a Chat with Stationery Goddess 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”.
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!”
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!”
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!”