intricately knotted rope fishing nets. We got to talking about them & they ended up teaching me the knots & rope splicing that go into making/repairing those nets. That same rope splicing technique happens to be the the actual method I use to weave the notyers leashes. Wow, thinking back I may never have started Notyers without that one moment. Thank goodness for my love of coffee :P 

 

What inspires the Notyers aesthetic?

Notyers aesthetic is all about being bad to the bone! Add a pop of color or sparkle & don’t be shy about it. I learned how to dye fabric/create color ombrés from one of my best friends (shout out to @silkshaman). We would have dying parties - heat up a vat of indigo & make a night out of it! Some of my other design influences come from travel, mother nature (...I’m obsessed with sunsets + the nights sky) & street style. 

What is your guiltiest pleasure right now?

I have soo many right now. Just to name a few...Big Sur, oat milk lattes, neon nail polish, Tartine bakery, deep dish pizza & of course....puppies!! 

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