Leslie Aisner Novak: Entrepreneur, Visionary, and Artist
“The spirit of my nature, fed by the vast universe of all that is, travels through my veins and cannot be contained.”
Welcome to Howda Designz, the official website of the HowdaSeat®, HowdaHUG® and The Stol seat.
I founded Howda Designz in 1990 after reconstructing an old wood and canvas seat that I discovered tucked away in a box of discarded items. (You can read the full Original Howda story.)
The beauty of reconstructing this old seat is that while I saved an old-fashioned “technology” from extinction – and created a cottage business that became international in scope – I also created a product that helped ease back and joint pain for people experiencing arthritis, sciatica and other issues.
In January 2006, after months of stringent clinical trials, I introduced the patented HowdaHUG, a seat designed for children who require cradling and rocking to be more peaceful and calm. The seat has become a standard tool in thousands of classrooms across the U.S., Australia, and Canada.
As founder and CEO, I hold patents to both the HowdaSeat and HowdaHUG and continue to oversee their manufacture and distribution. Both the HowdaSeat and HowdaHUG are handcrafted in Maine and sold through catalogs and other retail distributors.
The Stol, a recent addition, is licensed to ErgoLife and is produced in China. The Stol is now available in the U.S. through Howda Designz, by private label.
In addition to running the day-to-day operations of Howda Designz, I’m also a working artist. In 1963 I patented a formula for raised liquid art, called Guzali, which I licensed to Crayola®. Using this technique, I created earrings, paintings and stick art. The Guzali earring line is still sold today in Newburyport, MA. My Guzali stick art is used in therapeutic settings and at Senior Centers.
Currently, and in partnership with friends, I expertly refinish, repair and repurpose primitive wood items and furniture – many of which are my own finds.
My Amesbury, Massachusetts office and studio is located on the second floor of the historic Fuller Building, built in 1901. As you enter the building, you’re instantly transported to a bygone era: the hushed atmosphere, darkened wood staircase and antique hand railing are but a glimpse of what’s in store.
Open the door to my office and studio and you’re greeted with 8-foot high windows that let in glorious sunlight and panoramic views of Amesbury’s Market Square. It is here, in this venerable building, that I combine my work and my passion.
Thank you for visiting Howda Designz!