Each year, we ask locals to nominate Hunterdon County’s most influential people – men and women who are shaping the community, influencing their industries, and making a difference. Dozens of amazing stories were submitted about passionate and committed locals. At Hunterdon Happening, we salute all those who wake up every morning with the intention of leaving the world just a little bit better.
10 outstanding individuals have been named the Top 10 Movers & Shakers of the year, and we have the honor of sharing their stories on Hunterdon Happening. Meet Leslie Boss of Hampton, NJ. A Taylor Business Institute graduate, Leslie is the owner of Unleashed Creativity in Pittstown.
Leslie hosts a variety of artistic workshops, including free classes for girl scout troops and pet memorials for people looking for a special way to memorialize their lost furry family members.
Hunterdon Happening: What motivates you every morning?
Leslie: My motivational factors are greeting the day with creative enthusiasm. Seeing the moon fall, the sun rise and staying positive.
Hunterdon Happening: What would you say is your idea of a perfect day?
Leslie: A perfect day can only be achieved for me at the end of the day. It’s looking at what I’ve accomplished, the memories I have created for not only myself but for others. It’s the laughs and smiles that were achieved and the realization that another day has come to a close and a brand new day of creativity will be entered tomorrow.
Hunterdon Happening: Who inspires you?
Leslie: I actually have many individuals that inspire me starting with my granddaughter who looks at things in the simplest of ways and thinks of nothing but having fun. The second being my husband who encourages me to think outside of the box and thirdly, my customers who are constantly cheering me on giving me ideas. I am also inspired by the many girl scouts that have visited my studio to make garden art through a program I have where I offer free workshops to girl scouts to achieve badges. To see how creative the girls are is amazingly inspiring.
Hunterdon Happening: How did you get involved in the arts?
Leslie: About two years ago I started to play around with cement. I made a few free form bowls over piles of sand using leaves and stems from around my landscape. I gave them all away to my neighbors. One of my neighbors, Linda Hindak, suggested that I start selling them. From there, as they say, “the rest is history” as the more I sunk my hands into the cement the more my creativity was born.
Hunterdon Happening: Which achievement are you most proud of?
Leslie: Besides creating memories for those customers that have me create pet memorials and seeing the emotions flow when they see their pet’s name and/or picture in my creations, the second achievement I am proud of is winning the grand prize in a contest I entered last year within the company that I purchase a lot of my supplies from. A contest where customers submitted their works of art using the company’s supplies.
Hunterdon Happening: What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?
Leslie: My biggest challenge is one that I tackle every single day. Being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 50 totally changed my life. I use my art to help distract me from focusing on the possible effects that this disease can cause. Creating art is my gateway to stress relief.
Hunterdon Happening: What is the biggest accomplishment that you’d like to achieve over the next 5 years?
Leslie: Simple. To just continue to satisfy my customers. Continuing to express my soul through my art and unleashing my creativity in a way that makes people smile.
Hunterdon Happening: How do you think your friends & coworkers would describe you?
Leslie: A creative thinker who colors outside of the lines. A fun-loving individual who expresses life through art. I would think that my friends would consider me as a person that expresses life through art and always willing to help anyone with my knowledge of art, cooking, landscaping, plant care, gardening etc. That I love sharing with people I know and constantly meeting new people. That I learn from others as life is constantly teaching us new things.
Hunterdon Happening: Where’s your favorite place to go in Hunterdon County?
Leslie: Do I really have to pick just one place? I actually do not have “one favorite place” as I love every aspect of this wonderful county. It’s the joy and comfort I have when driving through it and admiring the landscapes, the fields of hay, the grazing horses and the country roads.
Hunterdon Happening: You can take a time machine back to visit yourself 10 years ago. What advice would you give?
Leslie: Always keep an open mind. Never give up on your dreams. Stay positive, focused and organized. Never think, “I can’t”, but “how can I?”. Enjoy life and all that it has to give. Walk side by side with those you admire and listen with your heart to good advice as you never know when you’ll need it.
Hunterdon Happening: And 10 years in the future?
Leslie: Stay true to yourself, your passions and philosophies. Keep dreaming and pursuing life. Keep reaching for that golden ring of life. Stay positive and seeing what the future might hold. We have one life to live and I’m taking it for all it’s worth.