Leah J. Miller
Bella Artistry is the brainchild of Leah Miller. At the time of creation, Leah was a frustrated shopper, mother and a professional athlete's wife. "There was really nothing truly SUPER FLY for wives, kids, girlfriends, mothers or friends of Pro athletes to wear in support of their husbands'/fathers'/boyfriends'/sons' teams," adds Miller. "So, I considered my own dilemma, and thought to myself, 'There's no reason to just wish and wait for a designer to create a line of hip and un-corny clothes to wear in support of my husband and his team, when I can make my own over-the-top, other-girl-envying, rhinestone-blinging apparel.' So I began beautifying the clothing and shoes my daughter and I would wear to games (or anywhere else we went). One thing led to another, and eventually, I was embellishing anything and everything I could get my hands on: clothes, jerseys, shoes, belts, furniture, cake plates, candles, pill boxes, frames, scrapbooks, pacifiers, hats, you name it. I was truly out of control! But the sparkle from all that Swarovski must have spotlighted my work, because other hipster kids and fashionista moms, tired of run-of-the-mill sports apparel worn by every Tom, Dick and Mary, followed the light -- and my business was born.
Because Leah made her name as a personal designer using sparkling Swarovski crystals for custom outfits to MLB, NBA, NHL and NFL families with the launch of Bella Artistry, she is known affectionately throughout professional sports industries as "The Diamond Duchess." She has been custom tailoring and embellishing official jerseys and wardrobes of ball-players' significant others and children with Swarovski crystals since 1999. In 2008, her website, BellaArtistry.com, was launched.
Well known as the official trailblazer of the jersey-studding trend in the Pro Sports arena, every high-maintenance player's wife or girlfriend knows the Diamond Duchess will make her a star. Copycats with low-end replicas have come and gone, but no one has ever come close to matching the custom, hand-made workmanship or innovation of the always over-the-top designs she creates every single day. Not only does she add crystals to the jerseys, but she redesigns them, cutting them to fit the bodies of those who own them. They are transformed into dresses, tunics or jackets, which advertise their daddies, husbands or boyfriends. And not only do they sparkle with crystals, but are trimmed with imported lace, leather, chinchilla -- you fill in the blanks; only the sky is the limit. Because of Leah's artistic integrity and aesthetic eye, the quality of her hand-made pieces is unparalleled in the industry, and she has the clientele to prove it.
Just a mere fraction of her professional athlete list includes wives of Jason Kidd, Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler, and Coach Eddie Jordan of the NBA; in MLB: the Illich family, Cole Hamels, Albert Pujols, Johnny Damon, Dontrell Willis, Ron Mahay and CC Sabathia; and Matt Schaub, Matt Hasselbeck, Greg Jennings, Ray Lewis, Randy Moss, Bill Belichick, Justin Tuck, Chris Snee, and Vince Wilfork of the NFL.
Outside of the Pro Sports arena, her celebrity clientele include Leigh Ann Tuohy of the movie, The Blind Side, jeweler Judith Ripka, and Elisabeth Hasselbeck of the morning TV show Fox and Friends, formerly of The View. She has even captured the attention of the ultimate domestic diva, Martha Stewart, who featured Leah's work on her blog when she spotted a guest at Diddy's 40th birthday party at the Plaza wearing Miller's custom-studded bowtie. Miller also designs a line of hip and glamorous Swarovski-studded accessories for the layperson, including double-wrap belts, leather cuffs, bowties, pet collars and leashes, kids' clothing, and baby items. Her designs have been seen in the 2008, 2009, and 2010 HBO Hard Knocks football training camp special as well as being highlighted in The Washington Post in October of 2009, and Ambassador magazine in December of 2013.
Leah is a wife and the mother of three children (12, 7, 6 months). A true artist, she earned a BA in Studio Arts with a dual minor in Fine Arts and Meteorology from the University of Pittsburgh. Prior to launching Bella Artistry, she ran a hugely successful decorative painting company in Chicago called The Vivid Brush, which specialized in painting murals on cathedral ceilings, walls and furniture.
Leah's husband, Jim Miller, a former NFL quarterback for 13 years, is now a sportscaster and radio personality for Sirius NFL Radio. He is also a sports analyst for Comcast Sportsnet TV in Chicago covering the Bears Post Game Live show, is Color Commentator for Chicago Bears Preseason Football TV Broadcasts, as well as a Big Ten Network TV Commentator and a Big Ten Network Game Color Analyst.
Leah and Jim also own a custom home-building company in Michigan.
Photos by Kelly Scaccia
Leah J. Miller has a B. A. from the University of Pittsburgh in Painting and Sculpting, with a dual minor in Fine Arts and Geology/Meteorology (Leah said she still doesn't know how that combo came about, but said she likes to paint happy scenes on cloudy days.) She lived in Chicago for five years, where she ran a successful mural and furniture painting company, which catered to professional athletes, international professionals and businesses. After her first child, Leah decided to streamline her business so that she could be close to her family. Bella Artistry is operated out of her home in Michigan, where she resides with her husband Jim, a Sportscaster and former NFL Quarterback, and her most precious creations, Sophia and Emmanuel.