MEET LEAH: Leah Alexandra is a Vancouver entrepreneur babe, and the mastermind behind the gorgeous jewelry brand, Leah Alexandra Jewelry. After completing a Bachelor of Design at Ryerson University in Toronto, Leah made the move to Vancouver and enrolled in a metalsmithing course. She soon discovered her love for design, and set out to create her own unique pieces that she felt could not be found elsewhere. What started out as a hobby quickly turned into a full collection, with an overwhelmingly positive global response. Now, Leah’s designs have been featured in internationally recognized publications, and worn by countless celebrities. Most days, you can find Leah in her beautiful Gastown studio & showroom, surrounded by gems and leading her team of seven babes. Leah travels the world to source unique semi-precious gemstones in every colour imaginable, and continues to create all of her jewelry by hand, ensuring that each and every piece is truly one of a kind.
What does babes supporting babes mean to you?
Babes supporting babes means being confident enough in yourself to encourage and mentor others. We all started somewhere and it’s so important to make sure you’re contributing to the community of female entrepreneurs by nurturing new talent. It also means showing up – go to the pop-up opening or the stand at a local artisan’s market to show your support.
If you could choose your nickname, what would it be?
I’ve had lots of nicknames over the years but the one everybody always finds the most entertaining is LML (last minute Leah)….not that I’m a procrastinator or anything… ;)
What is your spirit animal?
I’ve had this discussion with my staff and friends many a times and the reoccurring answer is always a Lioness. I can be fierce when needed, especially if my pride (girl gang) needs defending.
What is your proudest babe moment or achievement?
It’s tied between the moment I got my first wholesale order 13 years ago when my business was based in my apartment’s living room, or the moment I bought my studio 4 years ago and got the keys to move my business into a dedicated space. Those were both huge affirmations that my passion was worth pursuing and it would all be worth it. Now my team is growing faster than ever and I sense some new milestones in the very near future…
What is the most unexpected thing you have in your purse or wallet?
Doggie treats for my pup Luca!
Tell us about a time where you were faced with a situation that you could have been unkind, but chose to be a babe instead?
I think especially in the jewelry/fashion industry it’s always easy to call out those who you feel have taken an idea from you or replicated your designs. That being said I’ve always chosen to shrug it off and consider it a form of flattery.
What product would you seriously stockpile if you found out they weren’t selling anymore?
Sunday Riley – Good Genes serum. That stuff is the real deal.
If you had a yacht, what would be the name of it?
DespaSEAto or Knotty By Nature
What was the best piece of advice you received when you were first starting your career?
Surround yourself with people who have the skills you do not possess & focus on your own strengths.
What is the best piece of advice you have received now that you are in your career?
Stay true to the vision for the culture of your company which you have created- do not compromise. It will cost you.
Red, white, or rose?
Red in the winter, Rosé in the summer
When I dance I look like….
I would say J Lo but my girlfriends might tell you otherwise.
Tell us about a Babe who has supported you?
Nancy Hill (founder of Blue Ruby) took a chance on me and my brand early on in my career and has always been a great supporter. She helped shape the direction of my company and how I operate my business.
Who do you channel when you’re about to do something that scares you?
I know it’s a bit cliché but I channel 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 teenaged daughters at home- when I’m nervous about taking a risk I think of her!
What is your favorite destination to visit?
Travelling is a huge part of who I am and I make a point of doing it often so that is tough. I love going to India for gem buying trips because the people and culture are so beautiful and I think it’s important to put yourself in environments different than your own to grow. And Paris is always a good idea.
What is your favorite meal to eat?
I’m a pizza gal through and through. If it’s on crust and has toppings I’m all about it.
What is the most fulfilling part of your career?
Seeing the workspace and roles I created for a group of amazing women. Visitors always comment on the “good vibes” we have in our office, and it’s fulfilling to know I’m behind that! On another note, running into a stranger in their everyday life who is wearing my jewelry still gives me butterflies after all these years. Jewelry can carry a lot of emotional weight and symbolism- whether someone is wearing our pieces every day or for a special meaning, we’re part of their life, and that’s very special to me.
Where is your favorite place to draw inspiration from?
Travel. Going to local markets, antique shops and well curated boutiques are where I draw most of my inspiration from.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Croissants! I live behind a French bakery so it’s hard to stay away!
What quality are you working on yourself right now?
What is the biggest hurdle you’ve had to overcome in business?
There are times in entrepreneurship where you feel like your business has taken over your every waking thought and I think it’s a hurdle to learn how to turn it off and be truly present in your personal life!
Coffee meeting or drinks meeting?
If you’re going out for a cocktail you’d order…
Tequila with lime and ginger ale!
If you had unlimited budget for 2 hours shopping where would you go?
What is your favorite movie?
Dirty Dancing. My mom, sister and I are all obsessed. Baby also serves as major style inspiration.
Check out our website www.brunettethelabel.com and put together your favorite outfit!