Today we are honored to introduce you to Lea and Devin from Leafcutter Designs.
Please introduce yourself to our readers and explain a little bit about your business.
Lea started Leafcutter Designs on a whim in 2008, and Devin signed on a couple years later. In the beginning, our business was very focused on the World’s Smallest Post Service. This began with Lea transcribing personal letters for folks in a tiny script in coffee shops around the San Francisco Bay Area. Then she’d mail them directly to the lucky recipients with magnifying glasses. The service caught on and we soon started offering these custom mini-missives (and tiny packages too) via our online shop. Real mail means a lot these days, and that’s all the more true if it’s an itty bitty delight! In the past few years, we’ve developed a full line of original gift items that we design and produce, including Recipe Dice, Trade Tokens, and Matchbox Theater, among others. We also run a popular online knitting community called Knit The Sky, and work with outside publishers to create new concepts for books, journals, and other playful goods.
We believe that one of the ways to achieve happiness is to “Do what you love, love what you do.” How does this philosophy apply to your life?
For Lea, the “do what you love” comes first, and then we figure out how to make it into something “we do” as a business. Or if it doesn’t work for the business at the moment, she does it anyway and it becomes an art project, or an idea for later, or a perfect birthday present for someone she loves. Lea follows her heart wherever it takes her and tries to let everything else follow suit. Even the mundane and difficult aspects become meaningful and important when they are in service of something bigger–something heartfelt. Devin has worked more traditional jobs in the past and he generally puts the “love what you do” first. He feels that once you decide to pursue something as “work” you should fully commit to it and expect there will be compromises and frustrations along the way. It’s not important to love every moment. It is important to believe that the bigger picture of what you’re doing improves the world in some small (or big) way!
Our mission here at The Bright Side Project is to spread sunshine on a daily basis because we firmly believe that life is (still) beautiful. Where do you find beauty and inspiration?
Devin seems to come up with his best ideas miles from civilization where there’s no place to write them down. Typically, it’s while on a big hike in the Sierras or on a remote beach on the California coast. For Devin, inspiration comes from nature and the freedom that comes with leaving your possessions (and digital devices) behind, even if only for a few hours. Lea on the other hand is at her most creative when immersed in the world of artifacts. The vast detritus of thousands of years of making, doing, and inventing inspires her to design new and wonderful things. A 5,000 year old letter written on a clay tablet in the British Museum and a contemporary art project at SFMOMA both have the potential to be beautiful and inspiring for Lea.
On a dreary day, what do you do to infuse your life with a little bit of sunshine?
Roll Chai Dice and brew a fresh pot of spiced tea. Pull a good book off the shelf. Put on a raincoat and venture outside to see how the trees are faring in the rain. If Lea needs a little pick-up, she’ll meet a friend for tea, brainstorm ideas in her sketchbook, browse vintage objects on eBay, or make some Sugar Books to drop around town.
What are you most grateful for?
We’re most grateful for our wonderful extended family—from our 90 year old grandfather who fought in World War II to Devin’s one-year-old daughter, and everyone in between. We started Leafcutter Designs in part because we wanted more flexibility to spend time with our family and friends on our own schedule. Many people in our family continue to pitch in and make sure our business is successful, and that’s something we recognize and appreciate every day.
Check back later today for an amazing giveaway from Leafcutter Designs!