Neely Cardwell – Leoly Design

Hi my name is Neely! I am a native North Carolinian, was born in Charlotte, went to college in Wilmington and am now living in the Raleigh/Durham area! Leoly was created a few years ago, when I was an art student at UNCW. I would do local pop up markets and sold my artwork, jewelry and pottery in a couple of stores, but never had the time to make my art a full time priority… Fast forward five or so years and here we are! Bringing it back!!

Since we are now in the midst of an ongoing pandemic and I am a new mom at home with baby (meaning we are home a lot!!!) I have decided to devote more time back into the things I love! I pretty much spend all of my spare time creating, when I have a little time to myself that is (or when my little assistant is behaving) I create! As an art student I dabbled in several different mediums, including pottery, painting, drawing, sculpture but have always come back to jewelry!

Curious why the leather? My pop pop Buster is the real reason I have this little business. He worked for a company making belts and wallets and would buy the scrap leather. When I say scraps you’re probably picturing a small box of scraps…. Not quite. He had boxes upon boxes of this leather! Not knowing what to do with all the leather once he passed, I packed my car up with as much as I could and was determined to find a way to use it. He obviously did not want this leather getting thrown out and saw potential for it. Which makes me so happy knowing I am bringing these scraps back to life!

These earrings are so much fun for me to make. Each pair is honestly like a little canvas! I find myself getting carried away painting new scraps and coming up with new designs. Right now I primarily make earrings, bracelets and keychains!