We are Academy of Handmade Artists AND SUPPORTERS for a reason. It takes a lot to run a handmade business, so you need all the business support you can get. You'll be happy to know that #ahasmember Leanna of Leanna Lin's Wonderland in Los Angeles is in your corner. Her store is sugar high of cute and she loves to stock it with makers who are totes adorbs (I would add "As the kids say" but I don't even think kids say that any more ;)), including several other #ahasmembers. She's also a maker herself (jewelry), so she gets it.
Leanna shares a little about what she looks for in working with designers. She shares A LOT more at our One Day for the Holidays event at the end of the month. If you feel like the holidays are a lot overwhelm, going from one fire to the next or you just want to make them better you should definitely come! Hurry... time's running out.
Q: Tell us about yourself.
A: I'm Leanna Lin and I live and own a gift shop/jewelry studio + art gallery in Eagle Rock! I've always loved art and fashion and studied them almost my whole life. After being in the fashion industry for 20 years, I decided to open my own shop where I can create my own little Wonderland.I have an awesome, creative husband and we have 3 poodle mixes!
Q: What’s your shop all about?
A: It's a Wonderland filled with things that I love from jewelry, art, vintage and fun brands! I mainly bring in independent artists and designers from California, but we also have companies from around the world! We have art events, pop-ups, workshops and also an open studio where you can create your own beaded jewelry.
Q: How did it get started?
A: I set up my business and business plan, while taking some classes/workshops at Score LA. I also did a lot of research and asked my business friends/family for any advice they had for me. I took out my savings and started with the bare minimum. I figured if it didn't work out, then I didn't have any debt. The shop was bare with very little merchandise when I moved in and it grew as I started to get to know my customers!
Q: Why do you do it?
A: I love doing my own thing and get excited working with all of these creative people!
Q: What’s the best part of it?
A: Being able to be your own boss and influence people, especially the kids :)
Q: What do you look for when buying for the shop?
A: I look at their brand to make sure it fits in with the aesthetics of my shop. I also look at selling and buzz. If there's a lot of talk about a line on the street, then I definitely will seek them out.
Q: How can makers be better prepared when they approach a shop like yours?
A: It's my pet peeve when I get contacted in a non-professional way. Make sure your business is branded and set up online. I prefer to see a website and now look at all the social media links, especially Instagram. I'm a visual person. I also like to see line sheets or catalogs.
Q: What's been your biggest business lesson and/or business surprise?
A: You create a business plan before you open your business and have a strong idea of what you envision, but then it doesn't always work. So you need to be able to make changes along the way. As soon as I opened I really paid attention to my customers and am constantly thinking of new goals for myself.
Q: Where can people find your stuff?
A I carry my own Leanna Lin Jewelry collection at my shop:
Leanna Lin's Wonderland
5024 Eagle Rock Blvd., L.A., CA 90041
Thanks Leanna for sharing this! Meet Leanna and learn from her at One Day for the Holidays on August 29. She'll share all the insider knowledge she has from years as a buyer.