The Sunday Series: Interviews With Inspiring Women IN and Around Leamington Essex County

Sometimes, ideas and inspirations get lodged way back behind all of the 'to dos' and the messes, just like sitting for long periods of time makes your joints stiff and your back ache. Our souls need movement. For me, my ideas seem to come while on a walk, or while swimming laps, the pounding of my feet like a meditation of sorts numbing the day to day worries, allowing my daydreaming to take over. 

This summer, while on one of these meditative journeys, it dawned on me. I was frustrated with the status quo. My work with  photography felt a little stuck, and the conversations with other creatives seemed to be on one of those hamster wheels. The same themes running their way through conversations about value and time and maybe sometimes feeling voiceless in our dreams for our work and our lives. 

 But, as I try to remember - as do most people who are looking to move forward - nothing stays the same, and we can make the changes, by making the choices, move move move! 

This is how 'The Sunday Series' was born. It dawned on me that there could be a space created for sharing, a space created for inspiring and a space created for a change in this conversation. 

If you are like me, a creative, a dreamer, a seeker and maybe a little lost - this might me the inspirational conversation that brings a little shift to your week. The conversation that reminds you that anything is possible.

Thank you to Lee-Anne Setterington for stepping into the Premier Issue of "The Sunday Series"!  


Leamington, and our surrounding towns, are home to so many talented, inspiring, creative and hardworking women. Today's Sunday's Showcase is the Premier release of an interview series that will be conducted once a month, for the next twelve months. Women bring a very important dynamic to the business world, to the healing arts, to the creative landscape - and it's so important to celebrate the contributions they bring.  

We will be hosting one unique and amazing woman each month with a little inside look at their creative spaces, their work and their gorgeous smiles. 

They inspire me to push just a little more, to give credit to my work, to speak with confidence about my goals, and I hope they inspire you, too! 

Don't forget to leave a bit of encouragement - we all need a high five now and again. 

Meet Lee-Anne Setterington. A long time Leamington resident who has lived and worked in cities like NYC and Toronto. She's one of the folks who has chosen to return to her home town for it's beauty and it's possibilities. With all of the opportunities to make a creative life and work life collide in an online marketplace, why not have the best of both worlds? A nice small town with familiar people and a successful career. 

Lee-Anne started the grassroots initiative to save out Leamington OB ward, which was successful after over 7,000 names in 10 days were collected! Lee-Anne has also operated Setterington Gifts and Books of Faith, Liddle Treasures, and Setterington Cemetery Services. 

Tenacity, creativity, and hard-work combine to make Lee-Anne an incredible asset to our community.

What are you up to these days?

I've stared a new venture with my boyfriend, Frank Maertens, called JunkWhisperers, which states that we listen to junk and find out what it wants to be and then create it. In other words, we are having a lot of fun!

Tell me about your new venture.

The motto is "We are living the Life, one piece of Junk at a time." Calling ourselves the JunkWhisperers, we are collecting the rusty, the old, and the plain antiques, then repurposing them into Birdhouses or Garden Art.

How did you settle into knowing this was the direction you wanted to go in?

Believe or not, I can remember going to the Leamington Junk Yard as a child with a shovel looking for old blue glass bottles. I love collecting or even more, I love the find. With having an artist background and Frank having a construction background, we have the perfect combination for this business. We have started slowly, collecting, going to auctions, helping people clean out barns and such and we then started creating objects with our finds.

Lee-Anne made a gorgeous mosaic out of an antique iron - a must see in person! 

(This last one - perfect for one of those photography lovers!)

Where are you hoping to go with your new venture?

Moving forward, we are looking to create a Spring Garden Art line for 2016, selling it locally and online, on Etsy.

What is one thing you would love to tell people about your new business? What makes your heart soar with your new direction?

JunkWhisperers is definitely a passion for us. And when there is a passion there is less stress, because you are doing what you are meant to do and what you love.

What have some of your challenges been, have you ever been taken more or less seriously as a woman in the line of your work?

Fortunately, the craft business is mainly women. However, with that being said it is always a challenge to be taken seriously as a women business owner.  Whether it’s here in Leamington or working in Chicago, you have to work twice as hard to receive any respect. When I am not taken seriously or overlooked, I realize that I really don’t care about others opinion of me. I am doing the best I can, creating what I care about. And of course, the best revenge is being a huge success.

What advice would you give to another creative soul who may hesitate when going for it?

I believe the best advice is “Never, never, never give up.”

When I was photographing Lee-Anne in her studio space, she also spoke to finding your TRIBE. "When you spend time with, and share with, and are surrounded with people who 'speak your language' the journey becomes so much richer."

Lee-Anne has a soft spot for animals, too. Her animal family members were eager to pose for me, Tigger even smiled for the camera!

 When I was leaving, Lee-Anne gifted me with some healthy, beautiful eggs. My kids were excited to have 'real' eggs in the fridge for breakfast and jostled to make sure they got a taste.  Thank you, Lee-Anne - they got excellent reviews.

It was a honour to get to spend time with a tribe member, to hear more about JunkWhisperers but mostly, to spend time with a woman as diverse and kind, as creative and entrepreneurial and as down to earth as Lee-Anne. 

Thank you!

Don't forget to take a look at Lee-Anne's Etsy page, as well as her facebook page!   


  1. I LOVE THIS!!!! Can't wait to read more Lee-Ann!

    1. Thanks Tracy! It's such a boost to chat with others to see where they've been, where they hope to go! Also, seeing treasures on Etsy is always a good way to spend a day!

  2. love it lee ann- i just love it. wonderful pics (as always)- but they capture lee-anne so well- her spunky eclectic self. i cannot wait to read more!

    1. She was so welcoming into her space - and you can tell she's so at ease with her new adventure - it's a great path!

  3. Wonderful! I would also like to add that Lee-Ann was extremely helpful and shared her knowledge and experiences as I set out on my own journey. It is great to see her getting wonderful exposure! Much success and I look forward to seeing more!

    1. Colette - it's good to hear when someone has touched your life! Lee-Anne is so very generous - and deserves her every success!!


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