Joining us on the blog this week is super sparkly & fun Jewellery designer Leah of Lele Jewellery. Inspired by psychedelic creatures of the universe and blooming botanical worlds, Leah has been kitting us out for this ‘festival of life’ with her vibrant imagination!
Read on and transport yourself to the magic world and get to know more about this bright Melbourne maker..
Who is behind Lele and how did it start?
I am Leah McGuire, the sole creator for Lele Jewellery.
I have been busy crafting since I was young, and have always felt a need to express myself creatively. I studied fashion design and jewellery in Wellington, New Zealand. When I was at university, I utilised Sun Maid raisin boxes to create brooches. In retrospect, this project probably determined the beginning of my brand. Ever since, Lele Jewellery has been alive in some form. Before landing on my current aesthetic, I explored a range of mediums. Once I had refined my style, I started to focus on my craft as a legitimate business.
When I moved to Melbourne I was making jewellery for myself to wear to parties and festivals. People would come up to me and comment on what I was wearing, and ask if they could buy from me. So, I started selling my work! The brand has just grown from there. Now, I’m lucky enough to stock my work in some amazing shops in New Zealand and Australia.
What impact has 2020 had on your business and how have you changed direction?
Since it’s been mandatory to wear masks here in Melbourne, I’ve started making masks using colourful recycled fabric. I’ve always enjoyed sewing, so it’s been nice to reintroduce that skill into my business. It’s great to see that people are still interested in finding ways to express their personal style in the form of masks. I like to think my masks might bring a glimmer of joy in such a difficult time.
I like to think my masks might bring a glimmer of joy in such a difficult time.
People are shopping more online during lockdown, which means my Instagram and Etsy & Finders Keepers sales have been keeping me busy. I also sell my jewellery at Design A Space, who are currently doing an amazing job selling stock online via Instagram.
What influences your work and what sparks your creativity?
I love to wear things that are different and eye catching; my personal style heavily influences what I make for my business.
The people around me! I surround myself with a lot of beautiful creative types who inspire me.
I love to wear things that are different and eye catching; my personal style heavily influences what I make for my business. I make things that I want to wear, and the fact that others also want to buy and wear them is a bonus!
What are you listening, reading, watching?
I like to listen to podcasts when I’m working. I usually listen to Kiwi comedian podcasts. My favourite is Chris Parker and Eli Matthewson’s The Male Gayz. I also love a English podcast; Off Menu with James Acaster and Ed Gamble. In terms of music, I’ve been listening to Nicholas Jarr, LCD Soundsystem and Hot Chip!
I’m currently reading Australian-American author, Sarah Krasnostein’s The Trauma Cleaner. It’s a really interesting biography delving into the whirlwind life of Melbourne’s Sandra Pankhurst, who works as a cleaner of environments such as hoarder houses and crime scenes.
Like everyone else, I feel like I’ve watched everything, on every streaming service, during lockdown. However, Euphoria stood out for me – I love the costumes and the makeup!
Can you share your work from home tips?
Treat creating like a job when you’re at home; keep a routine, try to stay focused and break the day up with a walk. Also, let yourself take time to explore other creative outlets so you don’t get sick of creating the same thing over and over again.