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Inside the Studio: The Design Process

Inside the Studio: The Design Process

From inspirational spark, to design idea, to prototype, to production-- creating a new piece takes up to 12 months.

"It's important we get things just right. There are items in the collection that took extra time (like our Zodiac Necklace that took two full years to perfect!) I have learned that it's never worth rushing the process. Everything we bring to life is intended to last years, and our design timeline reflects that."


Step One: The Inspiration

Sometimes it's a colour, a season, a film, or just imagination-- Leah's inspiration is pulled from all areas of life. Jewellery is sentimental, and often there is a deeper meaning behind the finalized product (i.e. Our Guardian Collection was designed during lockdown in 2020 to symbolize Resilience)

"We didn't have access to a lot of current media growing up on a lighthouse island, but we would watch a lot of classic films and musicals. In fact, at one point I was sure I was going to grow up to be a broadway star! But instead I took the glamour from these films and turned that inspiration into something that can be enjoyed everyday."

*Images from Pinterest

Step Two: The Design

Leah sketches the piece and/or makes a prototype in the studio. The physical design stage takes the most amount of time. Each piece goes through a series of considerations: Is it versatile? Does it pair well with past collections? Is it comfortable? Is it exciting? Have we done it before?

"There is a lot of testing. Once we have a rough prototype I physically try it on. This "test-drive" is such an important part of the process because if something doesn't feel right, it won't be loved. For me personally, I also have to experience excitement! Some designs, like our Cascade Ear Cuff Set, gave me goosebumps when I first tried the sample on. That's how I knew it was going to be something special."

Step Three: The Sample

We work with an incredible manufacturing team in India to help us bring the full collection to life. Once the initial design is sketched, it's time to create CAD images and get samples in production.

"For years I did everything on my own. I was proud to have a line that was made in Vancouver from start to finish. I'm still proud of the LYD roots, but once I found a production team that aligned with the LYD ethics and values, my whole design world opened up. Our RJC Certified team has the capability to source unique gemstones and implement methods that we value (i.e. using recycled metals)"


See Leah's favourite designs here.

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