From even before the moment he smiles, Leon Stubblefield exudes charm.
He bashfully describes himself as “a pretty cool dude,” and that fact is evidenced by the warm relationships he fosters with other vendors, staff and his customers.
Leon’s polite and easygoing personality make it easy to see why he sells papers so successfully. A vendor of one year, he hails from Nebraska, and has been in Seattle for the past three years for “a change of scenery.” He says that Seattle is “bigger, it’s way bigger. … I still don’t even know half of [the city], so I’m still learning.”
“I don’t even ask [customers] if they want to buy the paper, I just say, ‘How’re you doing today?’ or ‘Good morning,’ and nine times out of 10, most people just get a paper. … And sometimes people are like, ‘I don’t want a paper,’ and I’m thinking to myself like, ‘I never asked you if you wanted a paper,’ so it can be funny sometimes.”
Leon enjoys interacting with his customers, saying, “I mean, we just chat it up sometimes, sometimes [customers] don’t buy a paper and just give me money, so that’s cool.”
He even appreciates one customer who comes by all the time, but only for a chat.
“He don’t get a paper, he just come through and talk to me every day — like, every day. Yeah, he’s cool.”
Leon appreciates the relationships he’s made with people who work near his selling location, too, saying that sometimes “they’ve given me gift cards; I’ve met a lot of cool people up there.”
When he’s not selling Real Change, Leon likes to spend time with his mom. He loves watching action movies. Recently he just finished a season of “Sons of Anarchy” on Netflix (“there’s a lot of twists and turns — like, whoa, whoa, it’s crazy”), as well as “Beauty and the Beast” and “Blue Collar.”
Leon cites his upbeat outlook as one of the things that make him successful.
“Just stay positive.”
That can be difficult, he said, but “some days, but you gotta go with it, man.”
Leon is one of 300 active vendors selling Real Change. Each week a different vendor is featured. View previous Vendor Profiles.
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