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It's Her Business: Leanne Wheeler, founder of Leanne's Lick of Paint

There's something SO satisfying when you finally put up that bookshelf or give a tired room a lick of paint. The sense of accomplishment is huge! Would you be brave enough to use your talent and open up your own business? Leanne is breaking the barriers in the male dominated industry and is determined to help other women to do the same.

Hi Leanne, tell us a bit about yourself and your business...

Up until 2006 I worked for several corporate companies until I found myself in my late 20s

living in London trying to work out where it was all going. I decided at that point that I wanted to start taking more responsibility for earning my own income. I had previously lightly renovated my own flat ( bit of tiling, decorating, etc) I borrowed a little money from my dad and we bought a property together. It was then that my passion for property and renovating really started.

Who doesn't love a bit of DIY! Where did the idea for your business come from?

I continued to renovate property until the crash of 2007 where I very nearly lost everything. However I was able to cling on to the project I had and got it finished. Whilst renovating the properties I would often get asked to decorate people’s homes when they saw the finished property. As the property market had crashed it was the perfect opportunity to start my decorating business. I gained my qualifications and put a little advert in the local newspaper. I haven’t looked back since.

What have been your biggest learning experiences since becoming a business owner?

I think the biggest learning experiences have come from dealing with difficult situations with customers. You have to have clear boundaries and put as much in writing as you can without being officious. Then there is no ambiguity. As a decorator you always want your customer to be happy with the result but it’s important to set clear boundaries about what can be achieved.

If you could give one bit of advice to someone thinking of starting their own business, what would it be?

Manage your cashflow carefully. If you take on a large project or a piece of work which will take time don’t be afraid to ask for a deposit to see your business through. If you customer has already paid you a deposit your details will already be set up so should make your final payment quicker too.

What has your biggest success/accomplishment/achievement been since starting your business?

Launching Leanne's Lick of Paint was my biggest success as I was able to go from DIY

enthusiast to professional. I’m now in the process of evolving the business to enable other women to gain the confidence to decorate their own homes by launching my decorating courses online.

Who inspires you?

Lisa Johnson who has a brilliant no nonsense approach to business.

What book/article/podcast really gave you that OMG moment?

I read Robert Kiyosaki (Rich Dad, Poor dad) in the early days and that taught me a lot about money and business. Nowadays I love listening to the WWD podcast as I find other female business owner’s stories so inspiring. I also love listening to Gabby Bernstein.

Join Leanne in the Decorate, Upcycle, DIY facebook group HERE!

➡️ You can find Leanne:


Emma Downey | Founder, Women Who Do

Emma can be found glued to her laptop/kindle or embarking on her next favourite hobby. Avid cake-eater, Disney-superfan and passionate about female empowerment, Emma founded WWD in 2017.

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