We had the good fortune of connecting with Kira Leffers and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kira, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Originally, I didn’t even intend on starting my own business. With a background in photography and a love for being crafty and creative comes the desire to always try new things. It all started when my parents were getting ready to sell their house. They needed some dead trees that were in their yard to be cut down. My partner and I decided to help them with the task and afterwards wanted to keep the beautiful aspen wood. I had the idea to make coasters for them and their new house in South Carolina to send them off with a piece of their Colorado home. I loved the process and kept messing around with different wood crafts. Coasters, centerpieces, plant hangers, candle holders, you name it! I had neighbors and friends always asking me if they could buy some. There was enough demand that I decided it was time to start a business doing so, it really happened accidentally! Soon I was taking bulk orders and finding my way into local coffee shops.

At the same time we also were getting settled into our first home and I was always seeing free beat up furniture on the side of the road all around our neighborhood. With no job due to the pandemic I had all of the time to take in some old furniture, fix it up, and try to furnish our home for cheap or make some money on the side! I really love being able to work with my hands and seeing the process of a piece of furniture that would probably end up in the landfill to something that can go into your home and be your new favorite piece of furniture. Social media is great and I started selling a lot of my flipped pieces on marketplaces and eventually had person after person ask if I do customs. For the first time I was going to bed every night thinking about how I could flip a piece or how I didn’t want to stop painting and waking up so excited to get back to work. Thats when I knew I had found my calling.

Before long I realized flipping furniture was a passion I could pursue full time and once we moved into our next house there was a separate third car garage space I was able to turn into my very own shop. This really started to be a dream come true for me. I have always wanted to find a way that I could work for myself and have the flexibility in my daily life to do things that are fulfilling. I love that I can get up and start every day working from the comfort of my own home doing something I absolutely love and can also have some time throughout the day to focus on friendships, family, my two dogs, climbing, biking, and snowboarding!

One of my favorite things about all of this is knowing that someone has a special piece of furniture that I put a lot of love and effort towards brightening up their home. It’s very rewarding when a client sends me pictures of how they’ve staged a piece in their favorite space, or they go on about how excited they and their family and friends are about it.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I have been blessed to meet so many inspiring, talented people in my life, many of whom have never hesitated to provide a sense of openness and community. This has taught me to always support my friends or anyone who comes to me with artistic questions. I was welcomed into this space with such openness and that has helped catalyze so much of my success. I don’t feel like the knowledge I have is something that needs to be kept a secret because other people doing what you do doesn’t need to be seen as competition, or a threat, but instead an opportunity to grow together. One plus one equals three, or more.

Starting a business is never easy. There are always hiccups, trial, and error, but in the long run it can become easy if you can learn to take it one step at a time. There were days that I felt so completely in over my head with projects stacking up and time flying by, I genuinely questioned everything I was doing. I didn’t quit, though. Instead I took a deep breath and kept going. I follow an incredible influencer who is very balanced in this regard. I took her course and to hear the stories of someone who is much farther along than I am, but is going through the same feelings, reminds me that sometimes I just need to take a step back, take a day to myself, and regroup the next day. When the success of your business rests on your shoulders it can be hard to take the time to care for yourself, but it is so necessary for success.

Some of the other things I can guarantee is that I always want people to be happy with my product and our interactions. I consistently check in, and I make the efforts to put love into every piece as if it were gong into my own home. I took a chance with this business and I intend to do what’s right bring a quality service to this world.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Living in Colorado means there is a never ending list of fun to be had!

If my best friend were visiting me, I’d probably begin the itinerary with a lovely trip to Morrison to hit some bouldering routes and follow up with a stop at the beer garden in historic downtown. It’s dog friendly, so anywhere I can enjoy an outdoor drink with my friends and dogs is a win for me!

I live close to an amazing antique store, Old Crow, and I love to shop their booths. I get a lot of inspiration when I’m walking around and I also source some of my paint supplies from a local vendor there.

I have a ton of amazing hiking trails right in my back yard so depending on the time of year we could hike, bike, or even snowshoe! And of course these western outskirts of Denver mean I’m very close to the mountains. Whether we’d feel like snowboarding, leaf peeping, hot springing or visiting a mountain town to shop around I would definitely find an excuse to head up the hill.

Additionally, when craving those evening adventures, or just when we’d feel like getting closer to the city, Denver is famous for spectacular music venues, impressive museums and art galleries, and certainly it’s endless collection of good breweries, distilleries, and rooftop patios.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Wow, I feel so lucky, I have the biggest support system I don’t even know where to start!

First and foremost, my partner Andrew has been my number one fan and biggest support during this process. He himself is extremely handy so any time I need help or don’t know how to do a specific task he is always there to teach me or lend me a hand. Without him I don’t know if this is something I would have fully pursued. Even on my days where I feel in over my head or discouraged on a project he is always there to help, whether for emotional support and encouragement, or to lend a helping hand with a tedious paint job. He even surprised me and offered up the other side of the garage in our new house so I could build out my studio which has truly helped jump start this business.

My neighbor and close friend, Robyn Thompson- L’ANZA Education Trainer (Hairstylist), was the first person to buy some of my coasters and then immediately followed up with larger order, all when I was first getting going. Then she was my first custom furniture flip order. She made me realize I could actually start a business doing this and I will forever be grateful for her.

My family and friends always have my back, hype me up, and make sure to let me know how proud of me they are. Without all of my amazing friends and family I definitely wouldn’t be where I am right now.

Finally, my beloved customers are the lifeblood of the business. Every time I get a request for a custom order, or sell a piece immediately I feel instant reassurance that I am doing the right thing. Then when I have repeat customers there’s no doubt I can take pride in my work.

Instagram: kiras_arbor_arts

Other: TikTok: @kleffies19

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