Michelle Leonardo is a passionate designer who creates beautiful jewelry out of the
finest glass beads. Her high fashion
jewelry collection is handmade with
a sophisticated graphic style.
Michelle Leonardo is the founder and principal designer of the all-female, Chicago based jewelry company, Michelle Leonardo Design. Her collection of exquisite beaded jewelry has a sophisticated graphic style in a category of jewelry many have not seen before.
She uses the finest Japanese and Czech glass beads which are built and layered together to make incredible statement pieces. In Michelle’s work, textural and graphic patterns are common themes as mini jewelry mosaics are dreamed up. Influences from nature and places she has traveled provide inspiration for her work, especially the beautiful beaches and the serene turquoise color of the ocean.
She leads a team of highly trained American beaders to handcraft each piece with precision. Each individual bead is picked up by hand one-by-one and requires skillful expertise to fabricate. Some intricate pieces can have over 5,000 beads and take 10 hours to create.
Michelle discovered this unique artistic jewelry style completely by chance while recovering from an accident in 2011. She turned an unfortunate accident which kept her home from work for several weeks—into a positive time of creativity. Michelle immediately recognized the unlimited possibilities that could be created with this type of jewelry, and with her design background she knew she had found a creative calling.
2019 has been an exciting year for Michelle as she founded and launched her jewelry business and website. She is a published designer with her jewelry designs gracing 3 magazine covers. Several of her designs have been published in a book, and another book feature will be coming soon.
Michelle previously applied her talents in a fulfilling career as an award-winning Art Director in advertising. In her creative profession, she created countless advertising campaigns for numerous fortune 500 companies. Her expertise included TV commercials, magazine ads, web/multimedia, graphic design and branding. Her past creative experiences help inspire and guide new jewelry ideas today.
Michelle earned a full 4-year talent scholarship to Miami University where she graduated magna cum laude with a BFA in Graphic Design. You can get in touch with Michelle here.
Cover of Bead&Button December/January 2017
Cover of Bead&Button June/July 2018
Cover of Beadwork August/September 2018
Featured in Beadwork February/March 2019
Featured in Creative Beading Volume 14, published April 2019