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behind the scenes

At 18 years old, Leeana O'Cain started making soaps from a standard soap making kit given to her by her mother as a surprise gift. Shortly after, she began LoveLeeSoaps selling her colorful and fun handmade soaps and bath products. Since then she has sold over 23,000 items in her Etsy shop alone and countless more through her own website. Leeana’s drive and determination to never give up have seen her business soar resulting in high profile features on the Martha Stewart Show, Glamour magazine and Elle Girl. Leeana proves that age is no barrier to growing a thriving business, and she is ready to show other young business owners that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

Leeana started LoveLeeSoaps as a busy senior in high school. Before that she had no intention of starting a business and instead began experimenting as a hobby. With her Mom’s encouragement, Leeana opened her online shop, LoveLeeSoaps on Etsy in 2007. LoveLeeSoaps grew fast due to Leeana’s innovative and fresh perspective on a traditional necessity. Leeana’s soaps include life-like donuts, crunchy looking popcorn, colorful building blocks and soap shaped like robots. Perfect for parties, baby showers, wedding favors, gifts, and to display round your home. They almost look too good to use!

In February 2008 Leeana was featured on the Martha Stewart Show and a later that year she was chosen as featured seller on Etsy.com culminating in over 5000 sales in just three days. Since then Leeana has grown LoveLeeSoaps even with more high profile press features and countless more sales. Her quirky and fun soaps are now stocked in stores such as Urban Outfitters as well as being sold direct to consumers on her recently re-designed website loveleesoaps.com

Leeana hopes to encourage others to start a business by sharing her story of how she grew LoveLeeSoaps. Many teenagers wish to follow their dreams to start a business but the lack of start-up capital and relatable role models can make their dreams seem impossible. Leeana shows it can be done. After being in business since 2007 she has lots of inspiring advice including “you must stay focused, be dedicated, and willing to sacrifice. Most importantly, you must learn from your mistakes and feedback from others is golden. By having the drive to succeed, and keeping a positive outlook, you can accomplish anything.”