Art.  Design. Passion.

The Story behind the name...

   What is Leiden Designs?

I’m Julie Schaafsma, the Waterdown,

Ontario-based creative designer behind the name, Leiden Designs.


Inspired by many years of experience and extensive travels, both near and far,

everything I make comes from an eclectic treasure trunk full of rocks, pebbles, gems, crystals, coral, fossils and beads of all kinds collected on my journeys.

My art is representative of a lifetime of curiosity and adventure.


While I wait for the paint to dry on my latest refinished furniture projects,

you can find me creating designs with wire. This is one of my favourite art forms and I love the benefits I personally gain from the natural grounding, relaxation and calmness of blending it with natural agate, rocks and gems.

Each piece is individually made by hand, resulting in a truly unique and one-of-a-kind work of art.


As for the name? Leiden holds more meaning for me than just the Dutch origin we share. 

The University of Leiden in the Netherlands is where the genetic blood clot disorder I suffer from was first recognized. Leiden Factor 5 is a genetic mutation that has forced me to put the brakes on life more often than I would like; however, rather than allowing it to take over, 

I’ve embraced the challenges, and acknowledged the disorder by facing it every day 

and making it front and center of what I do.


Welcome to Leiden Designs.

Love of Beauty is Taste.

The Creation of Beauty is Art.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson