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a Chat with Stationery Goddess Jayde Leeder from Little Paper Lane

Jayde Leeder from Little Paper Lane

Jayde Leeder is one busy gal. Not only is she a mother to two little ones (six-year-old Iggy and 14-month-old Minty – who Jayde tells me suffers from FOMO and thinks she’s 27), but she co-owns my fave store for all things stationery, Little Paper Lane, in the Sydney suburb of Mona Vale. I sat down with the former makeup artist and learnt a few things about stationery, running a family business and her hatred of tomatoes!

Little Paper Lane was brewing as an idea for years | “It started as a dream shop for as long as I can remember. Then, as my obsession with stationery and all things lovely grew stronger the dream turned into something more specific. In 2009 I was determined to have the shop and just made it happen. We opened May 20th, 2010”.

Running a family business with her partner, Steve, can be full on | “You don’t really ever take a day off. No matter what, we always have emails or something we have to do. We just try and do it a little slower. And the kids always come first”.

Retail brings with it a little risk | “There are times when I am shitting myself a little… and I do panic a bit. But I always take a breath and I always look over what was happening the year before; we are always doing a lot better and we are busier, so I can let the breath out and focus again”.

Inside Little Paper Lane

The customers make it all worthwhile | “Whenever a customer comes back and says “I just love this shop”, it makes my heart flutter. Our customers are amazing and soooo very supportive. I have made some amazing friends from my shop. And the online community that has been following our journey through Facebook, Twitter and especially Instagram, are like a big awesome family!”

Creativity is in her blood | “My Nan is a crafting superwoman. She makes dolls, knits, sews, bakes (especially sausage rolls and roasts) like a champion. My mum is the same and is an absolute perfectionist. She works in the shop a couple of days a week and has become the most amazing merchandiser”.

It can be a challenge to let others take the reins | “It’s been hard stepping back a bit with the shop and giving my husband and mum a little more creative freedom. LPL is like one of my children. It was a good decision having Steve come on board – he loves it and I am not sure how I would be doing it all if he wasn’t working with me”.

Their stunning window displays receive rave reviews | “I think seeing and hearing peoples reactions [to them] is really quite special. We put so much time and thought into them and it’s so worth it when we go out to dinner and drive past at night and see a few people just out the front looking in!”

Store Window at Little Paper Lane

Appearing in magazines is also a real buzz | “Having a full page story in the House & Garden Christmas issue was such a special time too. Any time we’ve been in a magazine is sooooo exciting – and I still get super excited”.

Needless to say, she is obsessed with stationery | “I just feel warm and at home with stationery. It takes me back to when I was little and I am just drawn to it. I think stationery slows us down for a minute. Everything is fast-paced and instant with emails and Facebook and texts, and I think with stationery, you really need to stop and think about what you write or create with it”.

She may love stationery, but she hates tomatoes | “They are the yuckest thing ever! It’s the one thing I can’t stand. Oh, and cotton balls – YUK! They squeak in your hand like chalk…gah I hate chalk too!”

Inside Little Paper Lane

Choosing a fave item from the store is no easy feat | “I don’t have a favourite – that’s like picking your favourite child. But I do get excited when an alphabet stamp comes in…any style…size shape…love them all!”

Travel is on the horizon | “The two things in life I so love, apart from my family of course, is stationery and travel. I want to search the world for fun things to bring to LPL and I would also love to make a book”.

Living The Life Creative is not a choice | “It’s just how life is. What a dull little world it would be if we didn’t have creativity around us. I guess I surround myself with talent and it inspires me so much, especially in the shop. The designers behind the products are so amazing and talented and I am always in awe! Surround yourself with creativity always!”

Outside of writing the TLC Interiors blog, Chris is an interior stylist and author. You can also catch him on your TV screens as a designer on Channel 10's Changing Rooms. If you'd like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

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