When my Etsy first went live in 2019, I was not sure what to expect. In the first month, I got three orders. My parents placed one, and two of my best friends also decided to support my new venture. Three pieces of art, sold in total. I did a lot of sitting and staring at my laptop. Sometimes, I would spice it up: sit, stare, and contemplate what other careers I could possibly choose that might fare better for me. If I was feeling especially wild, I also enjoyed sorting my inventory, despite this being deeply unnecessary. If you would have told me where I would be today, launching my brand new, own webshop, being a vendor at a dozen markets, fully supporting myself with my art, I would have laughed in your face. And then I would have tried to sell you a bookmark, because I had 200 in my inventory and sold only three.
But with every video I put up on the internet, each post I made, and every piece of art I shared, I grew my business and my online platforms. Before I knew it, I was making sales, my inventory actually needed to be organised, and I had something to show my confused family members at barbecues when telling them I was an artist and content creator. I knew the next step would be my own shop, my own website, in my own style. And preferably in a place where I could bring together my writing, content creation and illustration work as well.
Even though I still think very fondly of sixteen year old Leora, who thought herself so very deep and profound when coining the online alias 'minddaisies', meaning to grow positive thoughts from your mind, I do feel I have slightly outgrown it. Especially since my YouTube channel and published writing have different names. So here we are now: leoraileen.com just went live! Identity crisis? I would rather just call it rebranding. All my socials and my YouTube channel are now Leora Aileen or @leoraileen. On my new website, you will be able to shop all bookmarks and art in an aesthetically pleasing environment, whilst supporting me directly with no middle man. Definitely check out my shop pages where you can now sort through different products even easier: sort by looking only at foiled bookmarks, or check out just the tote bag collection. On the product page, you can easily check out info on materials, shipping and more. Check out my FAQ for additional info.
If you are interested, all of my design, illustration, content creation and writing work and news will also be visible through the new site! Visit the services page to learn more about the work I do, or check out the about page to learn more about me and my background. If you would like to shop live at a market or an event, book me as a vendor or speaker, go to the events page. Excerpts of the book I am working on might even appear on the blog.
I am extremely thankful for all the support and community I have felt in these years, every commenter, viewer, and every single auntie who spent way too much time at a family function listening to me, trying to decode what it means to be 'an online artist'. I want to thank all of you for shopping small, supporting your local artist and being so cool. When I meet customers and viewers at markets, I am genuinely overwhelmed by how creative, fun and sweet you are. And of course, I am just very relieved to finally sell my (still not super organised) inventory.