Jan's talent for designing was inherited from her father, Jim Leake, who was an architect and mechanical engineer. Jan attended the Maryland Institute, College of Art (MICA) where she studied printmaking, jewelry making and jewelry design. She is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology and holds a degree in textile design.
Jan launched her career designing one of a kind fine jewelry pieces. She also designed annual collections for high-end costume jewelry companies and private label retailers.
She then worked in the home retail furnishings field focusing on sales, purchasing, display and management.
Following her passion for residential design she accepted a position working for a structural engineering firm, honing her Auto CAD skills. This fueled a new direction for designing kitchens, bathrooms and custom cabinetry. Her continuing success was followed by the establishment in 2004 of her company JLB Designs.
Suzanne grew up in Fairfield, Connecticut. Even as a young child, she was interested in fashion relating to clothing and the home. Her eighth grade autobiography stated, "When I grow up, I want to be an interior decorator." In high school, her senior class voted her "best-dressed."
She attended the College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP) at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio. She received two degrees: a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Education.
Suzanne started her career teaching art at a college preparatory high school in Cincinnati. She found teaching to be very rewarding, but still had the heartfelt desire to be an interior designer.
She began her interior design career while working at furniture stores in Connecticut for four years, and then owning and operating a retail furniture and design store for seven years. After establishing herself as a designer and building up a clientele, she decided to focus exclusively on designing. In 1994 she went into business as Suzanne Novik Interiors, Inc. She is a member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), Connecticut chapter.