#SMASHTESSFAM FEATURE - LEAH BELFORD
MEET LEAH BELFORD, FOUNDER AND CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF LEAH ALEXANDRA JEWELRY
Leah is the Founder and Creative Director of Leah Alexandra Jewelry. Thirteen years ago, Leah decided to take a chance on her hobby by trading in her savings for gemstones. Gemstones have always been a big part of her designs and are still one the most important elements of the collection to date. What started out as family and friends buying her designs quickly became an overwhelming community of global supporters.
Now Leah’s designs have been featured in magazines such as Vogue and Elle, as well as worn by celebrities like Jessica Alba, Reese Witherspoon, and gold medal Olympian Tessa Virtue. A huge highlight for Leah has been seeing the work space and roles she created for the group of eight women that make Leah Alexandra Jewelry what it is today.
Of course, we love women who support women and are in awe of her passion for creating unique pieces as beautiful and special as the women who wear them! We sat down with Leah to get to know more about her:
What inspired you to create Leah Alexandra Jewelry?
Leah Alexandra Jewelry has always been a passion project inspired by the amazing women in my life. I got my start at Ryerson University where I graduated with a bachelor of design. Shortly after graduating I left Toronto and moved to Vancouver where I worked for a local jewelry company and discovered my love of gemstones. I then enrolled in a metalsmithing course, followed by an internship for a local goldsmith. It was during this time that I began slowly but surely collecting materials to create my own pieces I felt couldn’t be found elsewhere.
What's the best piece of advice that has shaped your journey?
Surround yourself with people who have the skills you do not possess & focus on your own strengths. It’s easy to get caught up trying to do many things yourself and that’s not a sustainable route for your own sanity!
One tip for building your own brand and business?
Build your community. Building a business on your own can be all consuming and isolating when you’re just trying to keep plugging away at all the building blocks. Take time to build relationships with other like-minded entrepreneurs. Share trials and tribulations. We all have something to offer each other whether it’s support, inspiration to think bigger and keep striving, or simply a new app that makes something in your life easier!
What does your ultimate Sunday consist of?
Hanging out with my chocolate lab Luca and taking a big basket down to the farmer’s market to get fresh goodies for the week. Top it off with an evening glass of red wine and I’m a happy gal. And maybe a slice of pizza…. or two.
Current Netflix binge?
I just made it through the entire Friends series… I recently just started watching The Crown.
Who inspires you?
My mom. Her strength, entrepreneurial spirit, and zest for life have always been a source of encouragement. She took a huge financial risk to start her own business when she was a single mom with two teen-aged daughters at home.
Desert Island beauty product?
I love a good serum- Bioeffect EGF Serum I get from GlowTherapy is very potent (contains growth factors) and regenerating!
Fave place to rock your Romper?
The jewelry hustle doesn’t stop when the lights go off at the studio. I end up doing a lot of work at home on my laptop after hours or early morning (usually on my couch) and my romper is the perfect piece for that. If I have to jump in the car for a quick errand I’ll throw my leather jacket on top and I’m good to go!
Which guilty pleasure Instagram accounts are your fave Insta-follows?
I try to only follow accounts I find inspiring- but I have a few accounts I follow purely for LOLs. Some of the humor is so stupid but just so gooood at the same time! Check out @hoodclips, @mytherapistsays @thefunnyintrvert
Whose poster did you have on your bedroom wall when you were 12 years?
NWKOTB! New Kids on the Block all the way!
Leah is clearly a GEM which is why we are so excited to team up with her in a GIVEAWAY!
On Thursday, Sept. 6th, enter to win a Luna Necklace in Gold + a new item from our new fall collection. Head over to Instagram on Thursday to Follow @smashtess and @leahalx_jewelry and tag a friend in the comments of the GIVEAWAY post. A winner will be announced on Sept. 9th!
Good luck! xx