February 16, 2012

la.tee.doe

For my first UrbanTots post, i’d like to introduce an incredibly talented graphic designer and my long-time friend, Angie McNeil.  She is the owner and designer of Montreal based la.tee.doe, a company that produces delightful and quirky graphic prints for the very young and the young at heart.  Angie has been in the graphics business for years, but after seeing a need for more unique children’s products, she decided to launch la.tee.doe last year.  I absolutely love her stuff, and I think you will too!

Although la.tee.doe is still a toddler, Angie’s work has been getting loads of attention.  She’s been mentioned on blogs Ten Paces and Draw and Moon and Sparrow, featured in the PoppyTalk Marketplace and exhibited at Puces Pop, a platform for designers, artists and artisans that showcases the best and brightest of Montreal’s creative community.   Angie is also part of Montreal based Collectif Nënë, a group of 8 talented women who design, produce and distribute their own unique creations for kids.

Currently, la.tee.doe produces graphic prints for kids and a line of cards for the new mom.  Angie is always open to creating custom designs, and has lots of exciting plans for new products coming up this year.  You can expect to see Angie’s creations flooding hip Toronto kids’ boutiques very soon, but for now you can find her at her ETSY store, on her website, or you can follow her on her blog.

In addition to being the creative force behind la.tee.doe, Angie has several other full time jobs.  She is the mother of two adorable boys (Thomas 2, Grayson 1), works a full time job as a graphic designer for a multimedia company, and to top it all off she just moved into a new home. How does she do it? I sat down with Angie to learn more about la.tee.doe, and the brains behind it.

How do you juggle 2 young kids, a full time job, a new house and your own business!? Any tips for other busy parents?
I’ve learned that you can’t do everything and do it well. I’ve learned to let go of that illusion. I’ve also learned to take my time and do a little every day. In terms of starting my own business, I no longer have the luxury to second guess anything. I have to go with my first instinct whereas before I would sit on an idea for weeks. It’s actually a better way of working for me because it took me about a year to actually get up the nerve to start la.tee.doe.

What inspired you to start la.tee.doe?
I love out of the ordinary baby and children design. I wanted to merge this with my other love, decorating. I couldn’t get myself to do it though, and then I got the right push from my family and friends. I was lucky to have a supportive group of people in my life.

How did you get interested in graphics for kids?
I sort of stumbled into the industry working full time as a graphic designer and illustrator for a major baby company. I was hooked from the beginning but found that appealing to the mass market was the bottom line and there was little room for creativity.  I felt that the public wanted a little more than just ducks and bunnies. That’s  when the idea began.

Where do you get your inspiration?
I get my inspiration from childhood memories mainly. My owl prints are inspired by a lamp from my bedroom when I was a kid for instance. Mid-century illustration, music and my family are big influences. I am obsessed with decorating books and blogs and love to stay on top of current colour trends. My style has always been playful and whimsical. When I was in art College, everyone was creating very edgy work while I was illustrating 1950′s style people in different outfits!  I try to stay authentic to what I enjoy aesthetically and to always trust my instinct.

What is your ‘design philosophy’?
“Do what you love and see what happens.” I got this very practical advice from a millionaire.

What can we expect to see from la.tee.doe this year?
This year I am venturing into the land of fabrics. I hope to create patterned blankets and pillows. I also have a few surprises coming this summer! I am planning to take a little trip to Toronto this spring and speak to a few stores. I love Toronto. The design scene is fantastic!

Thanks Angie, and we can’t wait to see more from la.tee.doe!




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