Celebrating International Women's Day with Custom Design Expert Sandra Greenberger

International Women’s Day began in 1910, spearheaded by a powerhouse of a woman, Clara Zetkin, the leader of the “Women’s Office” for the Social Democratic Party in Germany, proposing that in every country, every year, there would be a celebration of women, to press for demands, and mark the progress towards equal rights made. The following year, International Women’s Day was born and has been celebrated ever since, with a theme, with this year's theme being Inspire Inclusion: Count Her In.

Sandra Greenberger sitting on a chair looking in the camera like a boss
Leskes Jewellers

“To inspire inclusion means to celebrate diversity and empowerment”, according to International Women’s Day Australia, and with this as their theme for 2024, we could not be more thrilled to get on board and not only celebrate but share what this means to us here at Leskes Jewellers. This year's theme is about recognising the unique qualities, contributions, and perspectives women from all walks of life bring to the table and fit so well with the culture Sandra has curated and upheld in her fine jewellery boutique. Inclusion is a way of life and is undoubtedly the way of life at Leskes Jewellers.

Although the team has changed over the last 12 years, Sandra has employed women from all age groups, and socioeconomic stages. She truly is a champion of women, with her business itself, selling beautiful custom jewellery that makes women feel incredible day in and day out. It also allows her to continue supporting women through employment opportunities and supporting charities and causes near and dear to her heart and run regular giveaways offering opportunities for everyone. Sandra has always strived to offer inspiring fine jewellery to all walks of women regardless of price point through her experience and connections in the jewellery world. Her ideas are next level when it comes to making your jewellery dreams come true.

Leskes Jewellers had its beginnings in Port Fairy, Victoria, where it was purchased by Sandra Greenberger twelve years ago at a pivotal time in her life. Sandra learned the business from the ground up and turned this custom design jewellery store into a symbol of resilience, innovation, and the power of what can be achieved if you put your heart into it. So, without further ado, let's have a chat with the maverick herself and dive into why she holds International Women's Day close to her heart. 

Can you share with us the story behind the founding of Leskes Jewellers and what inspired you to start your own jewellery business?

After a challenging period in my life, I knew it was time to change everything. I also decided I didn't want to "get a job"; I thought I would create my own destiny instead. Independence is essential to me, and I wanted to be in charge of my own life and not leave it in someone else hands. I was walking past the shops in my town, Port Fairy, Victoria, and saw Leskes Jewellers for sale. I thought, "Why not!" and jumped at the opportunity. The fear was palpable and the anxiety insane as I didn't know anything about jewellery then, (except that I loved it – who doesn’t!) but I didn't let that stop me, and I deep dove into the industry, endeavouring to learn as much as possible and become the best I could be. 

As a female entrepreneur in the jewellery industry, what challenges have you faced, and how have you overcome them?

The first challenge I faced was that I was new to the industry, so I had to learn everything from the ground up. It is also a male-dominated industry, so being a woman in that space, was met with some resistance, as the industry's stalwarts consider themselves an authority on all things jewellery, so challenging these views was met with raised eyebrows and shaking heads. My motto has always been to zig when others zag, and although I can be an acquired taste with my own ideas and passion, the relationships I have formed with the industry's greats have been fantastic! My mentor and friend Ron Kiven, among others, has been instrumental in me branching out and trusting myself. After about a year in the industry, I leaned into my intuition, trusting my gut as a woman, and started building close relationships with my clients. This allowed me to identify my clients' wants and gear my business decisions towards that. I also asked many questions, surrounding myself with people in the industry, both male and female, that I trusted and believed in and soaked up their expertise and knowledge. These relationships are still as important to me today as they were when I started out. 


I regularly get told that I never take no for an answer and continue on as if the answer is yes; tenaciousness, dogmatic, and a strong work ethic keep me learning every day. Even after 12 years, I still love to learn about coloured gemstones, diamonds, and South Sea pearls… my thirst is never satisfied. The varieties of gems available, settings, cuts, and combinations are endless. It is a creative industry where if you can imagine it, you can create it. That's part of what lights me up every day, seeing my clients' faces when their beautiful custom piece arrives or working with them to create timeless pieces from their pre-loved jewellery and bringing them a new modern life through our remodelling process. This is a passion of mine, and I am blessed to share this passion with my clients every day. 

Sandra Greenberger owner of Leskes Jewellers holding a glass leaning on a rail
Leskes Jewellers

"I admire women who are highly aware of their worth, and still humble, and kind, and supportive of other women."

How does Leskes Jewellers celebrate and empower women, both within the company and through your products?

We have a female-dominated staff group, all from different walks of life. We enjoy staff bonding regularly, ensuring our team is tight, cohesive, and supportive. Our work culture is all about supporting each other and bringing out the best in each other, allowing our individual skills and personalities to shine. We have a strict no-gossip policy, including NDA for all staff. We are here to empower, not take each other down. We also host special events for women, events that we welcome women to about education and show them things they do not usually see in their everyday lives and support women in business and a number of local charities and events.

Can you share any memorable stories or moments where you've seen the impact of your work on women's lives or empowerment?

Absolutely! There are always engagements and remodels. Remodels, in particular, are special, as they usually come from a parent, grandparent or partner passing away and have a sentimental impact on the client. And we share those moments with them through tears, laughter, swearing, whatever the occasion calls for. For women, that maternal feeling of being able to pass something down through generations and make memories live on is an essential part of why they love jewellery. Generational legacy is really important to me.

Lastly, what message would you like to share with women around the world on International Women's Day?

Stand up and count yourself in. Know that you are worth it. Negotiate to be the best version of yourself because there is still such a high percentage of women earning less than their counterparts; I think we should all stand up and feel good about what we bring to the table. 

Three of sandras favourite custom designs

The women's empowerment movement has only just begun, and we are so grateful that by supporting Leskes Jewellers, you are supporting women in our community and far beyond. Watch this space, as we have only scratched the surface of what is possible, and of course, keep us in mind for any custom design or remodel you are imagining.