Meet the Maker: Laoise Leahy
Inspired by a special family necklace, By Leahy creates jewellery that is made to be enjoyed every day and, in time, passed down through generations to come.
Each piece of By Leahy fine jewellery centres on personalisation. Either in the By Leahy brand font or the handwriting of a loved one, each message is engraved, creating a truly personal and one-off piece of jewellery designed to create connections and capture memories.
What’s a typical day in the studio like for you?
It’s a real mix. Since my little one started Montessori and my parents-in-law now mind our little boy I have more structure in my time. I spend the first half of the day focusing on By Leahy and it’s a juggle between hand-making the current orders at the bench, fulfilling all of the engraving requests – so many of which are beautiful handwritten message to be engraved onto my customers chosen pieces – working on content for either press, social, and email, chatting with customers, photographing the latest items to exit the bench and getting orders ready to dispatch.
I would also say listen to your customers. Ask for and take constructive feedback on board as it really helps to develop the best offering for your customer.
What do you like most about your work?
I especially love having conversations with my customers. By Leahy is predominantly D2C but I love it when customers phone up for advice or to share their experience after they’ve received their personalised piece. Social media has also been such a gift when it comes to connecting with customers and having chats with them.
Second to that is the hand-making process. It’s the reason I fell in love with jewellery making. Sitting at the bench is one of my happy places. Making something by hand is a joy to do and I feel very lucky to say that it never feels like work.
What do you like least about your work?
I feel very lucky to say that I love all elements (even the admin!).
What’s your favourite time of the day?
Having dropped off the babies, I love sitting at the bench with a coffee in hand while I check in on my task list in Trello, then getting started on the first item to be handmade that day.
What advice would you give someone who is considering this craft career?
I started By Leahy as a side business while working full-time and it gave me space to develop the product, try different things with the brand, take time to develop things organically and make mistakes while few were watching. In hindsight I am so glad to have started this way as it helped to reduce risk and let things grow naturally rather than they might have had there been pressure to prove, and rely on, the financial success immediately.
I would also say listen to your customers. Ask for and take constructive feedback on board as it really helps to develop the best offering for your customer. So many of the items in the collection have been born out of listening to what my customers were looking for.
How do you switch off?