Welcome to blue and white, Chinoiserie heaven! Meet Laurel Leigh, she creates jewelry with some of our favorite motifs…. pagodas, ginger has and more! Get to know Designs by Laurel Leigh below…
What inspired you to start your business?
Most of my career was spent in Human Resources Management and Consulting and I took a much-needed hiatus after working in jobs where I was miserable and the loss of my mother-in-law to cancer. I have always been very creative and am a self-taught artist. I opened an Etsy shop to sell my handmade Blue Willow inspired Christmas ornaments and also wanted to create something non-seasonal. I bought a single strand of Chinoiserie beads and they sat in my office for months before a friend encouraged me to try making jewelry. Jewelry design has now become my second career and I love having a job that never feels like work. I am able to maintain a work-life balance and my longest commute is a few short steps to my studio in my backyard.
What advice would you give a student or aspiring entrepreneur?
Don’t be afraid to utilize your creative skills in a potential career path or to reinvent yourself. I worked for over 20 years in a professional field and I never thought I’d be doing something artistic every day for work, but I embraced my creative instincts and honed them into a new career that is finally the perfect fit.
How has social media influenced or helped your business?
Designs by Laurel Leigh is an independent e-commerce business and I do not have a “brick and mortar” store. I could not be successful without social media and I rely on it heavily to help grow my business and introduce new followers to my brand.
Do you have an example?
Social media has helped me make strong connections with other e-commerce business owners and has helped me develop collaborative relationships with bloggers and influencers who help share information about my brand. I would never have been able to make those connections without social media introductions.
Who do you admire and why? My mom is the first person that comes to mind. She raised my brother and I as a single parent and she went back to school to obtain two degrees while she also had two children in college. She is the smartest person I know and I get all of my creativity and artistic instincts from her.
What is next for your business?
I am always on the hunt for unique materials to use in my designs, so I hope to plan some international trips to source new materials. I am also focusing on educational opportunities to grow and develop my artistic design skills and my business marketing knowledge.