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I didn’t always plan on becoming a jewelry designer. It started as a hobby I shared with my mother, something we both enjoyed and bonded over. I absolutely loved making jewelry; but, as a little girl, I never imagined it could become my career. So I decided to take the traditional path and go to college, where I studied graphic design at UC San Diego.

But after starting my first graphic design job, life took an unexpected turn. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and was eventually hospitalized. I spent hours in her hospital room and, to take our minds off of things, I began playing around with wire and semiprecious stones again. My mom loved to watch me create new pieces and, for me, it was just nice to see her smile. Sadly, my beloved mom lost her fight with cancer. After she passed away, I realized that making trend jewelry was something I loved that kept me connected to her.

With this renewed passion, I began selling my jewelry at farmer’s markets and local boutiques. It wasn’t long before I had an L.A. showroom, and my stones, beads and wire started taking over the apartment I shared with my husband. With a ton of trial and error, hard work, and dedication, my hobby had become a legitimate business.

People often ask me where I draw my inspiration from, and that’s a tricky one. I’m inspired every day by all the meaningful things in my life—my husband who took a leap of faith and joined me in this journey eight years ago, our incredible son and daughter who light up our lives, the wonderful women that support Leila (that’s you) and the beautiful San Diego surroundings we’re blessed to live in.

I’m so fulfilled and grateful to have the opportunity to do what I love and love what I do. Thanks so much for supporting LEILA. It’s been an incredible journey and it’s because of you that I get to follow my dream!

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