At first glance, Leluna Star's kids' toys, accessories, and dress-up clothes, seem timeless, like they wouldn't be out of place a century ago—until you notice the Spider-Man masks and Harley Quinn felt dolls. Her soft, tactile pieces inspire kids to use their imaginations and connect with stories in an organic way, an increasing rarity in today's tech-based world.
We chatted with Leluna Star's Leah Mancini about her inspirations and why we decided to focus on children—get an inside peek below, and see her creations in person at GeekCraft Expo RDU May 14!
GeekCraft Expo: First off: your stuff is so cute! How did you develop your sense of design?
Leluna Star: It has taken a few years to figure out exactly what I wanted to create and how to, but for me it is really about listening to my customers. They are vocal about what they are looking for and that shapes my plans for what to design.
GCE: What made you decide to concentrate on children’s items?
LS: I have been designing clothes for both women and children for years, but after my daughter Madeleine was born, I was on the search for toys and imagination-based items for her as she grew. I wasn't happy with what I was finding, so I started making them myself.
GCE: So many children’s toys and entertainment are tech-based these days—how do kids respond to your more tactile pieces?
LS: They love them! It is something different than what they usually see every day and I see the joy in their eyes when they visit me at the different local events I do every month. Parents love that it gets their children away from the TV and electronic devices and back to telling stories and letting their imaginations run wild. It helps kids be kids again.
GCE: What types of characters inspire you?
LS: Strong personalities and characters that are brave. We need children to be inspired by characters that remind them to stand up for what they believe in and to help each other out.
GCE: What are your favorite geek shows or movies?
LS: Sherlock. I'm obsessed. I watch the Netflix show at least once a week as I'm working in my studio.
GCE: What were some of the highlights of last year’s GeekCraft Expo RDU?
LS: Meeting the customers that were as excited as I was to be there!
GCE: What types of things will you bring this year?
LS: I will be bringing my finger puppets again this year, as well as my children's onesies/tops and women's tops. New products: felt masks, stuffies, superhero capes, crowns, wands and hair accessories.
Thank you to Leah for answering all of our burning questions! Make sure to check her out at the Durham Armory May 14: RSVP to GeekCraft Expo RDU now!