If you haven't seen already our first drop of our debut ethical jewellery collection, WARATAH, just went up - and I wanted to give you some insights into how I created this collection.
Hey guys, I’m back with another episode today on the S-kin Studio Jewelry Podcast. And this podcast is all about the creative process behind my latest collection, Waratah.
If you didn’t know, I have just released drop one of my first ethical jewellery collection called ‘Waratah’, and it is a collection that has been 8 months in the making with all designs being made from scratch. The collection is inspired by all things Australian country living, and I want to record this podcast to tell you a bit more about the process behind the making of Waratah.
So first things first, the idea for the collection came to me about 8 months ago, after our annual Christmas trip to our lovely family home in Paynesville, Victoria. When I first came to Melbourne four years ago, I lived in Paynesville for two months and absolutely fell in love with Australian country living. We moved to Melbourne when I went to uni, but often go back home to Paynesville on holidays and weekend trips. So the idea of creating a jewellery collection that expresses the slow living lifestyle and the beautiful things that makes my move to Australia so effortless, was a natural fit for S-kin.
The collection surrounds several elements that symbolizes Australia, in general, and the countryside lifestyle more specifically. The southern cross was a major inspiration to me, as whenever we go back to our family country home, we always comment on how bright the sky is at night, and how it is so much clearer than the city skies. Of course the southern cross is no stranger to Australians as it is only visible in the southern hemisphere.
The waratah flower was also really something special as it is not only absolutely breathtaking but is a native flower to Australia. And then there are gumnuts and eucalyptus trees that dotted all over; there's just something so elegant about the curvature of the eucalyptus leaves, and I knew I had to create a special ring that encapsulates that.
So from the inspiration came the pages and pages of drawings. I had so many styles and drawings in my book, and ended up choosing the ones I loved the most. I knew I wanted to choose a few elements as the focus of the collection and so that made it easier to narrow down the pieces I wanted to create.
Now at the time of these designs being born, S-kin was just one or two months old. I had used findings and components sourced locally and in the US to make and sell our first S-kin Jewelry designs. So to make something completely from scratch, having to find someone to turn the drawings into reality (as I’m not a silversmith), was a huge project. Something I thought would take a few weeks or months, but ended up taking nearly a year.
To bring my design to life, I looked for someone that can understand the importance of sensitive skin friendly jewelry, and was able to produce gold fill and sterling silver jewellery to absolute perfection. I found my first factory back in March, and got working with them straight away on CAD drawings of my sketches. I spent about 3 months with my first factory, refining the CAD (computer) drawings and making the first samples of the collection. Fast forward a few months, they completely failed to deliver and left me stranded with so much money and time spent. I was devastated and didn’t know where to go or what to do next as all my samples were completed (albeit not to the best standard but they were a good start), and the supplier decided to ghost me.
So that's when my good friends at our current factory swooped in and saved the day. After I reached out to them to express my frustration with my previous sample run, they immediately reached out to my first factory and communicated with them to get me a refund. It was so lucky as they were both in the same country, speaking the same language, and in the same industry, so they could communicate exactly what I wanted. Their family-approach to business, not to mention ethical practices and high standards of production, was exactly what I needed.
Fast forward another few months, Waratah has now come to life! From just sketches on a notebook, I am so proud of this collection. After many many Skype calls well into the night, multiple alterations, perfecting our samples, to organizing our photoshoot, packaging and so on, it is so surreal to have the pieces in my hands. What a creative journey it has been!
I hope you enjoyed this podcast all about the creative (and I guess, business) process behind the making of our debut ethical collection, Waratah. Don’t forget to check out Waratah on our website, I’ll leave the link in the description of the podcast and in our blog post. I hope you enjoyed and I’ll catch you on the next one!