The two of them kept up with Shop LLAP despite their own busy schedules.
The shop itself was set up in the house of Julie Nimoy, Dani’s mother. That is where Dani did the majority of the work, from customer service to packing and shipping orders. But the grandfather/granddaughter business associates did find time to work together.
“My grandpa and I were both busy - he was traveling and still working a little bit and I had a full time job - but we constantly emailed and made an effort to meet up once a week or every other week. We did have “business meetings” at his house in his office. . . . I would go over, and for an hour or two we’d go over things, he’d sign some merchandise and then we would do some brainstorming. Once we finished, we’d hang out and eat lunch in the kitchen.”
“He taught me so much, like how to communicate better in business and how to problem solve.”
Leonard spent around thirty minutes a day on Twitter, but he had also discovered something interesting about the online world. “He was new to both Twitter and Google around the same time. He was fascinated at how Google could find millions of results to your search in such a small amount of time.”
“He could not believe how many results he got when he entered “Mr. Spock” or even his own name. He loved it!”
A Life is Like a Garden
In 2014, Leonard went public about his struggle with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), a result of his longtime smoking habit, even though he had quit thirty years earlier. Leonard spent his last year on Twitter actively campaigning against smoking and encouraging his followers to either quit or never start.
Trek fans went through the collective pain of losing Leonard Nimoy in February of 2015. His final tweet caught the broken hearts of fans everywhere - “A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP.”
Continuing with Shop LLAP
Dani is still very active with Shop LLAP and its social media accounts. She shares new product information, photos and memories of her grandfather, and photos of happy customers. And of course she selects the occasional musing from @TheRealNimoy to retweet to her followers.
As for the future of Shop LLAP? “I definitely want to keep [the business] as small as possible but I do love having a lot of fun and exclusive merchandise for my customers!”
Shop LLAP continues to add new and unique Mr. Spock and Leonard Nimoy items for sale, many of which are created by artists specifically for the shop. Some of the designs are created by Dani as well.
With a Shop LLAP purchase, Dani always includes a cleverly-folded receipt with a handwritten thanks, and sometimes she’ll tuck in special items like temporary LLAP tattoos or keychains.
Leonard continues to play a role in the business despite his absence. “[My grandfather] is still a huge influence on Shop LLAP and in my own personal life. He was not only my grandpa and business partner but he was also my mentor. I learned a lot from him.”
Purchasing from Shop LLAP also helps with a project that is near to the hearts of Leonard Nimoy’s family.
“A portion of the shop’s proceeds go to UCLA’s COPD research team,” Dani says. “The doctor who treated my grandpa has an incredible team there and my family and I are so grateful for everything he did to take care of him. We, the Nimoy Family, made a donation this year to them as well.”
When Your Grandpa is Mr. Spock
By the way, Dani is a fan of Star Trek and Mr. Spock. “I knew what Star Trek was and what Spock looked like but I did not fully grasp the fact that my grandpa was Spock until I was about 11 years old. I love Star Trek TOS and Spock is my favorite character, not just because my grandpa played him! I started to collect Star Trek/Spock memorabilia about 10 years ago when my grandpa gave me a keychain from his own personal collection.”
Of course, to Dani, Leonard Nimoy was mostly her beloved Poppi. She didn’t truly understand the admiration that people all around the world had for him for quite awhile. “I thought it was cool and everything, but it was not until we opened our shop that I realized just how much people loved and respected both my grandpa and Mr. Spock.”
“It was such an honor to be able to experience that.”