Avo has not only mastered the craft of leather, but they are constantly innovating and inventing new techniques. We speak here with Brit Kleinman about where she finds her inspiration and what is next for Avo.
TELL ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCES AND HOW YOU COME TO LAUNCH AVO?
My artistic background is in both painting and industrial design. I spent several years working in the bag industry designing bags for travel and daily life. It was during that time that I became captivated with the versatility of leather. In relation to human history, it is one of the very first textiles we ever used. It has the ability to be durable, yet incredibly soft and flexible yet strong.
I officially started AVO in 2014 inside my small Brooklyn apartment. I started dying leather on the floor of my living room and stored my materials in our linen closet. It was about a year later that I moved into a studio space and began to grow the company. The drive to start my own business stemmed from a desire to design with my hands again and create products I felt passionate about. The word ‘AVO’ represents the time and place where I started to think about design and culture as one. The AVO studio is a creative space where we are constantly experimenting to create bespoke surfaces for interiors.
WITH AVO IN CONTEXT WE LOVE SEEING THE CORRELATION BETWEEN YOUR INSPIRATION AND THE FINAL PRODUCT, WHEN YOU START DESIGNING DO YOU ALWAYS HAVE A CLEAR VISION OF WHAT YOU WILL CREATE?
Many of my designs start by seeing colors or textures out in the world. I take tons of photos of what other might consider 'mundane things' but they give me sparks of ideas. I begin back at my studio, purely with experimentation with a fuzzy vision of where it will end up. I love the process of design and relish in the surprising ways it goes when you free yourself of expectations.
GIVEN THAT TRAVEL AND NATURE ARE CONSTANT SOURCES OF INSPIRATION, WHAT PLACES TO YOU MOST OFTEN RETURN TO? IS THERE A DREAM DESTINATION YOU HAVE NOT BEEN TO YET?
I spend most of my traveling time split between west and east coasts. I love the energies of each place and I feel at home in both. I have SO many dream destinations, but will be traveling to Japan early 2019 to immerse myself in their traditional textiles. That’s pretty dreamy to me!
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES WITH CREATING CUSTOM AND ONE OF A KIND PRODUCTS?
I enjoy being able to put a little bit of myself into each product and make something very unique on the marketplace. Sometimes the hard part about being unique is the amount of up front work it takes to get sales teams and clients up to speed on what our products are capable of. But it’s worth every second.
WE HAVE WATCHED YOUR COLLECTION EVOLVE AND EXPAND EACH YEAR, WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST REWARDING PART OF GROWING YOUR STUDIO?
One of the most joyful parts of growing the collection is building my team in house and working with people that add their own skill sets into the mix. It really does take a village and it allows for bigger and better opportunities.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST EXCITING PLACE YOU HAVE SEEN YOUR DESIGNS?
Seeing my new woven collection in this house in LA was a really proud moment. I’m a total textile nerd and being able to weave with leather opens up a whole new range of possibilities of products and client base.
WHAT'S COMING NEXT?
One of the exciting new services we are going to offer is color matching leather to client’s interiors. We often do custom color for projects and it’s always been apart of our services, but I want to make this a key feature for our clients at an achievable price point with no minimums. We will match to paint chips, fabric swatches, or work on a range of colors for the client based on their mood boards.