Can you tell us a little bit about Leo Leo and how you started ?
I’ve worked in the fashion industry and always known that the path for me was something along designing. For many years I just didn’t quite know in what direction or field, and sometimes all that studying made it more complicated to go with what was naturally driving me. I was about to finish my master degree from The Royal Danish Academy of fine Arts, plus I was pregnant with our first child. As a real fashionista I suddenly got hit by the baby train and a parallel universe opened up before my eyes. Was there really a similar industry, focusing on children and had there been cool baby brands, fairs and playful businesses here all along?

Me and my sewing machine went crazy the following month but there was no doubt in my heart. I had finally found my way! This was the beginning and birth of not only motherhood, but also entrepreneurship. Starting by sewing everything by hand and later daring to go into bigger production.

Working in a universe for children comes to me so easily and naturally and feels like the only thing for me to do. The brand itself is a total mix of Emil and me. We do everything together and the love of working and creating things together is part of the journey and brand. A typical design process happens, while kids are yelling and food is burning. For example, some of our illustrations have come to life in our old kitchen back in Copenhagen. After several attempts (and five years of design school and a masters degree) I just couldn’t get the Leo right! Emil comes home from work, starts to prepare dinner and while waiting for the food to get ready, he sits down for two minutes, dips the pencil in watercolor and paint effortlessly the most incorrect, weird looking lion, with the most perfect childish expression I had ever seen! Right there in our kitchen, while waiting for our pastas to be done, the magic happened. Obviously I then did all the cool blue and pink tones and arranged it all together, as the pro I am.

Historically we see the Lion (Panthera leo) as a brave, courageous and beautiful creature, a king of all animals. They live in prides and are known to protect their families. The females helps each other and will take on an abandoned cub as it was her own. In our little family pride, we have always had a thing for lions. Our son is named Leopold and I think in our first steps in to parenthood Emil and I saw ourselves as a pair of protective, brave Leo Leo parents.

We are a family brand and that make the choices we make very personal. We work together on every aspect of our business. The personal agenda is of course about being able to create something together and to teach our children how to work together. Giving them the tools to be able to build up, to create and work towards your dreams in life. That being said, I see designing and starting a business ultimately as the opportunity to solve problems. Do we need to look at the textile industry and our overuse with more awareness, yes we do! I’m hoping Leo Leo can take part in a new consciousness and create interest in a different lifestyle.


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What inspires you?
Emil and I are both old waldorf students and, for me at least, those years really forged my love for being creative. There’s not one material I haven’t had the joy of experimenting with. Stone, leather, clay, wool, paint – you name it. It’s coming back to me, when designing and thinking of new solutions, colors and textures. I also get a lot of inspiration from old vintage toys and cartoons, something really cute and naive about the old days. Plastic came to town and all of the sudden every magic weird idea for funny looking dolls and toys got produced. No limits of what you could do.
The years plastic came, it was also used for containing food for longer time and many used it for the purpose of actually, doing better. I know we’re now in the plastic-shaming days and with good reason. Fortunately smart heads have come up with biodegradable plastic in which for me predicts a bright looking future. It really inspires me to look at the world and our lives with positive glasses on. Look what designing and thinking can do, form and evolve. I’m sure the best is yet to come and that certainly drives me.

A favourite family meal/ recipe, please share?
We’re currently big fans of healthy food in disguise. Sneaking chlorella powder in our smoothies and baking buns with carrot and spinach. Anything to make life a little easier and healthy without having too much drama around the dinner table. Funny thing is that after our first try at a local snack bar they served grilled sardines with baked potatoes in homemade fresh garlic oil, our son is asking for it all the time. So we better get to it, and learn how to eat Portuguese.

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Imagine you could relocate the family and business anywhere in the world. What would be your ideal place?
I don’t know what it is or when exactly it began, but I kind of feel obligated to travel with our children. We’re talking so much about sustainability, climate change and saving the oceans and what better way to teach the new generation, by showing them the world. Let them discover the pretty, the ugly, the truth. Let them meet poor people, rich people and funny looking people. We just relocated from Northern Europe to the far south and currently very happy about that. A big dream is to visit all parts of Asia – hopefully in the near future!

If you had a time machine which experience would you choose to re live?
The first days with Leopold, holding him and having the opportunity to smell him again like a newborn. Orh man! I’m weeping over here.

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Your plans for the future?
After a year building our home on wheels and driving a lot, it’s time to get some rest in our new home. But most important to give our business Leo Leo our full attention. We have so many plans and hopefully we’ll be able to attend the many incredible fairs all over the world.

Let’s see how we adapt in the south, how do we and the children thrive in Portugal. We have already met some lovely people who live here and we can feel that the opportunities for creativity and a fun community can easily arise here, maybe even provide the impetus for creation and development.


leo leo portugal

Leo Leo online store