Corrie Pocta Creates Classic Pieces by Hand

 Photography by Emily Stoker

The first time we laid eyes on the work of Corrie Pocta with RECUIR Leather, we were smitten. Then we found out that she designs, cuts, and sews everything by hand and we were truly impressed.  Her craftsmanship and attention to what some might say is old world details are impeccable and her classic shapes are timeless.  We were charmed from the start!

Q: How would you describe your own personal style?

A: I love very simple, well-made products. I usually will dress in neutral tones with a fun piece of jewelry here or there. I have a bit of a shoe addiction and love to spice up a simple outfit with a pair of clogs or fun sneakers.

 Q: What are your inspirations? Where do you find them?

 A: I find a lot of my inspiration through nature, fun patterns, and ceramics. I especially love looking at Japanese ceramics and printmaking wherever I can find them.

Q: How did you get started in Leather? What was the draw?

A: I started working at Oil and Cotton, a local art studio and workshop space in 2013. There were always indigo dying, weaving, and macramé workshops happening there. I went to school for fine art, but never had been introduced to the crafting world before. The sewing teacher, Jesse, started a sewing guild. I showed up to it and quickly realized the women there were very experienced. They had patterns prepped out and were making the coolest tanks and dresses. I looked around and saw there was some leather that had been donated and decided to try to make a clutch. Luckily for me, a leather designer for Fossil, ironically named Corrie as well, showed me how to make a pattern and punch my holes with what tools were around. I quickly became addicted and did a ton of research on what tools and supplies to invest in. It really has been a continuous process of trial and error and daily pushing myself to be better. I have found that when I invested in high quality leather and tools, I began to push my work to a higher quality as well.

Q: Where do you get your product ideas? Shape, Size, Colors, etc? There are so many styles out there, how do you decide what you will design next?

A: There is really a fine balance of looking for inspiration and seeing what you can come up with on your own with design. I follow a few leather workers on Instagram, but make it a rule to not look on Pinterest or too many hash tags for leather. I think about what I want and what I have always wanted to find in stores and go from there. I believe it is always best to make an original pattern and work out its kinks than to copy one that has already been made. As for shape and color, I made sure my first collection had variety in the sizes of products and am sticking with colors I think will age well and are timeless. I often will talk with my friends and see what their needs are, male and female, and then decide what to make next. If my friend Julie had it her way, a new cat designs collection would be next. Who knows, maybe it will.

Q: You do your craft the old way, all by hand, why?

A: I began sewing by hand and found the repetition in stitching and cutting patterns to be really therapeutic. Often times when I see friend's leather goods, the stitches are ripped up and fraying. I like that I am in control of each stitch and making sure things are sewn in a way that keeps them strong and in tact for as long as possible. I also love getting things that are made by hand. I love to imagine the artist making my goods and feel connected to that person in a tiny way when I have their work on me or in my house. I hope people feel just as special to think that each bit of work that goes into their bags was tended to with care.

Q: If money were no issue, what would you buy for your studio/craft right now? Tools, supplies, etc.?

A: If money were not issue, I would get a studio outside of my home. It is getting pretty crowded in there but thankfully I have a husband who let me move our kitchen table out on the porch in order to have a space at all.

Q: What objects have been most significant to you lately?

A: Some of the objects that have been significant to me would be a new toy I got my dog, June, which keeps her from eating my shoes, my new glasses from Glass Optical in Oak Cliff, and my new mug from Martina Thornhill.

 Q: What are you serious about?

 A: Maintaining solid friendships and being honest.

 Q: What things will you never take seriously?

 A: Men in flip-flops.

Q: What are some of your favorite clothing lines? 

A: I love Madewell, Everlane, Ace and Jig, and Hackwith Design House.

Q: What’s the one wardrobe or beauty essential you cannot live without?

A: My leather sandals from Office London.

Q: Do you have any rules when it comes to being a consumer?

A: Quality over quantity. I would rather save up for a big purchase that continue going through poorly made items. When it comes to household goods, I have a weakness for ceramics.

Q: Who was your first style or design icon?

A: Definitely Olivia Palermo

Q: Where do you live and what do you love about it? 

A: I live in Oak Cliff, a small neighborhood in Dallas, TX. I am from a small town of about 1,000 people and I love the amazing community and small town feel I have found in Oak Cliff. This past year I was a Spanish teacher at my school and love that I get to practice it everywhere here. If you are in the neighborhood you should check these places out: Davis Street Espresso, Zen Sushi's half off sushi night. El Si Hay, and Small Brewpub.

Q: Have you made any mistakes thus far and can you tell us about it and how you moved on from it?

A: Oh man. I am constantly making mistakes and that is a good thing. I think adults are too afraid to make mistakes at times because it makes us vulnerable and we feel as if we failed. Sometimes I punch holes where they don't belong, cut a pattern crooked, or sew a stitch that is a little off. As frustrating as those mistakes have been, they taught me to improvise and learn what I could make with what was salvageable. Mistakes also help me to not take things too seriously and learn to breathe and move on.

Q: What advice would you give to anyone that wants to start something they dream about? What was the jumping point for you?

A: Nobody is going to believe in you if you don't believe in yourself. Also when someone compliments your work, say, "Thank you." instead of pointing out where it might not be perfect. I am addicted to making leather goods and love to share it with others. Starting a small company with my designs was a natural step to begin to do that.

