Today we’d like to introduce you to Leslie Cikra.
Hi Leslie, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
My story begins with my family. My parents both worked in fashion. My Dad’s family owned a fur store in Cleveland, Ohio and my mom worked for Saks Fifth Avenue for years when I was young. I grew up running through rows of fur coats and getting dragged to parties with fabulously dressed people.
I picked up a lot of knowledge about fabrics, fashion, and design that I didn’t realize I was learning at the time. My Dad used to drag me and my little sister to auction houses and flea markets. I loved the thrill of the hunt (still do!) and remember how excited we would be to score something cool.
Since I can remember, I always have had an attraction to bright colors and bold patterns. I pursued lots of art classes in school until I traded those for a volleyball court and sneakers. I was fortunate enough to play volleyball in college at the University of Tennessee and spent a few seasons playing professionally overseas in Korea and France after college.
It wasn’t until I retired from volleyball and moved to Denver that I started to reconnect with my passion for art, and I found that connection through clothes. I noticed how many people were rocking fantastic vintage pieces in town, and started shopping for vintage as a way to express myself more and explore my style that I had largely forgotten about being an athlete.
The bold, bright colors, lush quality fabrics, and shapes of vintage clothing drew me in. I connect deeply to the landscape of the desert and the American southwest. The colors, the shapes, the flora, and fauna, you will see a lot of that influence in my collection. All the sparkles, bold patterns, colors, suede, and fringe!! My boyfriend calls it a funky, western, disco!
I found myself more confident in unique pieces that felt true more to my style. When quarantine hit, and no one was going out and getting dressed, I realized how much I missed it. Since we have been back outside, I don’t miss an opportunity to get dressed and put on something that makes me feel good.
Velvet Yucca Vintage grew out of that renewed love for getting dressed. I love clothes that are easy to wear and make me smile and I love being able to share that and contribute to a healthier fashion future. There’s nothing better than when someone finds that perfect piece that’s meant for them, and you can tell.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Velvet Yucca has been a journey of learning and discovery by doing. When I started VYV, I didn’t really have any idea what I was doing, but I knew what I liked, and I let my aesthetic guide me. I have stuck to that and learned so much about vintage brands and the reselling process along the way.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I run VYV as a passion project alongside my full-time job. I am still involved in the sport of volleyball and coach competitive high school players and help run Momentum Volleyball Club in Centennial, Colorado.
Alongside the creative outlet of VYV, Momentum provides me the opportunity to make an impact on up-and-coming young athletes in Colorado. Being able to share my experience and help these women get ready to compete at the next level – in volleyball and in life – is what it’s all about for me.
What do you think about luck?
I feel very lucky to have connected with a very wonderful, artistic, creative community of makers, musicians, and DJs in Denver that have inspired me more than they all know. It’s been so inspiring to watch so many close friends build up their creative endeavors and perfect their craft. I truly don’t know if Velvet Yucca would be what it is without being surrounded by the people I have in my life.
- Website: https://posh.mk/zjY1E2sJWsb
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/velvetyuccavintage/