Skip to main content

Your Cart

Your cart is currently empty.
Click here to continue shopping.

Sunroom Q+A: Leo Black

We're so excited to welcome all new jewelry from Leo Black to Sunroom — the designer's namesake line inspired by family heirlooms, meaningful talismans, and objects that stay with us forever.

Leo grew up in the NY Catskills region, but a few years ago relocated her studio to Los Angeles where, as she explains, she has found a new rhythm and embraced a merging of playfulness and utility in her designs.

We're thrilled to have her in the Sunroom family — and to share this Q+A with Leo to learn more about her favorite heirlooms, her sources of inspiration, and the 2022 mantra that is guiding her this year. 


Tell us about your design history – is there a core philosophy or thread that's informed your evolution as a jeweler? 

Jewelry is a physical representation of storytelling. My fascination began early on by exploring family heirlooms. The idea of energy transmitted through lifetimes & through the wearer felt magical. It still does. These heirlooms provide a connection to women in my family I’d only seen in pictures.
Jewelry are objects of love. They are talismans. They are sacred & last lifetimes. My father has an insane mother of pearl collection that piqued my interest as soon as I was tall enough to see into the antique case where it was housed.

Do you have a favorite custom piece you've created? What's the story there?

YES. My favorite is an engagement and wedding set I created for my friend Rosie! It’s a champagne diamond engagement ring in the shape of an evil eye with a scattering of white & black diamonds around the band. It’s an unexpected combination and was a work of love.
The following year, I married them in Australia with special rose gold wedding bands to complete the magic. Her band is adorned with a star-set antique diamond from a ring of her grandmother’s, and his with a star-set white diamond. Each of their names were hand engraved on the inside of the other’s band. After Rosie’s grandmother’s diamond was extracted from the setting, we turned the two halves of the ring into wedding earrings for the bride. It seemed only appropriate to honor every part of the family ring.
I derive next-level bliss when creating custom pieces; it’s my happy place.

What, if anything, has changed in your creative process and practice since moving west to California?

The move from Brooklyn to LA on New Year’s Eve 2017/18 was the sweetest transition. Literally, every piece felt meant to be. The slower pace & climate has added fluidity to my creation process. The lightheartedness of this city has allowed for more play and experimentation with shape, color, & scale.
Our studio, which overlooks Pershing Square, feels like a second home. Just looking out the window now with the palm trees swaying at eye level… I feel light. There’s more than just room to breathe; there’s space for silliness & dreaming. The energy that flows through is idyllic and is a gift every single day.

What's an unexpected place of inspiration for you? Or...a reliable one?

To me, the headspace that opens when laying in bed before falling asleep is really important. I feel grateful for this source, especially in pandemic times. Eyes closed, I can finally check out mentally. The world feels quiet, energy hums, & my imagination goes wild. This is also the time when I’ve formed some of my favorite poems.

Another place I always get a lot of inspiration is during our summer trips to Europe. While I’m there I hardly put down my sketch books and when I do I find myself doodling on napkins.

At the start of a new year, what is a mantra or theme for 2022 you're hoping to impart?


+ Quick Fire!

What are some small things you're doing right now to take care of yourself (mentally, physically, and/or emotionally)? I’m taking care of myself mentally by speaking from my heart. Tending to my body’s needs by being in the moment & giving in to what my body wants as much as possible

My creative/design ethos in three words: potent, playful, pure

I always start my day with: Kissing my baby!

Secret talent: Remembering my dreams & writing erotic poetry

Song or musician I’m loving right now: Diana Gordon! Such a goddess. We should all treat our ears to her divinity. Favorite song - Moment to Myself. 

The thing I find myself recommending over and over again (maybe a purchase, or a recipe, or just a personal life hack or practice you get asked about often): Shiva Rose Glow Balm! Literally, heaven in a jar. Gotsa, a ridiculously delicious Georgian orange wine. Ina Garten’s Lemon Tart. I like to substitute 8 tablespoons of coconut oil in place of butter for the crust :)  

My ultimate escape – real or imagined: Mallorca FOREVER.