- HOW DID YOUR CAREER BEGIN?
I used to make the jewels that accompanied my cousin, Arabella Ramsay’s ready to wear collections. Bells showed at Sydney Fashion Week and I made all sorts of weird jewels to compliment her designs. The press took notice. It was fun. Then I had exhibitions and focused on food as my primary inspiration. Wild times they were!
- WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE?
I am living in Paris at the moment. I wake up and liaise with Australia. I answer my emails. Have a workout. Have a Matcha. I usually go out for lunch. I wander the streets and get inspired. I come home, make dinner and work again with Australia. My days are never the same! I can work from anywhere. The Wi-Fi connection is my only issue!
- TELL US ABOUT YOUR RETAIL STORE, PLAYA. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN DREAMING IT UP?
It all came about quite quickly. We were looking at different sites and finally committed to Bondi. The environment influenced the concept. I wasn’t sure that a jewellery store in Bondi would work. I adore shopping when on holidays and I wanted to bring something fresh to Sydney that embodied how I like to shop. When I travel I love to seek out unique things that you can’t find in every other store. I want people to have time to shop. Not be worried about a carpark, fresh from the beach, post breakfast, after the market… Everyone is happy to browse and take the time. PLAYA is my ideal resort store. You can buy a mag, some bathers, a beach bag, a towel, sunscreen, some sunglasses, shoes, jewels of course, and then a fun party dress to hit the town! It’s your one-stop shop!
“When I travel I love to seek out unique things that you can’t find in every other store. I want people to have time to shop.”
- TELL US ABOUT THE FIT-OUT?
I worked closely with my childhood friend Tamsin Johnson, and we dreamt up a Mediterranean/ Mexican inspired palette of colour and textures. All finishes were derived from our travels.We were going to have a sand floor, which in hindsight would have been an absolute nightmare. Instead chose a high gloss sea blue/ green epoxy floor with sand granules strewn through the epoxy- resembling water.All metal components reference shapes you find in my jewels, taco door handles derived from one of my first collections. We worked with artisans from around the globe- including custom- built travertine table by Melbourne Furniture Designer Freddy Ganim, limestone sculptures by Melbourne artist Den Holm and marble shelving by Italian artist Ilaria Bianchi. Not to mention the Barragan style pink clad textured walls to create the ‘pink paradise’! Luxurious, fresh and comfortable!
- WHAT’S BEEN THE BIGGEST EYE-OPENER WHEN LAUNCHING PLAYA?
The response from our customers in Sydney has been pretty amazing. I didn’t expect it. The locals embrace the products and my curation. Everyone is in a good mood and often we have scantily clad girls with sandy feet ruffling through the racks. The store has also become an attraction for many of the tourists passing through Bondi and it is amazing to think that my products are being taken home to different spots all over the world. Oh, this is “the PINK store” they say!
- WE LOVE YOUR NEW COLLECTION, ANGLER, TELL US ABOUT THE INSPIRATION BEHIND IT:
My dad is a mad keen fisherman. We have joined him on some fishing safaris since before we could walk. Holidaying in Noosa every summer, we were always exposed to these elements – fishing, swimming in the ocean, waterfalls, looking out for sharks…the lot! My collections are typically a reflection on particular aspects of my life, be it my childhood, my travels or my endless desire to create. Plus, everyone is always angling for something in life!
- WHAT’S YOUR GO-TO REMEDY WHEN YOU’RE STUCK IN A CREATIVE RUT?
Get back to nature. Breathe clean air. If you can jump in the sea- go for a swim, rejuvenate, relax, give yourself space. Meditate. Then the ideas start flowing. You can’t force it.If this is not an option I will go to an exhibition and this usually ignites something within me. More often than not, my favourite pieces and best sellers have been designed whilst lying on the beach, having some time out.
- HOW DO YOU START YOUR WEEK?
With yoga…it’s the best!
- AND WHAT ABOUT ENDING IT?
Usually a Margarita – no sugar, on the rocks, with salt.
- ANY UPCOMING PROJECTS YOU CAN FILL US IN ON?
I am working with an artist at the moment on a special collection of jewels. Watch this space.
- WHAT’S BEEN THE BIGGEST HURDLE WITH STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS?
You have to make mistakes to learn. I have made many and continue to. You need to listen to your gut a lot of the time. I think my biggest hurdle was to overcome feeling as if I had sold out because I was a fashion jeweller rather than an artist who makes jewellery. I chose a more commercial direction. I was trained to have exhibitions and showcase my work in contemporary jewellery galleries. This was too serious for me.
- WHO ARE YOUR CREATIVE HEROES?
Miuccia Prada, Frida Kahlo, Louise Bourgeois…
- YOU NEXT ADVENTURE?
Every day is an adventure… I am never in one place for more than three weeks maximum. I live every day like it’s my last. Whether it’s traveling to Marrakech, Morocco to visit the atelier for my apparel collection, or visiting our eyewear factory in Italy, I am constantly on the go. I am a professional packer! I can’t wait to hit the South of France in a few weeks for a sneaky weekender.
- WHAT’S ONE LESSON YOUR BUSINESS HAS TAUGHT YOU ABOUT LIFE?
Everyone needs balance in life. Family first – and it is something I am still working on.
Photos by Kendall Hubbard.