GET TO KNOW LUCKYLEO

Each piece of dancewear is created in house at our Denver, Colorado, workshop by our amazing team of expert sewists. Sisters, and former professional ballet dancers, Chelsea and Heather carefully design each leotard and oversee production at their small studio where your creations are sewn and shipped.

Chelsea Early

Founder & Designer

After dancing professionally with Ballet Arizona for many years, Chelsea felt driven to continue to focus her life around creativity, and turned her career-ending injury into an opportunity to pursue another passion: fashion design. She is self-taught in sewing and running a business and learned how to sew by whipping up custom creations for her friends at Ballet Arizona. She joined up with Heather to start their own sister-run leotard brand, Luckyleo, in 2015. Chelsea loves reading books on business theory, as well as watching YouTube to learn new sewing techniques, and used to create ballroom gowns, wedding dresses, hand-tooled leather creations, and up-cycled baby outfits all on Etsy before starting Luckyleo. You’ll normally find Chelsea dreaming up the next print, painting new florals for a print, or sketching, drafting, and sewing up a new design. Chelsea’s favorite part of running Luckyleo is styling and coming up with concepts for the next Luckyleo photoshoot with Heather.

Heather Walker

Founder & Designer

As a hardcore Balanchine fan, Heather spent her favorite summers dancing at SAB in New York and PNB in Seattle before she ended up dancing professionally in the company with Chelsea at Ballet Arizona. After her injury, she went on to create Luckyleo with Chelsea to be able to give something to the dancers of today! Heather didn’t know how to sew before Luckyleo was started, but quickly found that the humming of the machine, and the focus it required was a great fit for her, and she fell in love with designing and creating pieces with stretch fabric in particular. When she’s not taking care of business at Luckyleo Headquarters, she spends her time bouldering, hiking, and tending to her many indoor plants while sipping a pour over with a good record spinning. At Luckyleo, she’s often found working on photo and print editing, planning product launches and photo shoots, designing Express, and cleaning the workshop dressed as the Sanitary Fairy!

Karen Saari

Founder & Owner

Karen is lovingly referred to as “Momma K” by our fabulous Luckyleo team, and her kindness warms all who work with her. She is always one to make a joke when faced with a problem, all while expertly coming up with an excellent solution. She started the company with Heather and Chelsea right when they first had the spark of an idea of running their own leotard brand and helped make everything possible by lending a hand in every department from production management to customer service over the years. You can find her wildly dancing with excitement while waiting for the next shipping label to print, since she’s so happy to send out your beautiful hand-crafted Luckyleo dancewear, and normally has a giant, brimming cup of coffee close at hand. She spends her time here either throwing a party for a team member’s birthday or anniversary with the company, or helping with the big decisions that make the company tick! Karen’s super power is her ability to say the kindest compliment that will bring you to tears, since she’s so thoughtful and loving.

Kim

Maker

Kim started with us as a cutter back in 2016, and is now one of our 3 Makers, which means she’s an expert sewist who creates your custom leotard from start to finish. Besides knowing everything there is to know about leotard creation, she is an incredible seamstress outside of work, as well. She has her bachelor’s in Fashion Design and brings an endless knowledge to her work as she’s trained in patterning, grading, and highly-skilled sewing techniques. You might see her working away at your custom leotards while dressed up as her cat, Annyoung, or listening to true crime podcasts. When she’s not making leotards, she’s hunting for mushrooms in the forest or whipping up a delicious meal with tasty buttery morels!

Learn more about her & her work HERE.

Ondine Montoya

Maker

Ondine started with us as a cutter in 2018 and is now one of our 3 Makers, which means she’s an expert sewist who creates your custom leotard from start to finish. Besides her mad leotard skills, she owns her own business, and creates over-the-top and intricate cosplay costumes from scratch at home! (One of her costumes even has floating sleeves that don’t touch her arms!) When she’s creating your leotards, you’ll often find her listening to an audiobook novel or dreaming up a new color combination for designs. In her own time, she’s always busy at her studio with her printing business, creating new costumes, or mastering a new type of sewing machine, or setting up a booth at a large convention!

Learn more about her & her work HERE.

Adrianna Perricone

Maker

Adrianna started with us as our workshop assistant in the middle of our busiest season in 2018, then quickly moved into our sewing team. She’s mastered every step of the creation process on nearly every leotard style, and is known for her attention to detail and hard work! She’s an expert hairstylist and makeup artist and is always wowing us when she walks into work with a new vibrant and stunning hair color she dyed herself! While she’s here sewing up seams, she’s always coming up with great thoughts for ways to improve the sewing process, showing up with on-point themed makeup when we’re celebrating something, and is known for her perfect posture while sewing. (It’s harder to keep great posture than you’d think!) When she’s not making leotards here, she spends time strengthening at the gym and cutting and dying her clients’ hair!

