The “Star Observer Spotlight” is a new segment featuring members of the community that have in their own way advanced the lives (even one life) of the LGBTI community. We tell their stories.

After starting out in Los Angeles creating sculptured cakes for the Hollywood celebrity set, Anthea Leonard returned to Australia in 1980 to set up Sweet Art and in the process has become a friend of and deeply connected to her local LGBTI community.

In talking to the Star Observer, Leonard explains her to connection to her community: “Some of my best and creative employees are from the LGBTI community, my store is a safe place for people to be themselves. Sweet Art needs people to be at their best creatively and you cannot be that if you are holding back.

Anthea Leonard Sweet Art Founder

Anthea Leonard Sweet Art Founder

“I could not imagine my business being anything other than the diverse, accepting and supportive place that it is and it wouldn’t be what it is without the LGBTI community being so supportive, whether as customers, staff or just as our friends,” she added.

It was hard to get  a hold of Leonard, as she was preparing a photo shoot for Vogue – which goes to that Sweet Art is of the nation’s most admired and respected event planning and edible sculpture businesses.

Leonard brought back to Australia a client list that included the likes of Barbara Streisand, Candice Bergen, Olivia Newton John, Dylan, Cher and Elton John, to name but a few.

Originally from Perth and majoring in art at high school, Leonard moved to Sydney to study sculpture and ceramics at East Sydney Art School (now the National Art School). Europe then beckoned, where she spent two years studying art and living in Florence, before heading off for a another few years in New York and Los Angeles. Around this time, Anthea honed her culinary skills, training at Le Notre in ice creams, patisserie, and French chocolate-making.

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This Star Observer Spotlight was was made possible by Seiko

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