Get to know Horseshoe Market Sponsor 2016: Leo’s Dry Goods
“I love making useful goods that are simple and lovely. I was a decorative painter for 25 years, my start was in NYC. When I imagined that the fountain at Lincoln Center was a creek I knew it was time to head west. In Boulder I immediately began painting, then got married and the family grew…a son, dogs, chickens and ducks. From painting with brushes I began experimenting with illustrations in thread.
Leo was my grandfather. He had an amazing old store in Newark, NJ. He opened after a long journey from Prague to Spain to South America. Picking up languages along the way, he ended up in NYC, then NJ. He married Lilly Rand and opened a dry goods store, classic awning with the words ‘Leo’s Dry Goods’. Some Saturdays I would go down and sit on a big, worn wooden stool and help out. Once in a while a customer would give me quarter.
Back then nothing was made with anything but natural materials, and it was made well. Hopefully I am making a difference in supplying you with handmade goods, similar in feel, modern with a nod to vintage.”
What is something your customers might not know about your product?
The work I do is very detailed and many times, at first glance, people think that my work is printed, not embroidered. All the pieces are one of a kind, even if I do 10 beets, they will all be a little different. I use thread as my “paint brush.” Free motion embroidery and thread sketching, as it is called, is so enjoyable. I love every part of it. The process is incredibly satisfying. A lot of people think that my work is done on a programmable machine, it ISN’T! I use very high speed straight stitch machines and control the speed with my foot and move the fabric with my hands to create my drawings. There is no satin stitch embroidery like you would see on a commercial item.
What do you like to listen to when you work?
I love listening to Ira Glass on This American Life, I listen to books and NPR, the occasional Grateful Dead, and if I must disclose, once and a while I just really love to hear Neil Diamond belt out out a song. He is misunderstood!
Your favorite thing to eat on market day?
On market day I love a banana in the AM and always get something from East Coast Joe’s Food Truck. Without a doubt.