Retirement hasn’t just given Leonie Perkins the chance to devote more time to her hobbies – it’s allowed her to turn one of them into a flourishing new business.
The Gillieston Heights woman, known by many as Lee, is the creative force behind Simp-Lee Cards, producing beautiful handmade greeting cards, baby keepsake boxes, wine bottle gift tags, 3D wall hangings and more.
While she has always had a love of art and crafts, her retirement from a career as a finance manager two years ago prompted her to start sharing her passion with others.
“I have always had an interest in crafty things, oil painting and sewing, but I especially like creating greeting cards and making handmade gifts of many varieties now that I have the time to devote to my craft,” she said.
“I have been making my cards for several years now, and apart from making them for family and friends and giving packs of assorted cards for presents, I kept building up stocks with no outlet, so I created my website for online sales.
“Seeking a local outlet, I was very happy to be accepted as a stallholder at the Handmade in the Hunter Market in March 2019.
“This has been such a rewarding experience with a lovely ‘family’ of stallholders to meet up with each market day… I am very grateful to Karen and Stephen for giving me the opportunity to join the market family.”
While Leonie has a large range of existing cards and products, she is always looking for new inspiration and is also happy to add a more personalised touch to custom orders.
“I get inspired to create new cards and gift items from many places. I spend most of my time, when not actually creating, watching craft videos and I love to see new methods and concepts to try,” she said.
“I particularly like creating a card when I am asked to make one for a special occasion. I love that the card will have a purpose and go to someone who will really love it.
“When making cards for family and friends, I try to make it to suit their personal interests or job, and they are all personalised with their names. A fun part of these is the challenge to match the card to their personality.”
You can check out Leonie’s handiwork at upcoming Handmade in the Hunter Markets, which will be held at Kevin Sobel’s Wines from 9am to 3pm on September 19 and 26, and October 3, 4, 10 and 17.
Visit www.handmadehuntermarkets.com.au for more information.