“I want to open up more to the field of art”: in Foix, Sophie Dando takes a new turn in her life as a leatherworker

“I want to open up more to the field of art”: in Foix, Sophie Dando takes a new turn in her life as a leatherworker
“I want to open up more to the field of art”: in Foix, Sophie Dando takes a new turn in her life as a leatherworker

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Sophie Dando, an artisanal leatherworker for 8 years, has been working at the “AMELE SOPHIE” boutique in Foix for 4 years. She is experiencing a turning point in her life and plans to embark on several artistic projects. His passion for art has been with him since he was very young.

Sophie Dando runs her boutique “AMELE SOPHIE”. She has been an artisanal leatherworker for 8 years and recounts her life journey which led her to this passion. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do, that was the big problem that worried me a lot.” Sophie was lucky to have parents who always accompanied and supported her in her direction and in what she loved. “I did a degree in applied arts in Toulouse at university.” A graduate in visual arts and holder of a degree in applied arts obtained in Toulouse, she has always been passionate about artistic expression.

After her studies, Sophie set off to discover the African continent, a unique experience. “After my degree, I went to travel to Africa, which made a little click for me.” It was there that she learned to sew and make clothes from local fabrics.

Since 2014, “I have gone to Togo, Senegal and Burkina Faso to select fabrics that inspire my leather goods creations.” These trips have enriched its know-how and given a unique direction to its bags and accessories, where African patterns and colors combine with the nobility of the leather. “I learned to make clothes there and I trained in leatherwork in France.”

It was in 2016 that Sophie took the courage to launch her own leather goods business, despite her initial apprehensions.

“This is not the end of the activity but I feel that there is an evolution”

Sophie wants to turn the page of her life, to write a new chapter. With the arrival of new projects in sight, nothing better than to look at art again. Today she decides to develop her activity. “It’s something that is changing, that is closing… It’s not the end of the activity, but I feel that there is an evolution. I want things to change, I no longer want to work in the same way as during the last seven years,” confides Sophie.

In her workshop, she works and sells alone: ​​“I feel a little confined.” This is why this young leatherworker is hoping for an evolution: “On the other hand, I would like to open up more to the field of art, in reference to my studies.”

“It’s when I’m creating that ideas come”

His new symbolic project involves the use of rhea eggs. For Sophie, the egg symbolizes renewal and rebirth. These pieces, a mix between art and craftsmanship, mark a turning point in his career. “For me, it’s very telling of what I’m experiencing in my professional dimension. Things are changing and moving. The idea is to have fun creating eggs with leather patterns.”

Sophie in her leather goods boutique wearing her artistic creation.
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Rhea eggs are among the largest in the world, with a very soft shell. “At the moment, I am further developing my artistic project, but I still want to keep my leather goods part.”

It’s a project that requires careful work.”all the slices are tinted with gold one by one. She diverts leatherwork tools for artistic uses, creating unique pieces. “VS“It’s a fairly personal creation where I use leathercraft tools and I look for uses that are not common on these tools.”

Thanks to this project, she hopes to obtain the Ateliers d’Art de France label for this new line of creation. Focusing on art allows Sophie to find herself: “It does me good to have oxygen from the artistic side and to give the craft a rest.”

New activities

Sophie does not stop there, and wishes to develop her activity in several areas. “Right now, I have several directions I’d like to go in,” she says. She also wants to share her know-how by setting up courses and workshops for creating leather goods. “I want to open my business outside, meet local demand for leather repair services and organize creative workshops.” Determined to evolve, “I want to access new artistic perspectives and share my passion with a wider audience.” she closes.

Website: https://www.amele-sophie.fr or Instagram @amele_sophie

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