written by Ellé Owens, Jewellery Designer and Entrepreneur
Photo : Ellé Owens, Jewellery Designer and Entrepreneur
AUSTRALIA - Since I was a little girl I have always been obsessed with jewellery. I would admire my Nan with a ring on every finger, rummaging through her jewellery box as she told me stories about where she got each ring from, or whether it was one passed down from her Grandma.
Every piece seemed to have a story. My mum was never without her favourite big retro gold hoops, and I remember as a baby I would want to reach out and hang on. I was drawn to anything sparkly and that addiction has never died down.
Now at 25 years of age, I appreciate the special memories each piece of jewellery can hold, from a passed down heirloom, to a new memory made from a gift given from a loved one. I wanted to create an affordable luxury brand, made from quality materials that will last the test of time, but still be on trend with the fashion of today.
Using high quality Gold Filled and Sterling Silver, Jewellery By Ellé Charlotte is hypoallergenic and tarnish resistant, to wear occasion after occasion, year after year.
Creating unique fashion forward designs, partnered with semi precious stones such as quartz and aventurine to give it that modern edge and authenticity.
I started my label in 2017, it started of as more costume jewellery with materials I could find from local stores or online websites. My materials were inexpensive, so I could play and discover my favourite designs and practice my skills.
Over the next few years it was tough, as the product I was making still did not sing to me, they tarnished after a few wears, just like similar fast fashion labels in within the same price point. Looking back into my jewellery box filled with nan’s exquisite rings and chains, each with decades of wear were all still in great condition. That was it.
I wanted to give that feeling to my customers, I want my customers to pull my jewellery out and tell their daughters stories about these special earrings they wore to certain occasions.
But, being in a low income full time job I understood the struggle of wanting to by solid gold and not being able to afford it. I hated the fact I would spend money on costume jewellery that would tarnish after one wear and I felt like it was a waste of money.
So, I wanted to create a brand that would be the middle ground. Creating statement jewellery that is unique and fashion forward, that would last wear after wear. I launched my current collection ’Ikigai ‘which is Japanese for ‘finding your purpose in life‘.
Using high quality materials and natural stones, such as jade and rose quartz tying into the Japanese inspiration. I ended up shooting all new imagery for my brand in Tokyo on a trip, and relaunched my website with a new look.
Photoshoot in Japan : Model wearing Jewellery By Ellé Charlotte
I now had a target audience, with a vision and direction I wanted my label to go. I have had my business for a few years now and I hope each year it continues to grow.
I get a lot of exposure through Instagram Oh! The power of social media! Jewellery By Ellé Charlotte is now stocked in a boutique here in Perth, and I have had my product in two pop- up stores as well.
Photo : Ellé wearing her own jewellery
I have been working full time in retail since I left high school. Design and fashion has always been in the forefront of what I thought I would want as a career. However, I was fresh out of school, I simply could not afford any down payment for a student loan and my parents could not help. So, I made the decision to get a job with the plan to save up and put myself through Fashion School.
Years ended up passing by and a full time wage was hard to sacrifice as I got older I had more financial responsibilities, I felt stuck. I had recently rediscovered jewellery from my nan, as she kindly gifted me special heirlooms from her collection, ones I so deeply admired as a little girl.
The love and joy from wearing these pieces reignited my passion for jewellery. I took the plunge after a few years in the same old routine, and I enrolled for a night course at TAFE in Jewellery Making for Beginners. From there I made jewellery at home just as a hobby and it just unraveled from there.
My friends started asking me where I got my jewellery from, and asked if I could make pieces for them. After a bit of encouragement and assurance from people that liked my designs, I started up a website and thought I would give this a go...and Jewellery By Ellé Charlotte was born.
I continued with my classes for a while, learning skills such as soldering, setting and polishing. It was fascinating to see how a piece of jewellery is made from start to finish. From the very first pen to paper, dribbling down your design ideas. To the final polish of your finished product.
The classes were not planned, everyone bought in their own work, so it was hard at times to seek help and assistance from the teacher as all of the students were going at their own pace on a variety of different projects.
It was tough to grow my skills without a structured curriculum but it was such a great way to learn from other students and problem solve for myself.
These short courses worked well for me, I could test out my strengths and weaknesses. I could discover what I was good at, and what part about the whole jewellery manufacturing industry I was passionate about.
These courses gave me a chance to learn something new, get me out of my routine and revitalise my creativity and imagination I felt like I had been missing.
It is all about learning and being open to growth and change when going out on your own to start your own brand. I realised I was not happy selling product that wasn’t authentically me, cheaper fast fashion accessories were great to buy and sell but I have found much more happiness and success now I am crafting jewellery that I am proud, and passionate about.
I am confident in my designs and materials, that I know my customers will appreciate a locally made, and sustainable brand.
I am excited for the future, to keep being creative and making new designs, growing as a business and as a person.
These past few years have been tough in this COVID-19 world but it just is so important, now more than ever, to have a creative outlet.
Whether that be a hobby that turns into a business or not , if it makes you sparkle from the inside out, that's all that matters.
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