Looking for the perfect gift this Christmas? Look no further, every one loves a piece of gorgeous dainty jewellery that is handmade with love. That is exactly what Leora does with her brand. She creates beautiful, timeless items designed to compliment a woman’s style. Each item in her collection is inspired by someone in her life and handmade with lots of love and care. I had the honour to sit down with Leora and ask her about her brand Leo With Love.
We met on a rainy Sunday morning at the Curators Coffee Gallery. Luckily, as the interview and photo shoot with her collection started, the sun came out and left us with one of the first colder autumn days of the year.
Leo With Love
Leora’s story is an inspiring one, she always created jewellery as gifts to people close to her. When her sister unfortunately struggled with her health, Leora decided that there were more important things to life than her then full time job. She wanted to do something that would mean something to her and to other women. That is when Leo With Love started, a collection of beautiful jewellery to empower women made by Leora with love.
Savannah: How did you start making jewellery?
Leora: I have always made jewellery as presents for people and toyed with the idea of starting a business. But it was always aquestion as to whether I should take out a business loan and become a proper adult. I was working in a very corporate job in an international company as a marketing executive, I still do some socialmedia contracts the side today. When I had some important issues come up with my family it really started to put things into perspective. Do I want to keep doing a job I hate for the rest of my life? Do I want to find another job that I am going to hate? I am just not built for an office, there is nothing wrong with people that are, but it is just not who I am. I don’t like being told what to do really. The final straw for me was when I was taken to a two-hour-long meeting, when a big deal was made out of a small typo in an email I sent out. It was such a minuscule thing that no one would remember in a few years time. I stayed in my job for a bit longer to save up and dive head first into my business, because I support following your dreams but not going broke in the process!
S: How did you think to gift people handmade jewellery?
L: I’m the sort of person that hates receiving money or gift cards for my birthday. I take the time to figure out what someone would likebecause gifts are very personal. Especially during university, I didn’t have a lot of spare cash to buy people gifts. What I could do was make something and people hold something that is made for them in high regard, they can feel the love that it’s made with. With my brand everything is designed after someone that has made a positive impact in my life, creating something for them is my way of giving back to them.
S: Each item in your collection is named after someone that inspired that piece. How do people inspire you to design a piece of jewellery?
L: All of my jewellery has a certain aesthetic to it. When I’m designing my pieces I want to merge that Leo With Love aestheticwith the inspiration’s personal style. I want to create something the other person would want to wear. My items are always a surprise, I never tell anyone that I am creating an item inspired by them.
S: What does Kind of a Big Dilly stand for? It doesn’t sound like a name…
L: *Laughs* Dilly, is basically my mother in law. Her name is Gill, my boyfriend’s cousins have five little girls between theirtwo familiesthat couldn’t say Gill growing up so they would call her Dilly. It kind of stuck, so we call her Dilly now! So it became her nickname.
S: Your collection sees many geometric shapes, is there a meaning behind this?
L: I’m just intrigued by those shapes. My favourite shape is a hexagon, it is such an interesting shape that you don’t come across very often. The Emily necklace in my collection is a dainty hexagon on a chain, which you don’t see that very often. I also find that geometric shapes really suit everyone.
S: You have partnered up with Queen B In London, how did that come about?
L: Despite my nails looking a mess right now, I always have my nails done because it makes me feel put together. Being from LA, I have a high standard that I didn’t find a lot of London nail salons met. I’m so lucky that Queen B meet those standards and that they’re so close to my house! I was one of their first customers and have been going there 1-2 times a month since they opened two years ago. They knew I design jewellery and wanted to start carrying jewellery in their shop. We had a meeting, in which they told me what they wanted and I designed a collection of rings for them.
S: I see that you are sharing LWL Style Tips on Instagram, would you like to expand into fashion?
L: The thing I noticed in general, is that people want to discover new brands and find a new style that isn’t necessarily a trend, but tells people who they are without saying it. At the same timepeople, including myself, need a bit of inspiration on how to wear new things. I wanted to help people that aren’t quite sure how to wear their unique jewellery, or create new outfits in their wardrobe without having to go out and buy something new.
S: Can we get an exclusive Style Tip for justsavxnnah readers?
L: One of the best tips I have ever heard, that I use myself, is to combine the same patterns in different sizes. I like to wear a gingham dress with a gingham jacket that is a slightly bigger pattern. It just makes such a statement. I don’t know what the “style rules” are, but when I put these two items together I look like I know what I’m talking about! You can honestly make anything work if you wear it with confidence, it doesn’t matter what you are wearing as long as you are comfortable in it.
Before we concluded the interview, I asked Leora a couple of quick fire questions that I shared in an IGTV exclusive.
Which item in the Leo With Love collection is your favourite?
Lots of love,