Trade School LA was started in May 2014 by Leanne out of a desire to create and participate in a sharing-centered project. The sprawl and business of Los Angeles seemed the perfect place to benefit from a non-monetary, community-centered, fun resource. For three years, she organized hundreds of peer-led classes for the public without the use or exchange of money. In 2017, Leanne decided it was time for TSLA to take on a new life, and handed it off to a cohort of new organizers who continue to run classes today.
The Trade School bartering concept was born in 2009 when the co-founders of OurGoods (Louise Ma, Rich Watts, Caroline Woolard) created an experimental “barter for instruction" storefront. The concept took off and by 2011 they were encouraging other cities to start and operate their own local Trade School communities. The project closed in 2018.