Leo Yip, Director, Ellaspede

Success is measured by what you have learnt and experienced ...

A local hub for motorcycle culture and creativity, Ellaspede uses traditional and contemporary automotive design techniques to handcraft unique motorcycles. With backgrounds in industrial product design, founders and friends Steve Barry and Leo Yip spent a few years in separate industries before deciding to launch something together. Combining interests in retro-futuristic styling and modern technology, Steve and Leo formed industrial design company Heluva, before applying their knowledge to motorcycles. Pushing the norm on traditional motorcycle design and focusing on intricate details, Ellaspede builds bikes from scratch as well as executing restorations and improvements. The pair continues to dabble in product design as well, with handcrafted kangaroo leather wallets and t-shirts and button-ups sporting the Ellaspede logo amongst the items in their shop space. The Weekend Edition caught up with Leo to chat weekend essentials.

How do you like to start your weekend?
Saturday generally starts early when we open up the Ellaspede shop. Sundays are reserved for sleep-ins with my wife and we always try to go out to breakfast together.

What’s your favourite thing to do on a Saturday morning?
Going out for a quick motorbike ride before work. It always puts a smile on my face and keeps me energised for the day.

How do you like to unwind?
I’m a bit of a couch potato when it comes to unwinding. Catching up on Mad Men, The Walking Dead and Boardwalk Empire seems to work just fine. If not, checking out blogs, surfing the net or hanging out with my wife.

What are your essentials for a well-spent weekend?
I lead a pretty hectic life, so weekends generally involve cleaning the atomic bomb of a mess I have left throughout the week. I would say that is the first thing I have to have done because I can’t stand living or working in a messy environment.

What’s something you’ve been meaning to do on the weekend but haven’t got around to yet?
I have a project car – a 1967 VC Valiant Regal – that I have been dying to find time to restore. However, I have since come to the realisation that it’s probably not going to happen, so I’m planning on selling it so someone else can appreciate it.

What’s your favourite thing to do on a Sunday evening?
Catching up with my mates. A few lazy drinks in the park, then heading out for dinner is a great way to finish off the week.

What are you looking forward to next weekend?
Well I guess next weekend is almost Christmas, so I look forward to sitting down and spending sometime with family and friends.

What are you reading at the moment?
Books and me have never had much of a love affair. I’m a typical designer who likes to look at pretty pictures, so I’ve just been reading blogs and design magazines.

What inspires you?
Almost anything can inspire me or spark an idea. But I guess I get most inspired when I meet people who are into some sort of subculture or are really passionate about a certain thing. I tend to feed off that and like to learn as much as I can about them as well as the topic itself.

What was your childhood dream?
Being able to make things. I was a typical kid – I loved Lego, cutting up cardboard and duct-taping toilet rolls together. I guess I just swapped Lego and duct tape for more durable materials.

What has been your greatest achievement?
Having the confidence to take a leap of faith and steering my life in the direction I want it to go.

What is success to you?
Not listening to the naysayers and just following your own goals. My parents immigrated to Australia from Hong Kong more than 30 years ago and, in the pursuit of providing for our family, they sacrificed their chance to follow some of their own dreams. As a result, they heavily encouraged my sister and I to follow ours. My mum has always said that success isn’t measured by how much money you have in your bank account or by what car you drive. Instead, success is measured by what you have learnt and experienced.

What are your words of wisdom?
I don’t think I am old enough to start sprouting words of wisdom, so I think a quote from someone who was much older and wiser is better suited: ‘Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance’ – Confucius.

Only a local would know … Brisbane is the best city in Australia.

Perk up … Fonzie Abbott in Hamilton or the new Brunswick Street store
Relax … At the beach
Dine … Used to be the Bali Grill in Rosalie, but I’m having serious problems trying to find a replacement
Indulge … I’m not a bottles and model type of guy
Shop … Apartment, The Outpost and Dirtbox
Catch-up … New Farm Park and Brisbane Powerhouse
Be inspired … GOMA


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