Treena Rice

Maker

Treena joined us in 2019 and has conquered every step of the creation process on every leotard style! She radiates positive vibes and smiles while she’s tackling any of the departments that are needed in the assembly line that week, and is often seen working in her Luckyleo leggings & tops. She’s currently attending school for wrestling, and is constantly sewing up a new project made with unconventional materials that turn out otherworldly for her custom-piece clients she works with outside of Luckyleo. Treena is a self-taught designer and is full of creativity and motivation, constantly innovating and bringing fierce beauty into this world (like her glow-in-the-dark skin-tight custom designs she creates in her own line)!

Taylor Carlton

Maker

Taylor joined our team in October of 2019 and has graduated to a Maker, which means she creates Luckyleos from start to finish and has mastered every step of the creation process! She is always working hard and fast, but with so much love and precision put into every step to make your Luckyleo turn out just perfect. She has a history working in fast paced sewing workshops, and has shared so many awesome tips to help us and the team work quickly and efficiently. When she's not here making your custom leotards, she's busy working on creating her beautiful jewelry company from metallic insects and skulls that are just incredible creations every time.

Learn more about her & her work HERE.

Jenny Hayes

Sewing Team

Jenny joined our team in the summer of 2020, and started off by helping with pattern work, then moved over to our sewing team to create leotards! She is a whiz at elastics and cutting, and helps with the hand sewing and tacking of our pinches, as well. She is 100% the snack queen of our team, and always has a stash of delicious goodies near her work station that she is kind enough to share! When she's not at the workshop making leotards, she is often painting a stunning masterpiece... Her work is simply beautiful and she's been selling her pieces locally!

Kate Major

Maker

Kate joined our team in the summer of 2020 and started off with cutting and serging, and has already learned every step of the process on most of our designs! She has an incredible work ethic and is always eager to learn more. She'll often bring her pup Trout to work with her, and he will wander the workshop looking for love (but since he's partially blind, he can get lost in our big space!) She has a keen taste for fine loose leaf teas, and has been kind enough to bring in some of her delightful teas for us to warm up with on chilly days. When she's not working here, you might find her crocheting something awesome!

Shelby Nungester

Operations Leader

Shelby joined our team in the summer of 2020 on our sewing team as a cutter and coverstitcher. She has since worked on the Operations side of things in both the Workshop Assistant role and the Fulfillment Specialist sole! Her bright and happy attitude and awesome sense of humor is such a wonderful addition to our workshop. Her natural perfectionism and commitment made her the perfect candidate to transition to our Operations Leader position when it opened up, where she now fearlessly leads and guides our Operations Team to ensure all projects are on track and new releases are ready to go! She's amazing at catching any issue before it even happens, and makes sure every item and order is where it needs to be after it's completed by our Production Team! We love when she brings her smiley pitbull, Kai, to hang out with us at the workshop. In her free time you can catch Shelby at the skatepark smoothly dropping into bowls on her roller skates!

Julia Getz

Sewing Team

Julia joined Luckyleo in 2020 on our Apprentice team and has quickly mastered the art of sewing our most timeless style, the Allure! Julia’s fashion sense is a sensation in the Luckyleo workshop as she always has something unique & colorful on. She’s often seen in pink & soft colors of pastel, so when we asked her to wear black for her portrait she joked that she only owned a single black outfit, but of course it still had pink hearts on it! Julia’s incredible taste in fashion extends beyond the workshop, where she has her own streetwear line called Honey Love Designs. When it’s time to unwind you can find Julia in her kitchen making Cinnamon Rolls from scratch!

Janelle Vigil

Fabric Production & Textile Design Specialist

Janelle joined Luckyleo in 2020 and started on the production team sewing up leotards! She loves working in 3D modeling and her experience as an Industrial Designer made her the perfect fit to learn how to master our print and press machinery to bring our in-house designed fabrics to life! Janelle’s always up for a challenge and has been an essential part of our production line when it comes to handling the everyday process of printing our unique prints on fabric. When she isn’t lifting heavy rolls off our printing press or ensuring all our fabrics are organized and where they need to be, you can find Janelle elbow deep in dirt as she tends to her vegetable garden! She is passionate about urban farming and loves pairing her homegrown vegetables with some freshly baked Sourdough bread.

Jack Hinton

Production Leader

Jack joined our team in 2021 and immediately brightened up the place with his vibrant and inviting personality. He began as a part of our Sewing Team, learning all of the roles in leotard production. Now he is our incredible Production Leader, who fearlessly leads our Sewing Team and ensures they have what they need to succeed every day! He's in charge of making sure all your orders flow through production in the most effecient way possible, while keep our quality in mind! His costumes on our theme days are unforgettable and his incredible head of curls can always be seen bouncing around as he joyfully organizes projects and keeps the production area in order. We are all obsessed with his charismatic rescue dog, Larry, who is almost always at the workshop! When Jack isn’t in the workshop he loves to bake and cook. Otherwise, you can probably find him doing yoga or soaking up the sunshine on the patio with his cat, LB.

