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Where demure and cute meet whimsy sarcasm: Le Neko Noir

I make lifestyle accessories that are a blend of cute, charming, cheeky & quirky. Think Audrey Hepburn meets Hello Kitty with a saucy attitude for tea and finger sandwiches. At the moment my shop is filled with handmade Linen_tote_herbivorelinen bags inspired by little red riding hoods picnic basket, fun home decor items like toilet roll cozy’s, plushies in the shape of poop dollops and rotten teeth, coffee cup cozy’s that double as wrist cuffs, utensil burritos that hold your utensils for lunch on the go, pin cushions in the shape of egg. Many things I make are embellished or adorned with cute creatures, have satirical messages which are appliquéd or hand screen-printed, stenciled or stamped. For example the toilet roll cozy’s are hand printed with an anthropomorphic poop dollop and a translation of the word “CACA” in other languages. I have Japanese and French so far. My travel utensil holders are screen printed with animal kingdom feeding behaviors and their definitions such as Carnivore, Omnivore, Herbivore and Fungivore. My poop dollop plushy, well it’s just cute. I’m just starting out so in the future I hope to have even more.

downloadWhat inspired you to go into the craft business, do you still have a day job? I’ve always dreamed of working for myself. Having a quirky sense of style I noticed that there were a lot of crafters out there making things and selling them. It just seemed like people were making really unique and interesting things that were functional, and artistic. Things you would never find in the main stream. That kind of got my mind going and I just decided that I wanted to make things that reflected my own sense of style. Voila here I am.

I don’t have a day job anymore. I was once a corporate financial analyst, then I became an advertising and marketing analyst. Now, I employ my business and finance knowledge to my own business. I’m enjoying working on my crafts, spending time and being home with my kids and making my own schedule.

What do you like best, coming up with ideas or executing them? I love coming up with the ideas for my design. I can get as crazy as I want. My ideas don’t always work out at the execution stage. But executing is still fun. It’s just icing on the cake when one of my executed designs works as planned and I make it available to the public.


What are your creative influences? My inspiration comes from my travels but mainly my travels through France and Japan. I lived in Japan for 3 years. Japanese culture is heavily laden with cute things known as Kawaii. My father is French Canadian and we spend month long family vacations in France so naturally I’m a Francophile and love that classic French aesthetics that the French are so famous for. My work is really an attempt to blend the demure charm of French aesthetics with the cute attitude (Kawaii) found in Japanese culture. The quirky twist often found in my designs is just a way for me to express myself and my personality.

How do you stay inspired? When we travel, I do a lot of window shopping and look at all the latest styles and think how I would do it differently and throw my own twisted style into the mix. I look through Japanese craft books. I dream of designs. Sometimes necessity is my mother of invention.

I really love that my family is getting involved with the business. My husband helps with the photos and serves as my sanity sounding board. He is so supportive. Even my 2 sons get involved. Everyone comes with me craft shows. My 2 year old daughter sweeps up the thread clippings while I’m sewing. So it’s a family affair.

I’m often asked about how I came to name my business. The name Le Neko Noir, pronounced “Luh Necko nwohr” is simply a play on words taken from the two cultures that most heavily influence my designs. French and Japanese. “Neko” means cat in Japanese and “Noir” means black in French.. Hence the name “LE NEKO NOIR”

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