Here is an individual who is remarkably kind, has a presence when she enters a room, one who speaks with an unhurried eloquence and one of the most humble hearts. She has an identical twin, has lived in Tulsa with her husband Mark of 12 years and the proud Mother of Ben and Max. Meet Leslie Applebaum.
R.C.: Do you remember the first time that you wanted to get into this line of business? What inspired you?
LA: Okay, in thinking about inspiration and the creativity factor, after graduating college and having dreams of owning my own store, I worked in the corporate world and worked at the State Capitol. After leaving the Capitol and that not being my “cup-of-tea”, I got my Master’s degree in teaching. That I would say fulfilled the creativity side to me. It fueled the fire for a while. I was spoiled with retail and then this new trend comes along... I started doing markets and continued the desire of still wanting my own store. My Father also inspired me. He was such a sports fanatic, yet was a water color painter, could paint self-portraits, and was a sculptor. There was not any artistic realm that he could not master. His creativity and constant encouragement was an inspiration to me. He was always “that force”.
R.C.: You carry two paint lines in your booth at RCTP. Tell us about it.
L.A.: Well, I have been a huge fan of the Miss Mustard Seed Blog ( her real name is Marian ) for many years. This milk paint comes in a powder form and has to be mixed with equal parts water. There is a bit of a learning curve, but you can achieve some truly creative and amazing effects with this paint. I also carry Vintage Market & Design Chalk Based Furniture Paint. This paint line is perfect for the new painter, due to its easy application and no prepping, sanding or priming necessary. You just start painting. What I like about both products is that they are non-toxic and have no odor. Since I have young children, this was a key element for me when choosing products to represent in my space. I hope to be doing workshops in the near future to teach different effects that can be achieved by both paint lines. They are certainly for different sets of customers, from the novice to the experienced, and everyone in between.. with tons of fun thrown it !!
R.C.: How do you handle your boys?
L.A.: Okay, you know what it is? I have two very energetic boys who are very competitive with each other. They are great little boys who need to be busy. Momma needs some serious tasks and charts in place this summer. (Laughing) I handle them with respect and a kind heart. There is a time to be firm and to be a mom. They are in church and we feel that is key in raising children. They are the best gifts that I have been given, “hands down”. They keep me hopping.
R.C: Did you attend sales as a child?
LA: Every Saturday the Tulsa Flea Market and Garage Sales. “Treasure Huntitis”; While out of college and newly married, when the kids went back to school, you get back into it. Not necessarily making it rich, but something that kept me engaged and creative. Loving a good treasure hunt. The whole deal.
R.C: How would you define your style?
LA: (nodding) okay, my booth doesn't necessarily reflect it, but I am very much drawn to Grays, Whites, slipcovers, linen curtains, and painted furniture. Comfy, put your feet up, calm taste with Paris France meets the farmhouse style.
R.C.: Five things you can't live without.
L.A.: 1. Oh my goodness. I am a huge kindred spirit of New England. Never having the potential vacation plan to travel there is something I couldn't live without.
2. Faith is important and keeps me grounded, and of course, family and friends.
3. A good creative project. Maybe a little rocking chair or table.
4. Home. I love my home. I enjoy home maybe more than I should. (Laughing)I can hermit up with the best of them in the winter.
5. Okay, you know I have been enjoying “Downton Abbey”. I like my shows and Matthew Crawley just died on the show and I am still reeling from it. (Laughing) Oh, and Pinterest! (That is six things, but we're not counting)
R.C.: Do you have any advice for new dealers?
L.A.: I would say whatever you’re passionate about or bring to the table, make it your own. Bring in new ideas. If they flop, they flop. Think outside the box a bit.
R.C.: How do you know what the “next big thing” is going to be?
L.A.: I research Pinterest and find things that light a fire a bit. We all need a way to start a fire inside of us. I try to make contacts in the creative realm. Getting to know fellow dealers and brainstorm off of each other and learn ideas. (Nodding) yeah. (Smiling)
R.C.: Does your husband go to sales with you?
L.A.: Anytime that he is off. He is the biggest trooper! When we road trip, he will dig with me. He's come around to really enjoying it with me and that is nice. It really is.
R.C.: What ticks you off? Do you have any pet peeves?
L.A.: …..and there are. I am just like everybody else. Um, what is it that ticks me off? I really try to be nice and respectful to others. Maybe a short customer?....people that cut you off in a car line? I don't know.... what ticks me off? MEAN PEOPLE! Everyone is fighting their own war and there is a lot to be said for being courteous. I don't appreciate rudeness.
R.C.: Did you and your twin ever play tricks on people? And at what age did you realize that you looked alike?
L.A.: Oh, of course we did. (Laughing) College Professors without getting into much detail. And the boys....(laughing) You could get away with it, especially on the phone. (Laughing) One thing about Laurel and me, we take the twin thing to a whole other level. Actually, SHE can tick me off sometimes. (Laughing) but she feels the same about me. You know it's weird. It's weird as twins. We knew we looked alike. We were always inundated with people looking at us and we just knew. But we look at each other just as sisters, just as we look at our brother. We played the identical role to the hilt. We have won National and State competitions for identical twins. We at one time had the same houses, same style, etc. We were never jealous of each other and we were each other’s cheerleaders.
R.C.: What is the greatest treasure that you have purchased?
L.A.: Greatest treasure......okay, I gave it away. Does that matter? An Asiatic Pheasant Ironstone Platter with a tureen that came from Massachusetts. It went to my sister. I can just go to her house to see it. (smiling) I get these things, and then I end up giving them away.
R.C.: How did you meet your husband?
L.A.: Dr. Mark Applebaum a local Veterinarian here in Tulsa. I met my husband Mark through a client of his who was a friend of mine. We were set up on a blind date and the rest is history! Twelve years. He is a great guy, he really is. He is a scientific guy over there, but can be creative and get down and dirty over here with me and what I do.
R.C. Favorite Musical Artist?
L.A.: You know, I like some contemporary. I like the Goo Goo Dolls, Matchbox Twenty, Josh Grobin. But I like Barry Manilow so much! I have seen him six times and am still hoping that he will pull me up on stage, but he never has. People say “you're nutty”, but he is at the top of the list! “Could it Be Magic” love Barry Manilow, love him.