Leah Yard Designs Blog

  • I have a confession, and it involves black pepper.


    I have been making jewellery for over 10 years. (For me, this is also known as 15+ years of trial and error.)

    As a child, I never imagined I would be a jewellery designer and owner of a company. In fact, when I was little I was pretty sure I was going to grow up to be a broadway star, or Alannah Myles.

    As a junior high school drop out, I had no reason to believe I could build ANYthing.

    I remember the moment I felt like I had been "found out". I was at one of my first events, showcasing my designs to the world, hanging onto the table because my knees were so weak from nerves.

    Someone came and asked a few questions.

    Typical questions: How much is this? What is this made of? Who made it? Did you go to school to learn how to make this?

    I buckled. I couldn't answer, I was so nervous, and I knew right then and there: "Now they, and everyone else, knows I'm a fraud."

    You know those subtle but rattling voices that pop up?

    It’s a chorus of “who do you think you are’s” and “too bad you’re not _________ enough’s”

    Here’s where mine come from: I dropped out of junior high, moved out at 17, worked two minimum wage jobs, and had no hope.

    I was told that with this path; I would never amount to anything. And the people I was surrounded with proved a bleak future.

    I was told I could never afford to live on my own. So when it seemed like the only choice, you can imagine how terrified I was. I worked hard and never spent money on any extras. I made a point of never looking at my bank account because I couldn’t handle what I might see.

    One day the bank teller handed me my receipt after depositing my check and it showed I had over $2000. I immediately felt awful, because CLEARLY there had been a mistake made. This was more money than I had ever had in my life, and how could a junior high school drop out with no dreams have saved this fortune?? I told the teller I think she had the wrong account.

    Finally having all the evidence shown to me, I left the bank. Baffled.

    First thing I did?

    I went and bought black pepper. I hadn’t bought spices since I thought this was an extravagance I had no business having. It was my first big splurge.

    When I think back on that time, I never could have imagined I would end up here. Following a dream, having a dream, believing I could even dream bigger. At that point, saving $2000 was the greatest achievement I had made. I hadn’t won anything, graduated from anything, proved anything. Except— that I could survive; alone and against everyone’s expectations, with peppered food.

    My point of this story is this: You are not what others say you are. You aren’t even what you say you are. So what good does that do? It frees us to know this: if you are neither of these things, then you must accept and be open to being anything.

  • 6 Year Anniversary

    I can't believe it-- but this year marks our 6th year in business! None of this would be possible without YOU. Every purchase, every kind word, every piece of advice, every hug, every shared connection has brought us to this place. right. now.

    I am overwhelmed when I look back. It hasn't been easy, and it most definitely hasn't always been glamorous! But I couldn't imagine spending my life working on anything else but building this brand and the community around it.

    I will keep this short, and end with a thank-you. To everyone who thought I could, before I knew I could. To everyone who silently cheers me on. To everyone who spreads kindness. To everyone who shows up. Thank-you, I wouldn't want to be on this journey with any one else.

    Here's a few highlights from the last 6 years!

    The first collection went live! (Look at that statement necklace!)

    I focused on one of a kind designs. I wanted to create pieces that no one had ever seen before.

    Here I am setting up at the first boutique that carried my one of a kind designs. This was a very exciting day:)

    We turned our front room into a studio! I worked a day job and continued to build the business on the side.

    We opened the new site, a whole new collection, and really started to focus on branding and building community. This was a turning point for LYD!

    After years of working quietly behind the scenes, I started taking part in local pop-ups. This took a huge amount of courage for me, as it was terrifying to showcase to the world-- in person! But by far, the most rewarding challenge I have taken on:)

    A little press goes a long way! We teamed up with I Like Her Style Vancouver Magazine for their Holiday Gift Guide, what a wonderful way to be celebrated!

    This brings us up to date! I couldn't be prouder of this journey. These are just a few of the highlights. There are so many more ups and downs in this story, but these are a few of my favourite moments. Thank-you for being a part of it!

    -Leah xo