In the first of what will be a regular post, I want to introduce you to the talented creatives behind some of the handcrafted gifts discovered and offered within the Creative Finds store. Let's call it a Meet the Maker interview. First up - and let's be honest, my guinea pig - is Lauren from Ayana Jewellery
! I first discovered Lauren's simplistic range at the Coal Loader Markets in Waverton (North Sydney), where I bought the super popular X & O earrings for myself (all in the name of research of course!). Since then, I've ordered and re-ordered Ayana pieces in both Sterling Silver and Rose Gold for the Creative Finds online gift store. Pre-Christmas, coupled with loads of Chrissie Markets, Lauren could barely keep up with the demand! Lauren is now offering jewellery making workshops in her Sydney city studio - click here to find out more.
Here she is at work!
Now, over to Lauren: How long have you been operating your business:
Full Time for 8months. Before that I was working on the business part-time for 2years in Australia. Prior to that, I was living in London (and before that New Zealand) and making jewellery really as a hobby selling things here and there. What is the mission statement of your business:
I’m not sure if it’s quite a “mission statement” but my aim is to create handmade jewellery which is affordable so that everyone can enjoy quality jewellery that lasts a lifetime. What do you produce and who are your customers:
I design and produce handmade jewellery from sterling silver for the “fun-loving” woman. My pieces are simplistic and minimal and suit a wide range of ages from tweens up to 90+ . My customers do vary a lot, from people who want something simplistic to wear every day, teens who need little studs for school, to women who like something a bit different or dressy like our Linear Curve Earrings. I have also recently started a new range called Ayana Luxe, which is the same jewellery handmade in sterling silver, then plated in a 14k Italian Rose Gold. What are your favourite aspect of running your business:
Being able to do something every day that I love! I’m sure a lot of people probably think being a “jeweller” and working from home, that you have all this free time and you spend most of your time “playing with jewellery” – this is far from the truth! My days are pretty jammed packed and most often I’d like a few extra hours every day to fit everything in. But, I love being busy so I wouldn’t have it any other way. My second favourite thing (if I’m allowed two), is the awesome feeling when people love my jewellery and buy it over and over again! There’s nothing quite like seeing someone wearing a piece of jewellery that I made (with my own hands) and saying it’s their favourite pair of earrings and they wear them every day! Where do you find inspiration for your creations:
This is quite a tricky question as most designs tend to just pop into my head, or often happen by accident when I’m making something else and it goes a bit wrong and a new design is born! I do love geometric shapes and forms – from things that I see on my travels, buildings, angles and nature. Often my inspiration comes from customers – those people who say, “ohhhh.. I love this, but do you have it this size, this shape” etc. So, I head back to my bench and start playing. Why do you do what you do:
I just LOVE jewellery and since our working life-time is pretty long, I think it’s important to really enjoy what you do and be motivated with what you do. I’m lucky that my fiancé, Vincent also shares my passion for the business and helps me behind the scenes (and often at busy markets!) with flyer designs, the website, photography etc. It’s definitely teamwork! What exciting things have you got in the Ayana pipeline for 2018:
This year is the first FULL year that I’ll be working full time in the business, so we have lots and lots of plans which hopefully we can get through. At the moment I am working on curating our ranges and pieces, and adding lots of new designs to our range. Lots of these we tested at our Xmas markets last year, so some customers have already seen some of these. One of our focuses this year, is on new photography, where we can showcase the jewellery being worn, to help our online customers choose their jewels more easily. I also want to dedicate some time this year to our men’s range. We started on this last year and now have more of an idea of what people are looking for. There is very minimal choice for men, so we want to create a range that is classic with a contemporary edge. Oh, and one more – I have a range I’m designing (on paper so far) for tweens and teens with some more fun studs for school as well as some cute necklaces and bracelets. What is something about you that not many people know:
I hate shopping (the shopping mall/shops type of shopping)… unless I have a list and a clear idea of what I need to buy! Vincent has to drag me around the shops! However, this swings on it’s head when on holiday, when I absolutely LOVE browsing different shops, especially overseas and picking up clothing pieces that no-one else will have when I get home. What do you do in your spare time?
Myself and Vincent (my fiancé) love to travel! Living in London for 6 years (where we met), we travelled all over Europe for long weekends – often driving from London and getting the ferry across to France and exploring from there. We have started to explore Australia now that we are settled here and have lots of plans for more travel in the next couple of years. This year… my spare time is taken up with wedding planning. We will get married in Sydney in April and then have a second reception in Turkey in September. So, lots of decoration making, flight and trip planning which is loads of fun! When I find other spare time, I love to get out for walks and explore Sydney, find a new coffee shop or relax in our local coffee shops in Pyrmont. We love finding funky little bars to enjoy a cheeky drink, small gift shops and new areas of Sydney. At home, I find I tend to potter around with other craft projects, swimming, reading and playing my flute. Which reminds me, I have a DIY bag kit which needs making so I must find some time for that! What is your favourite song ATM?
The Lumineers – “Ho Hey”
So there you have it. The inside scoop on on Lauren, one of the many creative talents designing, making and living her dream. And all while planning her upcoming wedding! I love meeting the makers and discovering their raison d'être - I hope you do too. S x