Remember these beautiful dazzlers from my Mayastar post a few weeks ago?
Well.... I would like to introduce you to the woman behind the designs. Kiki's List fans, meet Coralia Leets.
As you already know, I am a HUGE fan of her designs. Below are the items that I already own, and next on my list are the turquoise double-gem drop earrings that you see above.
Coralia is an Orlando-based designer who travels the world for inspiration. She started designing jewelry after a 20 year career in retail merchandising. Her designs have been featured in InStyle Magazine an were seen on several celebrities at the Cannes Film Festival this year. Coralia was gracious enough to chat with me and let us take a Peek Into Her World.
1. What inspired you to start designing jewelry?
My inspiration came from my personal creations that I would make for myself since the market was mostly limited at that time. Also seeing certain pieces that would benefit from a more personal touch and dash of unique style each piece carries.
2. What do you love most about it? What is the most challenging part of your job?
The part of my job that I love the most is every season comes a new take on creating new trends. Mixing stones and materials not expected and the rewards that my clientele will identify my collection from afar. Either at a department store gallery or something worn by my friends & customers.
The most challenging part is the detailed work behind every season which a new collection is created. All the details each piece carries is unique down to the very stone being used to complete a successful and beautiful piece.
3. Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration mostly from traveling all around the world , mostly because of my job. When I travel to different places each country and the people there leave me with a lasting impression on fashion, trends, ideas and an overall feeling of that part of the world.
4. Who are some of your other favorite jewelry designers?
I have several , one of my favorite is a personal friend of my mine from London named Fiona Paxton. She is an incredible designer with a totally different style than mine and that's something I can appreciate. Also a classic designer that's very elegant and timeless is Verdura.
5. Favorite gemstone?
Bright color quartz and chalcedony double faceted.
6. Favorite destination?
Prague - Amazing city. Very vibrant and great energy.
7. What is your favorite piece that you have designed?
I have several , but to pick only one, I would say my elastic nuggets bracelet with semi-precious stones. I wear several at a time and it's a look that I love.
8. What's the biggest mistake you have ever made on the job?
My biggest mistake(s) would be not always taking all the risk that I should be taking. Not any one time occurrence.
9. How would you describe your personal style?
I like simplicity that makes a statement.
10. When did you know that your business was going to be a success ?
Upon opening my doors for business back in 2000. I knew opening the store was the right move for the amount of attention my pieces were getting from a small clientele back then. Those same designs have allowed me to grow my business into what it has become today.
Thanks Coralia for letting us take a Peek Into Your World, and for creating such beautiful pieces. I look forward to adding to my CL collection!