I feel very honoured to share with you all a little about the super lovely Morgan, inspirational designer and creator of LOVEleigh designs. I feel so privileged to wear her divine clothing, knowing that each piece goes to supporting people in great need. Nothing better than wearing conscious clothing you love, knowing you are helping to change someone’s life. Pretty amazing hey. Here’s my interview with this phenomenal woman….
When and how did LOVEleigh begin?
LOVEleigh Designs officially began in June 2011, I was back in Canada for my best friends wedding and found I had quite a bit of time on my hands. Not wanting to work for someone else, and trying to fuse ideas of intertwining my passions, I ended up in a spontaneous trip to the fabric store where my mother and I scoured the shelves for hours and came out with a couple hundred meters of fabric. From then on, it was go time, and I haven’t stopped or looked back ever since. My mum had taught me how to sew when I was a young girl, but growing up with only a brother, I was always more interested in welding rails for snowboarding, working on my truck in mechanics, or building random things in woodwork. I could never have imagined I would end up in this world.
Eventually I started making my own clothes because I felt I couldn’t find anything ‘unique’ and ‘original.’ For years friends and strangers had asked me if I would make clothing for the public, which I was always very uninterested in doing. The push I got from my mother to go ahead and just ‘explore with an open mind and an open heart’ turned out to be a life changing one. After my 8 week stint in Canada sewing and selling, I decided that when I came back to Australia I would pack up my life in Sydney and head up the coast, for warmer waves, and a new lifestyle. After a short stint in Coffs Harbour, I found myself, barefoot and smiling in Byron Bay. That was over two years ago, and I am still here now (with a few adventure in between, of course!).
What are you most passionate about in life?
I definitely have a lot of passions, I think being a Scorpio, I am by nature, a very passionate person. Family and friends are of course my number one, I love to travel, explore, get in the ocean all day every day. I’m discovering though, from a very young age, I have been passionate about something that is very near and dear to my heart, and that is helping others. From my passion, has come compassion. Since I can remember, I couldn’t walk past a homeless person in the streets without emptying my pockets, or at least trying to put a smile on their faces. I used to barter with my Dad when I was really young to try and get my allowance early, only to spend it giving a few dollars here and there trying to help those a little less fortunate. I truly believe I have been so blessed into the life I’ve been born into. So I decided after traveling around South East Asia solo on my first big trip in 2007, that i needed to do more. I decided to go back to uni, but I was going to spice it up a little and move to Australia!
I studied my Masters in Human Rights at UNSW in Sydney and part way though my degree was fortunate enough to be selected for an amazing internship in Switzerland at the UN advocating for refugee rights. After graduating, I took a job running a water-based NGO in Malawi, Africa. I’d never been to Africa, and I’d never ran an entire NGO, so it was a huge leap, but I always try and step out of my comfort zone, so the next thing I knew three weeks later I was on a plane to Africa. Working in Malawi myself and my 11-man team of local villagers went around to 12 different villages and using grassroots initiatives helped the villagers build water pumps and toilets, while providing hygiene education to all. The experience was incredible, daunting, exhausting, liberating, and inspiring all in one breath. While I was there, I had a lot of time to reflect on my life, my company, and how I wanted my future to be. I kept having circulating ideas that I wanted to work for myself, doing something creative, I wanted to have fun and travel the world, and I wanted to make a difference in peoples lives. In that moment, my worlds collided, ethical fashion, it all made so much sense. That weekend I headed out to the local markets and started purchasing the most beautiful traditional Malawian fabric from the local women. I ended up coming home with about 60 lbs of fabric from my time working and exploring Africa. In purchasing my fabrics from the local women there, I was able to help them to provide for their families. Like that isn’t enough, I was also able to provide my customers with unique limited edition, sometimes one-of-a-kind garments, hand made, with a very hopeful story behind it.
I then met a little boy while I was there named Often (pronounced Orphan), whose family was having troubles paying for his school fees (primary school is free in Malawi, and secondary school you must pay for). After meeting with his headmaster, talking with his family and crunching some numbers, I was able to figure out a way to put him through school. Proceeds from select garments, made from the African fabrics would go towards putting Often through school for the year (and feed an house him!). I am happy to say I am putting him through school for a second year in a row all thanks to those LOVEleigh supporters out there!
What do you love the most about LOVEleigh?
What I love most about LOVEleigh, is probably easy to guess. I love that I can make a difference, little old me! I love that I get to help people that just need a little bit of love and care. I love that simply by sharing my story, others are inspired to help and spread the LOVE. I also love that my mother, who is the most incredible woman in the world, and talented beyond belief, has given me the skills to start LOVEleigh and is so proud of me. I love that my Dad, who is a man of his word, and has some seriously strong ethics, has taught me how to run an honest company, and grow organically. After my time in Africa, I promised myseIf to never forgot about the people I met, the things I accomplished and the lessons I learned. I promised to keep talking about global issues, to always be an advocate for those whose voices cannot be heard, and to always try and help whenever I can. I was lucky to be born into the life I have, so for the rest of my days I will try and make others lives as happy and filled with love as mine is :)
LOVEleigh has let me do all of this, and to everyone out there who has supported me, you are the reason this dream has come true for me, and indirectly, so many others!
What are your future dreams for LOVEleigh?
I am fortunate to travel a lot, I recently did a road trip through Mexico with my best friend in October and had the opportunity to meet some local women, and buy fabric from them. My dream is eventually to take the production of LOVEleigh Designs out of my own two hands and offshore, by starting a women’s collective (in this little magical town I spent some time in), in Mexico. Providing women with the skills to sew, and offer them affordable, safe housing, and courses in family planning, nutrition, women’s rights and small business management.
I would love to still spend 3 months of every year working on a project somewhere in the developing world. I believe strongly in education in all capacities, helping people to help themselves.
I hope LOVEleigh Designs will continue to inspire others to help each other and make the world a better place.
I am eternally grateful for beautiful souls like Morgan. For her caring, compassion, love, the action she takes, the empowering message she inspires in others, for sharing her skills and passions with us all. The world is richer and a more peaceful place with this divine earth angel sharing her passion and love.
This is the first post featuring the magnificent LOVEleigh designs. I have more in store coming soon!
With love and gratitude xx
Watercolour Maxi in Ocean Fade Dress ~ LOVEleigh Designs | Instagram | Facebook
Mosaic Coral/Turquoise Necklace, Coral/Turquoise Bracelet, Akseki Cuff, Nepalese Coral/Turquoise/Lapis Lazuli Ring ~ Lost Lover | Instagram | Facebook
All other rings/cuffs ~ Vintage