Carlo Letica, Co-Founder Yoli & Otis

“Living sustainably in the most simplistic way, but the most effective in the sense
that together we can raise an entire generation whose consciousness will move mountains.”

WITH CARLO LETICA FROM YOLI & OTIS

BEAR Interview

Words

Amelia Cox

Photography

Yoli & Otis

Co-founder of Yoli & Otis, world traveller and father, Carlo Letica considers nature, travel, family and laughter his fundamental elements in finding balance. Spending his time between Byron Bay, Bali and Mallorca with his family, for Carlo, the journey is more than the destination – it’s home. Owing his work life balance to having the right support around him, Carlo inspires us all with his life ethos around valuing time and appreciating moments we often take for granted. BEAR caught up with Carlo to discuss his inspiration behind Yoli & Otis, the importance of education surrounding sustainability and how he will be spending father’s day with his family.

Can you tell us the story of Yoli & Otis and the inspiration behind the brand?
Our daughter Yoli wasn’t much of a sleeper as a newborn, which as every parent knows, meant neither were we. Relentlessly in search of ways we could help ease her, babywearing became our only hope. Much to our disappointment, we were yet to find one on the market with the level of comfort and convenience required to keep her in there all day without feeling bothered or strained by it. It was then, Yoli was close to six months old, when Yoli and Otis was born. Our first product was a baby carrier, designed as a stretchy, but with no tying.

We later took Yoli to India to visit potential herbal dye houses. It was incredible. The love they have for this planet, their ancient methods and the earthy tones created by using all natural ingredients. Our first shipment arrived in 2014 and soon followed by a wave of Yoli and Otis baby wearers. The business flourished and we later expanded into children’s clothing, followed by a line of linen womenswear, again using all natural fibres, simple styles and neutral colours.

To this day, we still design and create all three but have included a few of our favourite brands with a similar ethos to our online store and showrooms in both Byron Bay and Canggu, showcasing a mix of local and international work.

Things that have inspired us are our children, our surroundings and the seasons. Always evolving.

Why is sustainability so important to you and your business?
For me, it’s about our children. And their children’s children.

What will the earth look like to them in the years to come? Will they know beauty? Will they share the same experiences we’ve had growing up – swimming in clean blue oceans, waking up to the sound of birds each morning, inhaling fresh air, drinking fresh water. Will sea life exist or our natural eco system survive?

All we know now is we exist in a world that doesn’t belong to us and it’s time to give back.

The most obvious way forward in achieving this goal is through education. Teaching our children the repercussions of consumption. Why we’re vegetarian, why we don’t use plastic, why we only eat fruits which are in season and why we recycle. Living sustainably in the most simplistic way, but the most effective in the sense that together we can raise an entire generation whose consciousness will move mountains.

What are your morning health rituals?
Water and apple cider vinegar first, then a turmeric and honey elixir. A bit of yoga with the kids and earthing for most of the day. We will catch a morning surf when in Byron and Bali, otherwise in Mallorca I fit in a 4km run most mornings.

We love following your travels as a family, how do you maintain a good work and life balance?
I work in short stints on the business doing admin, and find balance in nature, laughter, travel and family for the rest of the time. All fundamental elements for a healthy balance. But the biggest difference is made from having the right support around me. Lena and I know to to check in with one another or with friends regularly, without any distractions, so we can connect, laugh, cry, celebrate…and stay grounded.

Where feels most like home?
The word ‘home’ for me has evolved over the years, not as an address but as an internal sense of the word. It’s become more about the situation. If we’re all together, in a familiar place, close to the ocean, and everyone is healthy then that to me is ‘home’, wherever in the world that may be. It’s the journey. The journey feels like home. But right now we’re floating between Byron, Bali and Mallorca.

What has fatherhood has taught you?
Fatherhood has taught me that there are never enough answers to satisfy the curiosity of a five year olds mind. Also, a profound amount of emotional strength. To value time, and to appreciate the little moments we so often take for granted.

How will you be spending father’s day?
My dad is flying over, so there will be two fathers to celebrate. We’ve rented a LLAUT for the day, so we’ll sail around the north with the kids and take them snorkelling.

What’s on the horizon for Yoli & Otis?
A new menswear line! Watch this space.

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