Leslie Paige McElroy has always been a creative type. From working as a pastry chef to launching her own jewelry line — McElroy brings passion and craftsmanship to the table no matter the project. And with our Leslie Paige Jewelry trunk show coming up this weekend, we sat down to find out just what makes this up-and-coming designer tick.
1. How did you become involved in jewelry design?
I had been a pastry chef for the majority of my career and I wanted to make a change. I wanted to create something more permanent. It would take me three days to make a wedding cake that would be eaten in a matter of minutes. I also had this idea for what I call the perched setting. I wanted something like it for myself, so after searching for weeks, I decided to have it made. As I began to wear my design, others began wanting it for themselves. This prompted me to design new variations and other items.
2. Where do you find inspiration?
Most of my designs come from my own desire to have a piece. With the perched setting I was trying to find a way to showcase the back of the stone as well as the front. I have always liked the back of stones and wanted to show how the back can be just as beautiful as the front.
3. Can you describe your design process?
I usually start by sitting down with my caster and working on how to best produce a design so that it is a strong, quality and comfortable piece. Next I choose the stones. I look for stones with color or shape that make them stand out.
4. What is your favorite part of the design process?
Seeing the finished piece. I love seeing how this idea in my head comes together and how people respond to it.
6. What is your favorite material to work with?
When you work in the culinary industry you quickly learn that if you start with the best possible ingredients then you will get the best possible finished product. I find this to be true with jewelry. I use only solid gold, natural diamonds and natural gemstones.
7. What was it like being featured in British Vogue
It’s great getting the international exposure and hearing from people around the world who love my designs!
8. Goals for the future?
My goal is to grow the Leslie Paige Jewelry brand while continuing to expand on the unique statement designs. Coming soon: cuff bracelets and men’s puzzle rings.
Thank you Leslie! We can't wait to have you in store this Friday and Saturday. To check out more designs by Leslie Paige Jewelry, click here.