Meet Leslie Vloedman of My Secret Feminist Unicorn

Tell us about your products. Where they are made. Who makes them. Favorite product features.

I design and sew them. My design is printed on fabric by Spoonflower in North Carolina. It's a tote bag, but it's really a way for you to show (or hide) your feminist colors. My favorite product feature is the original art/logo on one side, showing My Secret Feminist Unicorn. It's a fun signal of your belief that women must be allowed to discover what they're good at and pursue it.

Tell us about your connection to Chicago.

I was born and raised in Chicago. I love Fulton Market/West Loop/Near West Side. After living all around the country, I now live and make art in the southern suburbs of Chicago. The culture of Chicago is incredibly important to me, and Fulton Market/West Loop/Near West Side is getting it right. To me, these temporary markets, like Covet, are a living culture: people getting together to make the world the way they want it to be: power from within, rather than power over.

What do you love about your business, your industry.

The creativity. Creativity is partly about options and alternatives.

Tell us about your design inspiration.

I have created a visual sign of my beliefs, which I share with many others. My Secret Feminist Unicorn is putting the fun in feminist, and helping to grow a community of feminists and allies.

What advice do you have for other creative entrepreneurs?

Keep going. Also, read.

Share a favorite quote, a mantra.

""Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly, people got to sit and wonder why, why, why." edited quote from Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut.

Surprise us with your secret talent, fact, etc.

A surprising fact is the following: the most fertile societies have the most gender inequalities.

Tell us about your process for making + creating.

Most recently I have been drawing in a journal. That's a part of how I came up with My Secret Feminist Unicorn. The other part was thinking about a shirt design in my head and realizing it would be my feminist uniform. The shirt design was a failure, but the unicorn is pretty fun.

3 local makers/brands that inspire you and why.

Anne Leuck inspires me by doing so much with her art business. Kate Strong inspires me with her consistency and longevity. Nancy and Andy of Circa Ceramics inspire me with their cool designs!

What is the best advice you've ever been given and how has it shaped you and your business?

After I mentioned wanting to see Rome, my Mom said, "When are you going to DO it?" I realized that dreams should be planned and accomplished. So I did. My business is a dream that I am doing now.

Any new items for Covet?

My tote bags. It's not about the tote bag. It's about the message: women should be allowed to find what they are good at and pursue it. To me, that is the message of feminism. It's a funny brand with a serious message.

Visit mysecretfeministunicorn.com for products and info.

On Instagram @mysecretfeminist

On Facebook @MySecretFeministUnicorn

kendra chaplin