Jewellery Designer, Wife, Mother: Chrissy Leighton

The Label was born as an ode to my beautiful mother and best friend who beat the ultimate battle, cancer.

In 2004 Chrissy decided to hang up her heels in the world of advertising and transform her passion into a lifestyle.

It was then the Chrissy L jewellery line was born. It has since evolved into a label that can now be found in leading boutiques throughout Australia and overseas and growing daily in demand. It is also catching the attention of some of Australia’s most recognisable women including Natalie Bassingwaithe, Vanessa Amorossi and more. International Fans include Britney Spears & Jennifer Lopez.

Chrissy is driven to make a difference and her motto “Made with Love, Wear with Joy!” symbolises the amazing approach this designer has taken towards her label.

The label has just launched in the US to HUGE fan fare and is already making its mark felt.

Describe yourself in 3 words
Always thinking, workaholic

What is your life motto?
“Make the right decisions for the right reasons!”

When did you start pursuing your career and how long did it take to become successful?
 I started in 2004 as a hobby really, and very quickly I was asked where people could buy my pieces. There has been a good four odd years of hard work to get to this point.I clearly remember the day I asked myself “is this something I want to keep pursuing and treating as a hobby, or do I want to turn this into a business?”  From that moment on everything was a deliberate and conscious decision. All the favours stopped, all the freebies stopped and I started treating it like a serious business. It’s amazing, I’ve heard it all my life in various contexts “it’s not until you treat yourself with respect that others do too!” I get it as far as life, but funnily enough as soon as I put it into practise for business, EVERYTHING changed. I changed! 

How many hours did you dedicate to pursuing your dream?
Even during the hobby stage, I could get lost in the process for hours at a time hand making each piece. I don’t know that I ever stop, as soon as I complete a collection it’s time to move onto the next. Then all of a sudden I come up with an idea for a special project and find myself functioning on 4 hours sleep with my blackberry beeping at all hours. Don’t get me wrong, it’s hectic but I love the crazy pace. It is not unusual for me to be working until 2am. Even when I’m physically not working, my mind is.

Describe how difficult the business really is?
Just like any other job or business, there are times when things don’t go as planned.In the beginning especially, when I was designer, manufacturer, sales person, accounts, basically a one woman band, I think it was the most challenging and time consuming period. However as the company grew, I could afford to get help which then allowed me to focus on the aspect I love, the design and brand building side.

The mistake that taught you an extremely valuable lesson?
To always have things in writing. I have discovered that people’s word often changes!

The best piece of advice you have been given to date?
If you’re going to do something, then give it 110%. That comes from my family’s work ethic.

The piece of advice that you weren’t?
To always have things in writing.

In your mind, is formal training essential?
Absolutely not. I haven’t had any formal training in jewellery making at all. My background is in Marketing and Advertising.  

What are some steps emerging talent can take to start/further their career?
Apply for work experience/internships with various labels. ALWAYS think outside the box, let your true talent shine. Mix that with hard work and you’re half way there!

What kept you going when you felt like giving up?
My family’s encouragement in the early days, and my vision as the label grew.

Do you believe that ‘making it’ is about luck and being in the right place at the right time?
In my book, nothing replaces hard work and commitment. That is when you feel the satisfaction and reward.

See her designs at:

One thought on “Jewellery Designer, Wife, Mother: Chrissy Leighton

  1. Dear Chrissy
    I think that cancer change lives …. my sister passed at the age of 36 after 3 years to suffer breast cancer and aparently got cure (clear of it for three months ,,, one day she had a short breath and one week after she passed .. we found out later on that the new cancer was focussed in the liver…. if we only would know her risk mybe we would take action…. I think lack of knowledge pays high prices in life. Myself , I got a GENE study from my parents and found out what else could happen to me and take care accordingly.

    But, being a workaholic is like cancer IT KILLS.
    What about is you help people to improve their life style by getting paid for shop (TM) , Yes , I just came back from a convention and palnning to work only three more years and retire. My bussiness is teach peolple how to save their lifes from the 40 years tragic spam term of life that will not pay for freedom at retirement . Instead 3 years in the alows you to enjoy this program for free by using my e-mail…. so be my guest and bring me up some of your designes that we may be interested to patnership with you right away.I do have 180,000 distributors and produced 3.4 billions in revenues so far read my profile. Good luck in your endeavors whatever path you choose to follow .

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