I reached out to Miss 604, Rebecca Bollwitt and asked if she would do an interview with me. I sent her the content and she whipped it up into this awesome article! Gratitude.
Kicking off a new small business series, I have interviewed Fraser Valley photographer and writer, Leanne Campbell about her Fraser Valley-based business.
Leanne Campbell got online in the early days of the world wide web and quickly realized that it was the future of business. She built her first website in 1999 and soon found that blogging was a natural fit for her.
“I like the immediacy of it, and it’s a brilliant way to engage people! I’ve taken photos since I was quite young. I’d take pictures of my bare feet and people would comment on how weird it was. Funny how 20 years later you see foot photos all over social media.” <grin>
After being a self-employed Barber Stylist for many years, she retired and created an online stay-at-home business.
“Photography is my passion so when the idea of ‘girly brilliance’ came to me, it was a perfect fit for my photography. And out of that, my greeting card collection came to be.” Leanne recalls the “old days” when getting a postcard or hand-written letter from a friend in the mail was such a treat.
“I say it’s time for a Snail-mail Revival! In this digital world of texting-smexting, Facebook-crawling, Instagram-posting, let’s get back to really connecting with those we love! And everyone loves getting stuff in the mail, right?!”
Starting your own business is always a challenge, and a leap of faith, but Leanne says she was able to find her groove. “Find what works and stick with it. Being self-employed means I wear several hats, and I love it! And I’m an in-house kind of gal, which means I built my own website, and write my own content. You can save a lot of money when you can do it all yourself.”
Leanne’s card collections are also available in a few Canadian retail stores but online is where the bulk of her business lives.
“Having an online business has meant the world to me. It allows me the freedom to work at home, work independently, creating as the ideas come. I operate my business as I do my life: I keep it simple and honest, and drama-free.”
Some of the best parts of being her own boss? She has no commute and every day is different. “The joy of creating products people love. Create & ship is my business. You can’t beat that. A special shout-out to all the Canada Post carriers – you rock. My business is nothing with you!”
Her main offering is original photo greeting cards, and since Leanne’s a local through and through, I had to find out what what her favourite subjects were to capture.
“I’m an outdoors-kayaking kind of gal, so that question is easy to answer. Nature. And things naturally settled in the outdoors. Petals, old barns, a rickety fence with wild daisies bursting through, rusty metal… the list goes on. I see the photo in my mind first, then take the picture. To see nature come to life on a greeting card, and have it resonate with so many people, is pretty cool.”
In the Fraser Valley in particular, she says that Fort Langley is a special gem, as is Clayburn Village in Abbotsford, and Mission, BC. “But I’d have to say my favourite place to take photos is my family farm in Aldergrove. After a nice visit with the folks, I like to meander and capture the lovely things around me. An old claw bathtub. An old wheelbarrow. Wild flowers. Fresh garden grub. And of course, there’s always a foot photo in there too.” <grin>