Have you met the free-spirited woman who quit her job to chase after her dreams?! No?! But have you met the coolest Latvian ever? Well, it is your lucky day, because Häppening had an amazing opportunity to meet her – the most inspirational and genuine underwear designer – Liega Zelgalve. The woman behind provocative Lickstarter Pussycat Panties brand.
And I have to say! Every woman deserves at least one pair of Lickstarters! Because who could say no to a pussycat? I know your boyfriend couldn’t!

So dear friends, meet Liega and Lickstarter Pussycat Panties!

Who is Liega, who is the person behind Lickstarter Pussycat Panties?
I am a crazy independent woman, who seeks to be as free as possible on different dimensions: mentally, physically, financially. It is very important to me right now. I am not afraid of taking risks, stepping out of comfort zone and stretching the frames and borders.

Liega

Liega Zelgalve from Lickstarter Pussycat Panties

What inspires you? From where do you collect your ideas?
Ideas are like rare animals. They come and go. You never know when they might come. I think best ideas come from real life: silly dogs, laughing with your friends and so on.

But what inspires you to keep on going?
For current situation the backfeed: I read all reviews, people are sending pictures + long letters and telling how excited they were to receive the panties. It all keeps me motivated.

I feel people need this kind of joy and surprise in their lives. If it’s important to them, then it’s important to me.

Let’s go to the beginning of Lickstarter. Where did you get the idea to start your own brand?
It all started from anger. I was not satisfied with my life: I was working on a job I didn’t like, my salary was little and I wanted to buy designer shoes, which I couldn’t afford. (That’s right people, we all have been there!)
So, late September I was sitting in a bath calculating my finances and was thinking already about Christmas presents. And this is where the idea hit me.
I knew I had seen cool panties with cat prints on them and thought they would make a great present. So the next day I started to look for printed panties from the Internet and I couldn’t find them anywhere. So I thought:

“Liega, if you don’t take this opportunity now you never will!  So I just did it!” It was my first step towards my independence and it came really naturally. I was going with the flow.

wink_pussy

Looking for some love! Photo: Maris Mägi

And the provocative name? How did that come in?
The name idea actually came from one Estonian guy. I already had the product, but I didn’t have the name. So we were having a brunch with friends and discussing what should I name my brand. We were joking and joking until the idea came up Kickstarter = Lickstarter. Everything else followed naturally.

What was the inspiration to start making panties?
The main idea was to make a good gift. And Pussycat Lickstarter Panties are a super-wonderful compromise between price and a surprise. + If you see the reaction from woman receiving the panties, OH MY GOD. In the Burning Man Festival the reactions were amazing: screaming to complete madness and joy.

I was looking at the women and thinking: “Wow, this is powerful!”

But why kittens, why not unicorns?
The decision to use pussycats came from the wordplay. Pussy – pussycats, it is provocative and catchy.

In the end, who does the name provoke more: Men or woman? And how?
Actually the main customers are men. And this is also one of the reasons why the whole user experience with the package is very thought through. (Yes, when you receive the panties you receive like a gift!)
Imagine, if men buy something, they want it to be hassle free. And the whole experience should be thought through and this is what I am trying to achieve.

You, fashion trends and style: what is the relationship?

I think the most important thing is to be yourself. Fuck these trends.

I refuse to look like anyone else. I suggest to seek for your own unique style and decide what fits you best.

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An experienced fighter. Photo: Oliver Vaagen

So, could you jump from panties to other fashion clothing items anytime soon?
Actually, yes there is completely new fashion-related project coming up in January. We are creating something really unique with one of my friends + one London’s fashion designer. So, let’s wait and see! 😉

Where do you see yourself with Lickstarter in the near years?
That is really hard to answer. I can’t decide on what scale I want to do it. I could already be starting a big clothing industry but I don’t want to be too dependent on business. I want to do what I like and not to do it for money.
My next big step will be to start making something for men. Really often men ask me, you have all this for woman, but what do you have for us. I think men deserve this kind of surprises also.
Plus another idea is to start working with different artists and start connecting our ideas. This idea is also in progress.

If you wouldn’t be a designer then you would be…
There are many possibilities. Maybe I would own a sheep or a rabbit farm, grow ecological vegetables, travel the world, be a single mum… I could be anything.

What blogs, sites, people you follow and collect inspiration from:

  1.  Pinterest (for inspiration): there you can find everything you want. Workouts, recipes, clothing, hairstyles and many more. Amazing tool.
  2. Mark Manson blog (for self improvement): the style how he writes about human behavior is so badass.
  3. Medium top stories:  I usually find something entertaining. One of my top articles is this oneInformation you get reading between lines is priceless. After reading this article I immediately ordered professional product photo shoot and copy write.
  4. Facebook: I also love to read articles or other social media by people who I admire.
  5. Shopify newsletter: for those who want to learn how to have successful e-commerce business, I recommend to sign up for the newsletter.
    Happens that I don’t read fashion blogs.

What design brands do you follow or inspire you:
Elīna Dobele 
Okiiko

Draw me and our readers something that inspires you:
Liega's picture

You can order Lickstarters from e-shop Etsy
In Estonia you can find kittens from design shop TALI

Now off to find your kitty!

Photo session 1:
Interview: Kaisa Tooming (Häppening)
Designer: Liega Zelgalve from Lickstarter Pussycat Panties
Photographer: Maris Mägi
Creative idea/style: Kaisa Tooming (Häppening)
Hair: Kerttu Salujärv
MUA by Liisa Tooming
Model: Maria Engel
Big thanks to: Nike Esinduskauplused

värvil

Photo session 2:
Designer: Liega Zelgalve from Lickstarter Pussycat Panties
Photographer: Oliver Vaagen
Creative idea/style: Kaisa Tooming (Häppening)
Model: Liis Jaguson

NB! Blog Häppening shares photo material for free ONLY if every channel that uses the photos will add the team references visibly and refers to the online article.