Kara Leake Promotes a Brighter, Ethically Sustainable Life

Photos by Tiffany Allen

Kara Leake is a 23-year-old entrepreneur, military wife, and the founder + owner of Dyeraid, creating naturally hand-dyed textiles. Dyeraid was born out of her passion to create cleaner, more intentional items through an ethical dyeing process. 

Her shop items–which consist of sunny bandanas, place mats, net bags, and more–sport indigo, turmeric, avocado pit and wine dyes. By creating and selling these products, she’s also seeking to provide a conscious and colorful alternative to your favorite everyday items and accessories. 

Check out this military wife + artist’s journey. 

What is the best part about what you create? 

Being completely IN AWE when I get my dyes and remember that plants make this beautiful pigment.

How do you stay inspired + avoid creative ruts? 

I look completely outside of my medium. I find new artists, books, cultural movements, runway fashion trends, etc. I seek deep conversation with MY PEOPLE. It helps me to zoom out and think about heart things, truths and grounds me.

Favorite songs for boosting creativity? 

Anything Johnnyswim, Norah Jones or Tycho for instrumental.

How does creativity bring goodness to your life? 

I can become very intense and serious…

What did you want to be when you grew up? 

A store owner. No joke, I used to set up a store in my Nana’s living room and charge her monopoly money for her own household items.

What do people NOT know about what you do? 

I dye [my products] out of my personal kitchen in an On Base Military House (Air Force Wife), so I have to cover and clean every square inch of it every day so they don’t charge us when we move. Also, so that we can cook dinner. 

What made you decide to start doing what you do?

I am very passionate about ethical and sustainable business practices. I wanted to do it within entrepreneurship because I wanted a very dynamic role + job.

Lets be real, what’s the hardest/most frustrating thing about what you do? 

Nailing dye recipes! SO HARD. Fun and frustrating.

Have you ever considered throwing in the towel? What stopped you? 

YES. As a military spouse, we move every 1-3 years and that is HARD. Acknowledging the many blessings and opened doors that affirm my path. Knowing I will be the only one who gets in my own way.

Your 3 favorite accounts to follow on Instagram?

Fashion Revolution (@fash_rev), Italy Segreta (@italysegreta), Ramble & Co. (rambleandcompany)

Photo by Carolina Adame

Keep up with Kara’s journey by following her on instagram at @karajwleake + @dyeraid, and buy some colorful sustainable products from Dyeraid! We loved her work so much we collaborated to launch some adorable mustard bandanas for our shop, which are also a wonderful mask alternative. Go buy one for yourself + a pal who may need one! 

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