It comes as no surprise to our avid readers that we are obsessed with jewellery. As a result, we’re constantly on the search for exciting new jewellery labels to add to our accessory drawer (One can’t have enough jewellery right?). Recently, we’ve found solace in the jewellery label Leo with Love. Founded in 2016 and designed by the super talented Leora, this label brings together individuality and craftsmanship for unique jewellery pieces (which we need to add to our spring wish list ASAP). Intrigued by the brand’s journey, we sat down with the designer to discuss all things jewellery, the impact of social media and her insider tips for aspiring designers.
The Journey Thus Far
Leora: The idea was born in 2016, back in LA, where I’m from. My sister was recovering from a near-terminal illness and we were talking about how you only get one certain chance in life to LIVE your life. I knew I’d always wanted to start a business and loved making jewellery as presents for people, but had never thought to put the two things together. My background is in marketing and I’ve always had super corporate jobs, but the experience with my sister’s illness helped me see what was important. So I saved up for months at a job I hated but was a necessary evil, working on branding and designs in the evenings. After a few months, I was at a point that Leo With Love could get my full attention.
The journey has been one of constant growth on a professional and personal level. I’m actually going to make profit in my third year of trading. It’s a legit representation of all the effort I’ve put in for the past 3 years. All the testing of new designs, branding, collaborations, partnerships, panel discussions, pop up stores, interviews, sometimes metaphorical blood, literal sweat and tears all brought it to this point.
The Many Sources of Inspiration
Leora: My initial collections are inspired by the women in my life who’ve had a positive influence in it. I’ve mixed their style in with my design aesthetic to create something original that they would want to wear and named the piece after the inspiration. The core principle of Leo With Love is gratitude and love. I’m grateful to each and every woman that has been encapsulated within the collections, they represent a piece of who I am and are all strong, independent forces to be reckoned with- I’m beyond proud to know them.
I love the life I’ve built, with LWL being a large part of it. As I branch out and keep creating, it’s important to commemorate certain times in life and all the people who have played an important role. It would be amazing for my designs to be commemorative to those who wear it, eliciting good memories when they wear it and feeling empowered by the love those memories bring. The Carousel Mini Collection which recently launched is based on the concept that life is like a carousel-it’s a vibrant experience that literally goes full circle, you choose how you ride the ups and downs!
An Usual Day in Team Leo’s Life
Leora: I wake up about 6:30/7 and the first thing I do is write down 5 things I’m grateful for. Sometimes it’s a word, a sentence or a few. Starting the day programmed with appreciation has significantly decreased my stress levels and imposter syndrome. I wrote a document that is the Leo With Love story and what the brand represents, I read that every morning. That emotive daily reminder reignites my passion every morning. It’s bigger than just me, LWL means something and that passion needs to be shared, inspire others to make the most of their one certain chance in life.
The day as a whole varies, I have 2-3 days a week dedicated to the jewellery bench, depending on how many orders I have or shoots to prep for. Otherwise, it’s all planning- content calendar, emails, keeping up social and making sure there’s time to play with my Pug, Oswald.
The Impact of Social Media
Leora: Social media is a great tool for meeting people and I’ve been picked up by boutiques because they saw my jewellery on IG. It’s such because it’s proof of your business’ legitimacy and an extension of your company’s personality, an opportunity for potential customers to get to know you. It has been vital, I’ve taken the time and put a lot of effort into growing my IG following to over 10,000 followers and Pinterest unique views over 20,000. It’s social proof that Leo With Love is a brand you can trust.
The Insider Tip for Aspiring Designers
Leora: Embrace the adrenaline. Being an independent business owner with drive means meeting a lot of new people, new experiences, and perpetually being out of your comfort zone. When you embrace the butterflies in your stomach and your heart racing in these situations, new experiences become a part of your comfort zone. Also, don’t be afraid to talk about your business because you never know what it could lead to. I was casually talking to someone at a party and it turns out they were a stylist for a tv show, which my jewellery will be on in a few weeks. It may take practice to feel comfortable talking about it, especially when you’re just getting started- but it’s okay to beam with pride as you talk about your business, it’s your chance to pique someone’s interest to something they didn’t know they wanted to be excited about.
Follow Leo With Love: @leowithlove_official