Katie Mansfield

Digital Processor & Customer Support

It’s palpable! The bubbly rays of sunshine Katie brings to Luckyleo can be felt clear across our workshop. Katie handles customer-care questions and also works behind the scenes organizing order data, so that you can rest assured you’ll get exactly the Luckyleo garment you’ve imagined!

Katie is an avid thrifter (both clothing and furniture), and one of her favorite finds is a wooden-framed negative from the 1800’s, which she proudly displays in her cozy home here in Colorado. Katie enjoys hiking with family and spending time with her adorable two young boys, who you might find hopping about the workshop whenever they drop by. After a career in cosmetology, Katie brings scads of creativity and customer service experience to Luckyleo. If you ask her what brings her the most joy in life, she says with a smile, “Helping others.” So it’s a perfect fit that she works every day to make your shopping experience the lovely encounter you’ve come to expect with Luckyleo!

Ray Silva

Sewing Team

Ray’s interest in sewing started early! Born and raised in a small Utah town, she thrived in middle school and high school sewing classes. She started with a second-hand home sewing machine and began developing more elaborate designs after her dad bought her a dress form. Now Ray loves making patterns for her own clothing creations. Inspired by ‘50’s silhouettes, Ray loves the aesthetic of high-waisted designs with flowing lines. She also repurposes finished garments to fit her current style, juxtaposing super girly against ultra-glam.

When she’s not busy creating leotards here at Luckyleo, Ray pursues modeling, with the recent highlight of a trip to New York Fashion Week! But Ray is truly a homebody at heart, enjoying reading while cuddling up with her 10-year-old kitty Gracie.

Andrea Fischer

Sewing Team

Andrea was born and raised in a small town in Wisconsin, just across the border from Canada. She has a vibrant work ethic, working nonstop since she was in 6th grade. Photography was her college major, but she found herself delving into sewing at every chance she got. She’d sew together photographs (both paper prints and cloth) and convince her professors to grant credit for sewing-forward expressions of her design aesthetic. Currently, in her spare time Andrea creates art from found objects, using yarn to embellish vintage chairs. She has a cool loft apartment in the Arts District of Denver and sometimes empties out all her furniture to host a “First Friday” temporary art gallery!

Andrea’s favorite activity is visiting with her loved ones while her dad makes her dinner, relaxing and stitching small pieces together to add onto found-objects sculptures.

Kristen Hess

Sewing Team

Born and raised in Boulder, Colorado, Kristen is a self-proclaimed ecopreneur. After completing a degree in marketing, Kristen worked for four years alongside her father on the invention and development of a compost-keeper, which blossomed into a successful business. Her design aesthetic was born through a love for painting, with a bent toward abstraction and minimalism. Kristen says that color brought her first to painting, and that affinity translated smoothly over to fabric! Since she has redirected her focus toward sewing, she now hand-creates yoga props whenever she’s not sewing leotards here at Luckyleo.

She fell in love with yoga at a young age and now teaches Yin yoga at a Colorado yoga studio. What makes Kristen happy? “I feel most alive when feeling integrated, connecting with others, and enjoying a summer day here in Colorado!”

Preston Stappert

Sewing Team

Preston is a whirlwind of creative activity! You’ll commonly find him, nose to the grindstone, completing your beautiful hand-crafted leotard with all the enthusiasm and nonstop dedication you can picture. He hails from Kansas and attended design school there, where he majored in apparel construction and design.

Preston loves hitting Denver’s colorful vintage clothing shops, and “flips” thrifted clothes by revitalizing them into inspiring new designs relevant for today. He paints and creates ‘70’s-inspired collages from magazine clippings, and his studio apartment is a canvas for expression, too. He’s constantly changing out his decor to reflect a completely different design aesthetic and vibe! But his main source of joy is family, whether spending time with his newborn niece here in Colorado or traveling to the Midwest to keep close connections with family there.

Pamela Adelgren

Sewing Team

Pamela hails from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Born to a military family with five brothers, Pamela learned early to be adaptable and continually on the move! She attended design school at Colorado State University and was lucky enough to land an internship with Gabriela Hearst in New York City. Her educational capstone was working New York Fashion Week; despite the crazy hours and nonstop driving vibe, she describes it as the ultimate experience!

She studied dance for many years, and still enjoys dancing for fun. In fact, her design aesthetic is deeply inspired by a love for dance. She adores blacks mixed with neons! Pamela paints, draws, and is currently exploring makeup creation for film, utilizing prosthetics mixed with dramatic makeup techniques. Pamela loves cuddling her one-year-old German Shepherd, Zuko. She finds fulfillment through spending time with her close-knit family and friends. And when asked what brings her joy Pamela cheerfully exclaims: “Anything art!”