For Leah Durig, design has always been instinctual. “It’s simply something that I have always done and felt born to do,” she says.
Also a big part of her is the entrepreneurial spirit. Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, she felt that it was only natural for her to combine her passion for design and merge it with the desire to own her own business.
Bringing together design and entrepreneurship is what helped her to launch The Letter G Design, an artist-run company that specializes in original personal accessories.
Not only is Durig the founder of the company, but she also serves as the head designer, maker, buyer, salesperson, and whatever role a project may require. However, Durig says that her husband Mikey Griffen by her side to help with the graphic design for the company as well as the construction of displays.
“I have an amazingly skilled team that assists with the casting of my sterling and bronze pieces, and my sister, Lauren Durig Roos, assists with event sales,” says During.
She also credits her in-laws with their help as she runs her business. “They are superhero grandparents that help with our two kiddos whenever running our businesses gets hectic,” she says.
It’s because of the family participating that Durig says she considers The Letter G Design to be a family-run company.
The history of The Letter G Design technically dates back to 2002, but as Durig explains, she started selling her work way before then. “In high school, Mikey and I would sell my wares out of our backpacks to the other students,” she recalls. “Haha! It sure beat getting an after-school job at the mall!”
Shopping with The Letter G Design means that you’re going to get pieces that are not only original, but are timeless rather than on trend. “Having no formal training in jewelry fabrication has really allowed that to come through easily, I think,” says Durig. “I want my pieces to become the ones your grandchildren find in your jewelry box and love.”
Most of the pieces Durig sells are made by her. “The sterling and bronze pieces we cast using the lost wax casting method and I have some help in the production of those, but all of the finishing is done by me,” she adds.
All of the items available from The Letter G Design are handmade and one-of-a-kind or short-run pieces.
Durig says that the thing she values the most about running The Letter G Design is the gratification she gets from running her own business. “Specifically as a designer, it’s very personal to put your work and ideas out there, basically to be judged, so when your business is successful, it’s very validating and flattering to know that people enjoy what you do.”
Durig says that her favorite part of The Letter G Design is the thrill of bringing a new idea to life, although she does also enjoy working in her mobile shop and getting to know her customers.
The future of The Letter G Design is looking as bright as the past, perhaps even brighter. Durig says that earlier this year, she and her husband renovated a 1957 Airstream that they transformed into her mobile shop. They decided to name him Herm the Airstream.
“We’ve been experimenting with him and are continuing to work on him throughout the year,” she says. “And next year you’ll be seeing him pop up more and more all over the region.”
Durig says you can follow her on Facebook and Instagram for updates, show schedules, giveaways, and to see what she’s up to. You can also subscribe to her website for first dibs on new designs and access to special sales.