You can SHOP RECUIR LEATHER on ETSY

Home with The Don Juans

We've always had a crush on the Don Juans, a powerhouse eye for art and design at an accessible level, and then we caught a glimpse of their home, and pretty much died and came back to life. Naturally it had to be a feature on The Folksie Way, and why not our first!  

Miguel is an original member of the Grafitti and Street Art Crew, The Sour Grapes, and an Art Teacher at Trinity Basin.  Diana is an ER nurse by day and Design Enthusiast by night.


  

Q: What objects have been most significant to you lately? 

A: Now this is hard! Hmmmm… Well we just recently brought my old dog's watering bowl to live with us! My beloved family dog has been long gone to doggie heaven for many years but he was a huge part of my childhood and I wanted a part of him to be close, so we repurposed the galvanized tub into a yucca home. The beautiful tub brought the right amount of industrial feel we needed for our backyard.        

 

Q: What are your inspirations for your home design?

A: Home design didn’t really play a big part of my life until we found a home to make our own and when we had the means to make the designs come to life. We both have never really liked the feel of ordinary so we knew we had to make this place speak to us, but now I must say that I am a bit obsessed. We find inspirations from our local restaurants and retail stores. We walk into them constantly looking on how they build their shelves or what type of material they used for their outdoor accent wall so that we can bring that same feel home.

 

Q: What are you serious about?

A: We are serious about life and experiencing it. Making sure that we enjoy this ride and embrace our family and friends throughout our journey! There is just so much out there to explore, touch, and eat that we need not to be stagnating and continue to move!         

Q: What things will you never take too seriously?

A: My job! I don’t ever want to just live to work. I work so I can live! Also, debt because in life we will never really own anything other than our experiences!

Q: Which came first, the home or the love of home design? When did you find your perfect home and what was the process? 

A: Our home! It came first before we even thought about the design world. We bought this 1940's home about 3 years ago. We had been living in an apartment for two years when the rent kept on creeping up. We got sick of hearing people say, "Stop throwing away your money and invest" so we found an Oak Cliff realtor (shout out to Brian Bleeker!) that connected us to this badass casita.        

 

Q: Do you have a favorite thrifting spot? Tell us about it?

A: I’m not quite sure if I want to reveal this gem, but for you, my dear friend, I will! It’s an Oak Cliff classic called Thrift Town! They have a mixture of everything and its not overpriced like all the other thrift stores in Dallas. I have found countless knickknacks there for years that add the perfect amount of fab to this home.

Q: How important is Art in your home? What advice would you give to people who are unsure how to buy art or how to work it into their home? 

A: Considering that I am married to this man of mine, it is VERY important! He has taught me the importance of not only having art to enhance our space, but also having original works that tell a story. My advice would be to invest in original art pieces and stop buying the framed mess that big corporations sell in bulk. There are many local artist that sell original works for very reasonable prices, so do your research, find what speaks to your style and buy local art!

 Q: How would you describe your own personal style?

A: Party in the front and Business in the back.    

Q: What are some of your favorite clothing lines?

A: My favorites are Pins and Needles, Ecote, Folksie, and Silence + Noise. Michael’s favorites are Gap, J. Crew, and Clarks.

 

Q: Do you have any rules when it comes to being a consumer of fashion, home decor, and art?

 A: There is really only one rule. If you find any object, from clothes to furniture to plants, and you can look at it square in its center and say "I love you" then it belongs in your world! If not, honey walk away!       

Q: Where do you live and what do you love about it?

 A: We were so fortunate to have found this little pocket of goodness in Oak Cliff called Elmwood. It’s made up of many unique Tudors, craftsmen, and cottage homes. We love that no two homes look alike! The neighborhood is old and full of character that not many places hold anymore. We lucked out too that not only do we have this little gem but we also have sweet neighbors!   

Q: Who was your first style, art or design icon or inspiration?

 A: My parents. Without even knowing it, my mother was influencing my design style when she would take me to her old factory job. They were a vintage clothing distributor company that worked out of this beautiful old industrial building! As a child, I would literally dive into huge mounds of fur, denim, and leather clothing surrounded by wooden metal crates! It was paradise. As for my dad, he had an eye for finding unique rustic pieces, which brought warmth to our home and a story to tell. I blame them for creating this vicious thirst to design!

Q: What’s the one wardrobe or beauty essential you cannot live without?

 A: Our wedding bands and tattoos.           

Q: What has been your best score?

 A: Our vintage badass lawyer metal bookcase!  

 

Q: What advice would you give to anyone that wants to create their dream home, but feels like they don't quite know where to get started?

 A: Take your time and buy what feels good to you! Buy one piece at a time and slowly things will come together and please, take risks!             

 

Q: Tell us how you really feel about the old logic of "I need a piece of art to match my sofa"

 A: Sell the sofa, take the sofa money and by an original piece of art instead.

Q: What is your favorite art / design / furnishings source, that is not thrift? Why?

A: Albert Reyes because it’s Albert Reyes.       

Q: If money were no issue, what purchase for your home would you make right now?

A: Easy! A Brockway 3' wall mount wash sink from Kohler! Please!!!!!  

Q: Is there anything about your story that you would like to add?

 A: Do you bro! Do you!