We chat to Leora Morena, the founder of gorgeous jewellery brand Leo with Love about all things beauty, career advice, and of course her amazing creations! We just love Leora and are OBSESSED with her stunning designs!
We absolutely looove everything Leo with Love! Can you tell us a bit about how it all began?
The idea was born in 2016, back in LA, where I’m from. My sister was recovering from a near-terminal illness and we were talking about how you only get one certain chance in life to LIVE your life. I knew I’d always wanted to start a business and loved making jewellery as presents for people but had never thought to put the two things together. My background is in marketing and I’ve always had super corporate jobs, but the experience with my sister’s illness helped me see what was important. So, I saved up for months at a job I hated, but was a necessary evil, working on branding and designs in the evenings. After a few months, I was at a point that Leo With Love could get my full attention.
What has been one of your best career highlights so far?
It’s a toss-up between having my earrings worn on the red carpet for the Star Wars premiere and being featured in the Telegraph’s 50 Small Businesses To Support During Lockdown. I noticed a massive influx of traffic from Telegraph and immediately thought, “OMG, what’d I do?!” It was just so unexpected; I had no idea that was happening!
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
I did not realise that being a business owner isn’t just working on your business, it’s working on yourself as well. It requires perseverance and putting yourself in new situations… a lot. Learning to handle things that scare you in a healthy way is super important. It’s okay to get anxiety, feelings of overwhelm and fear- it’s how you deal with it that matters because they aren’t one-off moments. Your business is ever evolving, and you need to be able to push through the imposter syndrome.
I love the transparency of Dr.Lipp products. Not only 10 ingredients max as a rule, cruelty-free and sustainable, but the products are actually good!
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Embrace the adrenaline. Enjoy meeting a lot of new people, new experiences, and perpetually being out of your comfort zone. When you embrace the butterflies in your stomach and your heart racing in these situations, new experiences become a part of your comfort zone. I know now that when you lean into a situation that scares you, possibilities are endless. But it took a lot of work to build up confidence and trust myself to know what makes me happy. If younger me knew that, there would have been a lot less FOMO and anxiety, but then I wouldn’t be who I am now.
What is an average day like for you?
I wake up about 6:30/7 and the first thing I do is write down five things I’m grateful for. Sometimes it’s a word, a sentence or a few. Starting the day programmed with appreciation has significantly decreased my stress levels and feelings of imposter syndrome. I wrote a document that is the Leo With Love story and describes what the brand represents, which I make sure to read every morning. That emotive daily reminder reignites my passion every day. It’s bigger than just me; Leo With Love means something and that passion needs to be shared in order to inspire others to make the most of their one certain chance in life.
What do you do in your down time?
I love learning, so have been utilising the Masterclass pass my partner got me for Christmas- currently learning about comedy writing with Steve Martin, singing with Christina Aguilera and Being Your Most Authentic Self with RuPaul. Otherwise, I’m cuddling my pug, Oswald.
Which beauty products can you not live without?
Dermaquest’s Essential Daily Cleanser and B5 Matte Moisture serum, Hanacure’s face emulsion and now Dr. Lipp’s Superfood Tints! I love Dermaquest because using their products you can legit see the difference in your skin after a few weeks. I get hormonal melasma on my upper lip and using their products with Hanacure has made it a non-issue. The Super Tints are incredible, so moisturising and the pigment is so rich without being too heavy to use on your cheeks.
Can you tell us your best beauty tips?
Go to a dermatologist and find out everything you can about your skin. Talking to someone whose job it is to know the answers to all your questions about your skin will save you a lot of money and give you your best skin ever. Had I done that sooner, I could’ve found out I’m allergic to sweet almond oil without having to break out in hives.
What is next for you professionally and personally?
I’d love to see Leo With Love jewellery in independent boutiques across the world that have a similar ethos, but that’s more of a long-term goal. I’m looking at doing more limited-edition pieces, jewellery parties and testing out running a pop-up. The possibilities are endless!
How do you feel when you wear Dr.Lipp?
It’s not often a person can say they feel wholesome wearing a product, but it’s also not often one gets the opportunity to put something on that is naturally guilt-free
What are your favourite uses for our mutli-use skincare solutions?
I actually have a special place in my heart for the nipple balm because when a family member was going through chemo and radiation therapy, their oncologist recommended the nipple balm to soothe chapped lips. It was literally the only thing that worked! They even started using it on dry patches of skin as needed and it was skin saver, so thank you very much!!
If you could encourage others to make one lifestyle change today, what would it be?
Drink a glass of water every hour. I know it seems silly and simple, but it is AMAZING what a difference being hydrated does to heal your skin, minimise fine lines and make you feel energised. We’re creatures that thrive on moisture, who knew?!