Local Business Catch up: The Letter Locker

Taking social media by storm with their handcrafted designer lettering is Poole based The Letter Locker, must-have addition to your home in 2021. We caught up with owner and designer Jenn O'Sullivan to talk all things business, letters and life.

1. So the big one, first off, how did you come up with the idea for The Letter Locker?

It was while I was on maternity leave. I had several friends and family around me also having babies, which was great! However, I found I was giving and receiving the same type of gift all the time. Usually, clothes, which were always gorgeous but never fit for very long. This was my first baby, and I was really quite clueless. I thought about my son and what we would like to receive for him as parents. Something personal, created especially for us. Something that has had a little thought put into it. I came across a free-standing letter in a local craft shop, and the idea grew from there. I made one for my niece, one for my son, and one for a friend’s new baby. I chatted with friends and family about the idea around pricing, styles, etc., and it’s grown from there, really!

2. What would you say makes The Letter Locker unique?

I work with my customers to create unique items. I have a couple of available styles; button-filled, pompom-filled, and flower-filled letters, but the colours and combinations are free reign for the client. When ordering our letters, you have an individual in mind. We all have our own personalities and quirks, and that’s what we want to capture in our products.

3. What would you say you have found the most challenging about running your business?

Finding the right balance with it all. We live in a world now where pretty much everything we want or need is at the touch of a button. Finding a balance for the costing, materials, choices, and which platforms to use. There will always be competition out there, someone offering something similar to you, and that’s fine. Once I came to terms with that, I became more confident in what I was offering.

4. Ok, a big one! What do you consider the most important thing about your business?

That our customers are pleased with their orders, a friend once said to me “it’s so much more fun being involved in the creation of a present,” and that’s what we want at The Letter Locker. We want you to be part of the joy too. Giving a gift is a special thing, whatever the occasion and can communicate your feelings towards the receiver. So being able to part of that creative process really enhances that gift-giving experience.

Poole business flower design

5. If you had one piece of advice for someone looking to start a similar business, what would it be?

Be confident in your decisions but don’t be afraid to ask for advice. Remember, there’s a reason you wanted to do this in the first place, so don’t lose sight of that passion. Take your time, do your research and speak to others. The people around you are the ones who are going to help you get moving, so listen to them. It doesn’t mean they are right, but they may think of something you hadn’t even considered.

6. Which one of your products or services gets you most excited or enjoyed?

I love creating our button letters. The possibilities are endless, and no two are ever the same. Pouring the resin for them to set etc. It’s a longer creative process as they take a few days to set, but they are so effective. Buttons were also my very first idea and the first letter I ever created.

7. Which are you, late-night worker or early riser… or neither!!

A late-night worker for sure. When you have a one year old life is chaos from about 7 am each day. There is no time for creative flare when you are being chased, pulled, kissed, and yelled at all day!

8. If you could go back 10 years in time and speak to your younger self, what would you tell them?

Don’t worry so much. If you are passionate about something, you will do well at it. It’s so easy nowadays to put pressure on yourself to have everything perfect. To compare yourselves to others, which, let's face it, we only see what they want us to see. So just don’t. Your “Imperfect” is another person’s “Perfect” anyway, so why does it matter? Be happy in what you are doing, and others will be happy for you.

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