Gem is a start-up brand who is based in Melbourne Town. Her talented brooch creations brought her popularity over her Esty online shop and throughout the months she has grown rapidly on Instagram with a popular fan-base who also share the love of wearing and collecting brooches. Her interesting interview explains how her dream grew into a local business.
Firstly how did you get into the brooch business?
I started making brooches after I had been studying metal-smithing. I lived in a tiny little flat with no equipment or tools to make metal jewellery, but I didn't want to stop creating! So my solution was to start making things with fabric instead. It was cheap and I could just sit on the couch & sew while I watched movies. I never thought it would come this far!
What inspires you for your different creations?
Most of the time it's the fabric. I find my fabric at op-shops. I buy old handbags and wallets - anything that is faux leather or similar. I never know what I'm going to find & what it will inspire which is why I'm still so excited about what I do after all this time! Also, animals & skulls are a huge influence on my work.
What's the process of creating a brooch? From idea, sketch to actual pin?
Well, now I make mostly necklaces & brooches. Occasionally I make earrings, bracelets and other bits & pieces too. But the process is pretty much the same each time. I do a terrible sketch of the piece to get the basic shape down. Then I cut that shape out on paper & define it a little more as I cut. Then I pin that shape to the backing fabric & cut that out... Then I cut the paper shape up into each little piece & pin those little bits to all the different fabrics I need. It's like a puzzle made from fabric pieces! Once all of the fabric shapes are cut out I sew everything together & then comes the fun part - adding any last details with beads, metal, fabric paint etc. It's quite tedious sometimes, lucky I have OCD!
You've recently started creating bangles, how did this idea come about?
I have made some cuffs in the past (way-way in the past!) but recently I stumbled across some plain vintage wire bangles that looked perfect for sewing my creations on to! So I gave it a go & I think it was pretty successful... I'm still ironing out the kinks in this process though!
Lastly, any advice to any one who wants to create their own local start up?
Don't work for your business, make your business work for you! #girlboss... After I took this advice myself & really implemented it, I saw such a difference!
Fav pin you own?
A tiny vintage enamel motorcycle pin that my Pop gave me. He's the OG pin collector.
Best place you've travelled to?
India with my fam. We were up North, in the Himalayan foothills.
I never leave the home without my...
Balms! Lip balm, Tiger balm, bee balm, Egyptian magic. Balm me up.
Favourite ice-cream flavour?
Choc Mint always and forever.
Glitter or Matte?