Before launching By Leahy, I spent five years developing my fine-jewellery making skills, beginning in Hatton Garden – the epicentre of the jewellery trade in London.
I loved everything about the making process and was immediately obsessed.
Coming from a family of creatives – my mum is a professional painter and my father was the head of first year for Limerick School of Art and Design, now retired – I grew up surrounded by creativity. I spent many days after school and summer holidays in my mums studio and my dad’s workshop where, in his spare time, he enjoys turning from wood.
Despite my career taking the business route where I worked up through the fashion industry (still keeping close to the creative side of things!) it was inevitable that I’d find a creative outlet in something. That something ended up being fine-jewellery making, which I was immediately taken by in my first class in Hatton Garden, London.
Not long after completing my first jewellery making course, I was handed down a very special family necklace.
My Grandad gifted this special necklace to my Granny while they were dating, 60 years previous. Shaped like an envelope, it opened to reveal a secret inner slip inscribed with three words... I Love You.
When my Mum turned 16, my Granny passed the necklace to her and, in time, my Mum passed it to me. After passing through three generations, this beautiful and personal necklace is filled with precious memories.
It is this necklace that sits at the heart of the By Leahy brand.
At the end of 2018 I launched By Leahy with one cornerstone necklace, simply named the ‘Signature Envelope’.
Inspired by the I Love You necklace and the special story behind it, the Signature Envelope is a contemporary take... waiting to be filled with new memories.
The name Signature nods to the made-by-hand process that goes into every necklace, and the idea that each one made has its own unique story to tell.
Produced in solid gold or solid sterling silver, each Signature Envelope is purposively produced in precious metal – I don't use plating, vermeil or fill – so that it can be worn with love everyday yet still stand the test of time, to be handed down through your generations to come.
Stamped with the official seal of approval, each necklace is hallmarked by the Assay Office, nestled away on the grounds of Dublin Castle, which guarantees the purity and quality of the precious metal.
I hope you love the Signature Envelope necklace as much as I have loved making them.
Since making this cornerstone necklace By Leahy has slowly grown its capsule collection, adding new items that are meaningful, considered, and always handmade.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the By Leahy pieces,
Read the story behind some of the Signature Envelope necklaces that have left my bench in the By Leahy Signature Stories Blog.