Wow, has it been five years?
What was our Creative Director & Founder Chi’s personal struggle of finding good quality jewellery, has now manifested and become her life mission to create a jewellery brand that offers beautiful lasting pieces. All our jewelry is original, tarnish-resistant, good for sensitive skin, and will never turn green. When her partner gifted her a pricey necklace that turned green, that was what pivoted her to start S-kin Studio Jewelry.
Hi, this is Anna! I am the in-house content creator and graphic designer at S-kin. I was a long-time fan of S-kin Studio before I stumbled upon their job ad to join the team. Talk to anyone who knows S-kin from their early days, and they would tell you that they were initially drawn into the brand by Chi. She has already been so thoughtful with her gold filled creations and what makes it even more exciting is how it was inspired by her day-to-day life in Melbourne. The perfect example of this is her first Australiana-inspired jewellery collection; Waratah.
I’ve had the privilege to watch this small business evolve and go through so many changes for it to become what it is today! So much has happened, so let’s take a walk down memory lane together…
Whether you're new here, or a long-time S-kin Studio supporter, we appreciate you and we're so happy you're still here on our creative journey with us!
This was the year when the magic happened — Chi registered S-kin Studio Jewelry as an official business! The name of the business is derived from its skin-friendly nature and the idea that it can be passed onto your next of kin. S-kin Studio Jewelry started out in the spare room of her home in Port Melbourne, working hours after her full-time job. Her side hustle started out on Instagram and also at local community markets, where she would wear her red beret, with her then-boyfriend/ now-husband Alex!
I actually met Chi and Alex at one of these local markets, and bought a Baby Pearl Necklace, a pair of Mix & Match earrings and a Waratah Ring (now discontinued) that I still treasure dearly. She would partake in lots of these market stalls across Melbourne and that was crucial in marketing her budding small business.
Not only did Chi take the ethical and sustainable approach, from manufacturing to packaging materials seriously, but she also committed to donating 1% of her profits to charity through 1% for the Planet. If you didn’t know already, S-kin Studio Jewelry supports ethical manufacturers that are small businesses, family-owned, with above-standard working conditions, and strong supporters of women's rights.
Other notable events that happened in 2018:
- Chi got engaged in Italy!
After her first collection of best-selling designs, she launched the Italy Collection, inspired by her romantic engagement getaway in Cinque Terre, Italy. The collection had a lot of beautiful motifs that encapsulated her romantic memories in Italy, like the Firenze Pendant Necklace (inspired by the windows and shapes in Italian architecture), Dante Ring (inspired by the illustrations of Dante’s Paradiso), Roma III Ring (inspired by current Rome).
When the business started picking up, Chi quit her full-time day job to focus all her time and efforts on building S-kin Studio Jewelry. Her extensive research brought her to discover that gold-filled jewellery is the secret to long-lasting jewellery that can last for many years to come with proper care.
Other things that happened in 2019:
- New collection: Magnolia + Iris Collection, inspired by her grandmother’s heirloom jewellery pieces.
- Chi got hitched right before the pandemic!
What catapulted her brand forward was her cult-favourite and iconic Zodiac Collection, with graphics created by Twinewood Studio, featuring 12 tarot-style zodiac designs. The real ones would know that this collection has been copied many times over and is sold in a poorly made gold plated version all over the internet.
Along the way, Chi was always in a constant battle against Etsy stalls that sold her stolen designs (made with who-knows-what). She had to pay a hefty price to copyright her designs in Australia. This didn’t stop a lot of other companies from producing and selling counterfeit pieces overseas though! We actually report 10 Etsy businesses a week on average. Read more about the History of our Zodiac Collection here.
What happened next was the unprecedented lockdown in Melbourne that went on and off for 263 days. Those were very unsettling times, but we managed to make it work! We launched Bloom (now discontinued), a stamped necklace collection inspired by 12 flowers for different months of the year.
