LESLIE WHEATLEY (EVENT PLANNAR)
FIELD: EVENTS ZODIAC: GEMiNI ORIGIN: MASSACHUSETTS
A. | How do you define yourself?
I am at a point in my life where I don’t have to worry about money any more so as an artist that has been a huge difference from the years and years and years that I was struggling but I was staying true to my vision. It all just kind of snowballed, you know I’m not a celebrity or anything but I’ve gotten to a point in my life where I’ve made great connections with artists and movers and shakers in Seattle area in particular. It’s just something I don’t have to worry about and it allows me to focus not only my art but the things I want to do, which enables me to work in a lot of charitable events like Runway to Freedom. Apparel is cultural diversity and it's how we express our our actual culture, as it has expressed since the beginning of time and there is so much opportunity to collaborate. It's all over the world (women picking rice in the field wearing bright pink and bright green saris—even here people are expressing themselves. In the highest form that is what we are preserving -global expression through fashion.
A. | What is your work routine? What does your job entail?
I have a family, I’ve got a son and a husband that I take care of quite a bit. They’re my two teenagers, I call them. My whole mission in life is just to get people to love each other. And I’ve tried in various mediums to make that happen I had a magazine in Los Angeles in the Ninety's called Poison Ivy and it was archived at the Getty Museum for the Humanities and you know it was a labor of love for me, that didn’t work out so that’s why I came up to Seattle but I’ve tried various mediums to elevate people to a higher level of love and consciousness and I’ve really found that music has been the one medium that has succeeded for me the most, you know? It’s really the one thing that brings people together from all ages all backgrounds, all socio-economic, all religions...all people, all walks of life. So to me when I bring everyone out and they’re having a wonderful time and elevating on a certain level, I know that this is really my job. That’s the way I think music heals and I am a healer in that regard.
A. | How did you become interested in the fashion industry?
Fashion, it’s so bizarre, I’ve always had a sense of fashion. When I was a kid I used to look through Vogue and I would try to emulate that, but I was always kind of on the fringes of it. I was kind of more of a punk rocker growing up, so it was always a little more severe than Vogue fashion with a little bit of punk thrown in. I wear way too much black. I’m really into black and I don’t know if that’s because I lived in New York for so long. Even when I was young I loved black, it’s just my color. I’ve been trying really hard to bring in some color blocking and some other elements but I just feel really comfortable in black, I don’t really worry too much about fashion. I feel like I have this attitude where I embrace everyone in who they are and what they bring to the table and I’ve always been blessed to have very fashionable people around me and I don’t quite know how I’ve been able to do that. But I think I told you earlier that I am in fashion. I don’t really think about it but you know I love to watch it from the sidelines and when I see something that I like I definitely know that I like it. Sometimes I see some fashion that I think is absolutely ridiculous that I would never ever envision myself in but more power to them. I think it’s just having an open acceptance for people to express themselves.
A. | Where do you feel at home?
Definitely Kauai. That’s my heart home. I’m actually working on getting a place there. The goal is the next five years we’ll have a place there and a place here in Seattle. They say that all the spirits of the world come in and out of a portal in Kauai and I want to be close to that portal when I want to exit.
A. | How do you define success?
Success is being happy in your own skin.
A. | What was your biggest failure and what did you learn fromit?
Probably I was so obsessed with healing women throughout the writing medium when I did Poison Ivy I was so obsessed with that magazine it was my baby and I was hawking everything I owned to keep that dream alive, you know, and it was a valuable lesson because I was meeting with George Plimpton and I was meeting with Oprah’s people but no one was showing me the money and I just couldn’t move on from it until I bankrupted myself, not literally but figuratively. And I basically crawled up to Seattle with $200 in my pocket and started DJ-ing again and my husband was of course very supportive of me and now we’re back on top and doing really well but those are the risks you take as an artist and when you believe in something so much you really want to see it into fruition. I wasn’t happy enough with just publishing a great magazine for four years I wanted it to be picked up but you know maybe it wasn’t meant to be picked up but what I learned through that is that you really need to make yourself first, even over your artistic dream sometimes. You have to take care of yourself and not let your project or your vision wear you down to the point where you can’t take care of yourself.
A. | What would you recommend to yourself 10 or 20 years ago?
I would say you are beautiful, you are powerful, you don’t understand yet the depth of your power and knowledge and you don’t give yourself the credit. I’m just coming into that now, you know, I’m almost halfway through my life so I wish that I had realized back then that what I was doing was really important and it was affecting people in a positive way. I’m finally taking credit for that and starting to let that into my life. I am a goddess and I am doing what I am doing what I am meant to be doing which is healing people.
A. | What happened to Seattle’s fashion industry?
In my opinion, I don’t think the Seattle fashion industry was ever something that could compete with say New York or Milan. I mean it’s its own enigma because there’s so much weather here it’s all about layering, it’s all about being in the rainforest. So somehow just being in jeans and a T-shirt and a flannel shirt over it became fashion because there was music happening here and everyone looked like that and that’s why it’s called fashion.
A. | What does “sustainability” mean to you in the context of fashion and business?
Eco-fashion to me is like hemp clothing and other natural fibers and other creative ways to be using things that come from the earth as fashionable items or accessories.. Natural dyes.
A. | What is unique about Seattle's fashion industry?
It’s really organic here, it’s lumberjacks meets hippies, you know. It’s definitely like a Hobbit town, that’s what I call it. If there were big huge mushroom caps out here it wouldn’t surprise me if everyone is sitting under them. It’s kind of magical in a way. It’s definitely never where I had envisioned myself being here for so long. I was drug out here by the hair by my husband, he’s a musician, he loves it, he loves it out here and there’s this organic casualness.
QUOTE | MAKE LOVE NOT WORK