Friday Friends with Amy Bovaird, Spotlight on Laura Legendary and Elegant Insights

Post Title – Laura Legendary: Creator of Elegant Insights

Note: In November 2018, I started receiving emails from a business called Elegant Insights. An entrepreneur and creator had designed a line of Braille jewelry embossed on various soft metals. I loved her descriptions of the products – so well-depicted! Each month I continued to read about her unique designs. I have long wanted to order her products but never had any extra money. A few months ago, I heard the creator of this intriguing line speak in a podcast I enjoyed hearing her talk so much, I asked her if she would do a guest post for my Friday Friends column. She kindly agreed. Without further ado, let me introduce speaker, educator, and advocate, Laura Legendary.

braille charm bracelet

Our Charmed by the Seasons Expandable Dangle Bangle Bracelets, from left to right, winter, summer, spring, fall.

Launching of Elegant Insights

When Elegant Insights launched ten years ago, I had no idea what to expect from my little enterprise, but I knew what I wanted to achieve. Beyond offering products for the Braille-reading community, I wanted to create a shopping experience for my customers that was uplifting, empowering, and validating.  As important was my desire to bring Braille to the forefront of fashion by letting the Braille tell part of the story, both as a design element, and as a style statement.  Most of all, I wanted my customers to get compliments!

The Entrepreneur Behind the Company

Allow me to introduce myself.  My name is Laura.  I am an entrepreneur who is blind as the result of an eye disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa.  I’m also a long-time advocate for people with disabilities, as well as an author and educator.

The Craft

Elegant Insights offers a distinctive, handcrafted collection of jewelry and accessories embossed in Braille.  I design all of our products, which are entirely crafted using hand tools.  We use contemporary metals such as brass, copper, aluminum, and stainless steel, and most of our items consist of metal charms that are attached to chains, such as pendant necklaces and charm bracelets.  We then embellish our items with pearls, crystals, and gemstone beads such as rose quartz, lavender jade, blue agate, hematite, and metal accents.  Our esthetic is casual and modern, we don’t design vintage, distressed, or antique looking jewelry. Our jewelry is not only pretty, it’s jingly-jangly, and makes a wonderful sound as you move.  Our product line is not limited to just jewelry, however.  We also offer fun accessories, such as purse charms, mobility cane charms, sports-themed key tags, gift items such as bookmarks and business card cases, and even accessories for a home bar.

My Inspiration

The Elegant Insights jewelry line was inspired by a gift I received when I was struggling through a difficult time in my life, the unexpected passing of my husband, to whom I had not yet been married six months. An acquaintance gave me a little token, a worry stone, that was Braille-embossed with the word, “survivor.”  As I examined the stone, considering ways I might drill a hole in one end and drop it onto a chain I could wear around my neck, the idea of Braille jewelry came to me in a flash of inspiration.  I am totally blind, and I wanted to design and create jewelry that was beautiful, unusual, meaningful, and accessible.

Other Attributes of our Jewelry

braille jewelry with butterflies

This is a photo of our Butterfly Dreams Necklace and Earrings Set. The butterfly pendant is embossed with “dream,” in grade 2 braille.

Besides, in my opinion, Braille is visually interesting. It’s attractive to people who are not blind, it’s a conversation starter, and for anyone who collects unique jewelry, it certainly isn’t something you run across every day.  For people who are blind, our products can represent braille literacy, and can serve as a means by which to raise awareness, whether about blindness, accessibility, or disability and inclusion.

Functionable

At Elegant Insights, we pride ourselves on our crisp, readable braille.  It is not a facsimile or representation of braille.  We use standard dot sizing and spacing.  It is readable with fingertips.  This matters to us because many of our designs are custom requests, and our customers want messages their loved ones can read.

Testimonial Page

Our customer testimonials page and social media are full of wonderful words of gratitude and support.  They love our products, because we are often able to create a one-of-a-kind design for them that is personal or sentimental.  We’ve paid tribute to loved ones, memorialized people as well as pets, such as guide dogs that have passed, and we have been part of some wonderful celebrations of life, such as anniversaries and new arrivals!  And all of it shared in tiny little braille dots!  Our customers are wonderfully creative themselves, and have provided us with lots of design inspiration.  They love their Elegant Insights jewelry, and we love our customers!

Overcome Growing Pains

Over the course of ten years, we’ve overcome all the typical growing pains that can impact any small business.  Last year, however, was a little scary.  The pandemic had me considering how to pivot to stay afloat, which resulted in new products, virtual events, and new features and services offered on our website.

For example, we acquired an engraving machine, which has allowed us to craft jewelry and accessories in both braille and alpha letter characters.  Most recently, we launched the world’s first accessible and inclusive jewelry subscription box. Actually, we offer a choice of two, each with a different emphasis.  The debut boxes shipped June 10th, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed for positive feedback from delighted subscribers.

Future Aspirations

With the pandemic in the past (here’s hoping), I’m looking forward to another ten years of serving our community with fun and stylish products that are inclusive of everyone.  At Elegant Insights, we bring out the beauty of Braille.

Bio

Laura Legendary is a speaker, author, educator, and entrepreneur specializing in disability awareness, advocacy, accessibility, and assistive technology.  She is the owner and designer of Elegant Insights Braille Creations, a distinctive collection of jewelry and accessories embossed in braille.  As co-founder of The Fashionability Channel podcast, Laura offers relevant beauty, fashion, and lifestyle information and education for people with disabilities.  You can read her blog, Accessible Insights, at https://accessibleinsights.info/blog/, and you can find her Elegant Insights Braille Creations at https://elegantinsightsjewelry.com/.  For jewelry information, education, news about trends and design innovation, subscribe to the Sparkle On blog at https://elegantinsightsjewelry.com/sparkle-on/.  Laura majored in music at California State University, Northridge.  Born and raised in Southern California, Laura now lives near Las Vegas, Nevada.

Do check out Laura’s distinct Elegant Insights line. Address and additional comments and questions to Laura in the comments below.

You have just read “Laura Legendary: Creator of Elegant Insights” by Amy L. Bovaird and Laura Legendary. C July 2, 2021. All Rights Reserved.