In November 2020, Chi leased a space in Bulleen! It was the first office + retail space we ever had and we were only open a few hours a week to the public. Chi thought she would never outgrow this space… but little did she know that S-kin Studio Jewelry would need a bigger space less than a year later.
S-kin Studio Jewelry collaborated with Hegia, our muse, for a second time to bring the limited edition La Femme Collection to life — a tribute to women, embracing our natural superpower of having two paradoxical sides within us. The collection sold out really quickly to our surprise!
In October 2021, S-kin Studio Jewelry HQ made its way to Cremorne, the designer strip of Richmond.
Other collections made in 2021:
- A new range of Piercings Collection, with a launch event party inviting guests to come to get their ears pierced.
- Enchanted Collection, a collection for bridals (inspired by her wedding)
- Chi was pregnant with her first child!
This was the year Chi launched the Lunar New Year Collection, a Chinese Zodiac collection inspired by her best-selling Zodiac Collection! It had Vietnamese names of the animals as a homage to her Vietnamese heritage. With lockdowns over, we started hosting events again, like our Lunar Collection launch party.
This was when I joined S-kin Studio and finally got to meet all the new friendly faces behind the brand! If you can’t already tell, we put in a lot of effort creating Reels & TikToks and had lots of fun making them too. With a team of 9, we were able to work together closely to strategize and bring S-kin Studio Jewelry to the next level.
Chi also created ByS-kin, an extension to S-kin Studio Jewelry. Our first few pieces are in the making and we cannot wait to share them with you! These are clothes that will be closet staples and be in your lounge rotation for years to come!
Other things that happened in 2022:
- Solid Gold Collection + launch party (which happened to be the day she gave birth to baby Felix!)
- The limited edition Ancientiera Collection
- Piercings Collection 2022 + carnival-themed launch party
- Merchandise (sweatshirts, pullovers, socks!)
- Lunar Dreams Collection, a Paola x S-kin Studio Jewelry limited edition collaborated collection
- We started volunteering together as a team! We planted trees with Koala Clancy & helped out at RSPCA
- New services: Piercings, Permanent Infinite Bracelets, Jewelry Workshops, Engravable Collection with custom engravings available
- Our first pop-ups with a NSW Tour at Bondi Beach & Byron Bay
The year started with a bang with our Vietnamese Tết Folklore Collection, where the designs were inspired by Chi’s Lunar New Year dinner table conversations and hometown celebrations. It was serendipitous that both Chi, Haleena and I were traveling to Vietnam at the same time, where we got to hang out at Chi’s childhood spots, and also appreciate the beauty of these jewelry pieces whilst being immersed in the hustle and bustle of Hanoi.
Our first-ever S-kin Studio retreat happened right after. Who knew that a trip to Daylesford in the woods would bring you closer together to your colleagues? We onboarded new staff and now have a total of 15 team members! We did a couple of chop challenges, treasure hunt challenges, group training, and watched many episodes (more like seasons) of Grey’s Anatomy together!
We were also so excited to have our biggest pop-up ever at Doncaster Westfield! It was a dream come true to see S-kin Studio come from humble beginnings, to having a pop-up in a household-name shopping mall. We’ll be at Westfield Doncaster until April 2nd to provide you with our Infinite Bracelet services, Engravable Jewelry services, and our most popular collections.
It’s surreal to think that it’s only the end of February, but we’ve got so much more in store for the rest of the year. We’re so excited to share with you!
Here’s a note from Chi, our Creative Director & Founder:
I pinch myself every day knowing that I am creating ethically-made jewellery that lasts and makes a difference for sensitive skin.
Thank you for these 5 years. We appreciate the constant support through the highs and lows. 2023 is a year where we bring you bigger & better things!
To celebrate our 5th Anniversary (on 28th February 2023), we will be doing a special promotion for all of you so keep your eyes peeled.
Stay tuned, we’ve got more exciting things coming soon!
Love, Chi & the team at S-kin Studio Jewelry