We are starting a series featuring members of our team to give others a little peek into the lives of our talented artists and sellers. Our first featured member is Leah Copplestone of LBC Paper. Leah is one of the founding members of The Treasury Tree, a former leader and challenge coordinator and all around wonderful team member. Her shop is a treasury curator's dream; filled with color shape and texture and bursting with holiday themed goodness. Leah is also an amazing treasury curator herself and we are lucky to have her.
I am Leah, pronounced Lee-ah. Half the time people see my name written down and pronounce it “Lee” or “Lay-ah”, which is the #1 way to get on my bad side ‘cause I’m not a Star Wars princess (unfortunately) and “Lee” is…well, just not my name. Last name = Copplestone, kind of like those old streets from a wicked long time ago. I sell things made out of paper. My shop is mostly full of cards and stationery. One day I experimented with some paper ornaments and they kind of took off, so I have made many more and am now making them into magnets and pushpins. I like using recycled paper from old books and maps. I like making things that are useful and I like bright colors.
Fred Astaire. And Bono.
What are your business inspirations?
I want to make enough money to fund a cure for cancer. ALL cancers.
Do you sell online full time? If not, what is your other business/job?
Ummm…no…well, now it’s time for a story: I’m 21. I’m supposed to be in college but instead I’m very sick. I was in school playing field hockey but developed a bad overuse injury. Due to the persisting condition and several unsuccessful surgeries I now have extreme and irreversible nerve damage throughout both legs, which is very very painful. This is called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. I used to be able to run really fast (like, faster than a cheetah) but for the time being it is quite difficult for me to walk (which is why I’m not in school, ‘cause if you can’t handle walking to class you really should do something about it). When I’m better I’ll be starting at Boston Architectural College, where I will learn how to build you a house.
What is the biggest challenge when selling your work online?
Accurately portraying my work through photos.
Tell us about how you got your start selling your craft, either online or local? It started with the whole not-being-able-to-walk thing. I was desperate for a way to keep myself busy while being able to sit down. For months I had been making cards and sending them to all my friends at school so I just started making extras and putting them on Etsy.
Tell us why you do what you do (your particular craft; why make it a business vs just a hobby).
A business is able to keep me more distracted from the legs than a hobby ever could.
Are there any tips or tricks to selling online vs local that you can share?
Well, I don’t sell local but I have been asked by several out-of-town shops and boutiques to consign with them. I live in Virginia and the shops I’m consigning with right now are in Atlanta, Chicago and Boston. Because I can’t make regular visits to any of them I have made sure I am very comfortable with the agreements we have made. I have lots of documents and things-in-writing and signatures, and they have the same from me.
A few of my favorite Etsy shops: