But first, let me answer some Frequently Asked Questions:
Who are you?
My name is Rachel Leslie. I am a graphic designer by trade, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Emphasizing in Print Media from Oklahoma State University. I seek joy every day and can find God’s beauty in the most simple of moments. I am wife to Chris and mama to Cooper. I deeply cherish and adore my family and friends. In addition to these important roles, I have over 10 years of experience working with the best of the best at The Integer Group, Jameson Management, Inc. and My Mind’s Eye Paper Goods. I am eternally grateful for the opportunities these companies provided to me during my employment as I learned from experts, was invested in by leaders and took on challenges to further enhance my abilities.
Why did you become a designer?
There are so many highlights in my journey that pointed me in this direction. Here are just a couple.
Some of my earliest memories noticing design were in the details of handwriting. Particularly of my grandfather, Derry Ebert and grandmother, Barbara Cooper Lane. Derry was an architect and his handwriting was a perfect sans serif block. He always wrote in all capitals with the same fine, felt tip pens. Still, to this day, I prefer to write in all caps. Barbara’s handwriting is truly an art – a calligraphy that no computer font could match. Her ascenders and descenders come as naturally as breathing to her. It’s gorgeous.
In 2000, my incredible art teacher, Jill Webber, took an interested group to New York City. We had several tours set up and each one was memorable and different. But one made quite an impact. We visited a studio that specialized in graphic design, a term I hadn’t even heard of at that point. One area they excelled in was designing movie titles/logos. I knew right then and there that I wanted to do that. I wanted to make things look pretty on paper. So…I made it happen. Thanks, Jill!
Why the name ‘Polka Square’?
Throw it way back to 1993. One of my favorite teachers of all time was Mrs. Pezzullo. She had a remarkable way of making students feel valued and unique. That year, on school picture day, I wore a matching shirt and pant set [insert sheepish grin here] that was black with squares all over it, top to bottom. Mrs. Pezzullo saw me that morning and I’ll never forget her words, “Rachel! I love your outfit! It reminds me so much of you.” I wasn’t quite sure what she meant and I’m certain I reacted in such a way. She followed up with, “You’re wearing polka SQUARES! Polka dots are everywhere, but polka SQUARES are unique…just like you.” She made an impact on my life, one I will never forget.
That is the mission of Polka Square: To add unique design or style to every area of your life.