Leia grew up in a small suburb north of St. Louis, Missouri in a house backing up to a creek. With her two sisters, the creek and the woods along it were their constant play place to imagine, make and explore. In high school she was introduced to metalsmithing via the local community craft center and became infatuated. Metalsmithing was a perfect blend of play and making things by hand. She continued her studies in college and eventually achieved an MFA.
As a kid, Leia was always outside in the woods playing and exploring. She was constantly digging and discovering fossils, bones, new plants and bugs. It seemed the wonders of the outside never ceased. Leia finds that same type of wonder and exploration in jewelry, inspired by the outdoors and the excitement she felt in first discovering it. She strives for those same feelings within her jewelry design as she notices in nature, wonder, the perfectly imperfect, and the unexpected.