Women of Courage: Rae Liu
Up next in the Women of Courage series is Leatherology founder, Rae Liu. We had an amazing day in Rae’s garden, where I learned all about her journey and how her garden plays a big role in that inspiration! Read below for more!
The Tracee Nichols Roman Token symbolizes inner courage and strength. What personally gives you courage?
RL: My children. Becoming a mother was like supercharging myself with courage I didn’t know I had. It has helped put everything in perspective, and clarified what is important to me, both personally and professionally. I don’t even have to question or fear what I would or wouldn’t do for my children; I just know.
Where did you grow up, and what is your favorite childhood memory?
RL: I grew up in Dallas. I have fond memories of being outside and exploring. In the springtime I would pick wildflowers and press them. In the summers I remember running around the neighborhood until the sun was close to setting and exploring all the creeks and empty lots in our neighborhood.
Tell us about something – whether it’s a nonprofit, special cause, or passion project – that you believe in?
RL: I am a passionate gardener, and a big advocate for the positive impact gardening can have on people. Studies have shown the effect gardening can have on alleviating stress. Gardening teaches us patience, possibility, life, failure, joy, beauty, and the majesty of nature.
If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would be?
RL: I’d love to meet some of my great grandparents and great-great grandparents, to better understand my family history. And I would love to see my grandmother again, maybe in her youth. I adored her.
Who are your favorite accounts or brands to follow on social for style inspiration?
For anyone looking for the courage to take their own leap of faith – whether it’s starting a business, making a career change, etc. – what’s the one piece of advice you would give?
RL: Know that the timing is never going to be perfect, and that you will never be fully prepared. If you wait until you have the perfect opportunity or “enough” experience, you’ll never make the move. There are always rational reasons to wait, so you have to have some amount of irrational optimism to take a chance and make something great happen. And guess what—failing may not be as painful as you imagine. Conversely, be prepared for some lonely days. Don’t give up. There will be great days and there will be very hard days.
What’s been the most rewarding part of the Leatherology journey?
RL: Building a business that I’m proud of. Leatherology is more than just the products we sell, it’s also the company we’ve built and the people who work there. I care as much about building an authentic, thoughtful business, as I do about creating beautiful products that our customers love. We’ve grown our team very deliberately over the years, and I am humbled by their passion and talent as we build something meaningful together.
I do, of course, also love creating product. It’s a bit of the same thing I love about gardening—the act of bringing life to something, and watching a seed go from sprout to bloom. I love that I get to be creative daily and turn ideas into real products and designs. For a product geek like myself, there is nothing more thrilling than seeing an entire production floor making something we conceptualized - and then opening Instagram and seeing that product being loved by someone out in the wild or getting positive customer feedback.
Like me, your brand is based on art that people can wear (the best kind, in my opinion!). What creative process and craftsmanship goes into each Leatherology product?
RL: Thank you! I like to think that Leatherology is a little bit about slow fashion. We are incredibly thoughtful about everything we do with our product—from our design process, to our material sourcing, product testing, packaging, and the way we try to present our products online. Design wise we spend a lot of time thinking about form and function. What will make this bag have longevity? What will make you want to use it every day? We think about the interior of the bag as much as the exterior.
What are you most excited about, from either a personal or professional standpoint, in 2022?
RL: Personally, I’m excited to be traveling again. I look forward to taking my kids somewhere fun and escaping the Texas heat for a bit this summer.
Professionally, growing and sustainably scaling Leatherology. We have some new product launches I’m very excited about and some creative activations planned for this Fall that I can’t wait to share.
As my debut design, I love to see how everyone chooses to wear their Roman Token. How do you plan to style yours?
RL: Layered and stacked with a button up/open collar shirt!
If you had to choose a style icon, who would it be, and why?
RL: Wendy Paulson. She’s an environmentalist and philanthropist who looks equally amazing kayaking and attending a White House State Dinner.
How would you describe your personal style in three words?
RL: Relaxed, minimal, modern
What’s your go-to beauty or style item that you can’t live without?
RL: Moisturizer and face oil
What does inner beauty mean to you?
RL: Authenticity, inner confidence, and knowing yourself. This really grows with age, so I like to think that not all is bad that comes with aging!
You can find Rae Liu online at: