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Bohemian Luxe Queen: Samantha Wills Interview

Tuesday 28 October 2014

My first memorable encounter of Samantha Wills' eponymous label involves the power of instagram, Bohemian Bardot Ring and the ethereal beauty of the brand's dreamy aesthetics. I was helplessly yet willingly drawn into the world of vintage-inspired glamour and wondrous images of her endless yet purposeful travels. As the brand's own ambassador there is no one better to channel the personality and voice of Samantha Wills than the founder herself. We cannot help but assumed the position as her best friend, sister and trusted confidant whilst she shares her personal life and in depth visions with her adoring fans. 

From handmaking jewellery for her families and friends to being described as 'Australia's biggest export since vegemite', her story is certainly something for everyone to aspire to. I had the greatest pleasure interviewing Samantha where she discusses the global success of her jewellery label, her love for social media to connect with her fan base and limitless future aspirations.
1. What were your original aspirations before you started a career in the jewellery industry?
I actually wanted to work with dolphins! I don't think I connected the importance of being good at science though, so needless to say I was much more of a creative than an academic. 

2. How would you describe your brand and the person wearing your  jewelry? 
We describe the brand aesthetic as bohemian luxe. She has a bohemian spirit for travel, to be near the ocean, but her style is chic. She might wear black skinny leg jeans & a tailored blazer. She layers her jewels & mixes costume jewelry with her fine jewelry. Her interior style is also reflective of bohemian luxe, white-washed floors mixed with masculine leather chairs & french mirror furniture. It’s all about juxtaposition. 

 3. What are the challenges of working in the jewellery industry? 
 Like any product industry, maintaining product consistency & logistics always consume a lot of time & resources. The industry is quite saturated at a retail & media level, so ensuring you are continually evolving is important at a brand level. 

4. Your expertise in effective social media engagement amongst your core audience is second to none. What is your take on it? What are the advantages and disadvantages you've experienced so far?
Oh thank you! I really enjoy the social element of branding in this day & age! I think authenticity is key. Consumers are very informed, so trying to fabricate something will be seen straight through. Consistency is also important. I think when you start out as a designer, unlike an actress or recording artist, you don't expect fame; so I guess a down side has been being accessible 24 hours a day and trying to manage the line between brand & personal, in an authentic way. It has been a bit of challenge but all in all, the social platforms are the biggest voice of the brand so it is important that I am very invested in this space. 

5. 5. There are many young and emerging jewellery designers who are using social media platforms to showcase their work. What advice would you give them in order to create their own unique identity online? 
Treat your Instagram account as your portfolio. Think about your content, plan your content & study what works. You need to look at it as story; this may sound weird, but introducing new characters sporadically can be confusing to your audience. If you are using your IG for business & brand development, you cannot treat it as you would a personal feed. Think: polish & professionalism.

6. What is the best social media platform you enjoy using and why? 
I love Instagram but I am also really into my Tumblr at the moment! I like that is it very visual & acts as moving artwork. It is a very low maintenance platform with high visual impact. 

7.   What is your favourite piece at the moment from your own collection? What do you wear regularly? 
I get asked this a lot! The Bohemian bardot rings are probably my favorite children! I am loving the metal one as it goes with everything & it’s a new chic take on a more bohemian style. In the FINE line I LOVE our Beautiful Mantra necklaces & the minerals necklaces. 

 8. If you could collaborate with another brand/person who will it be and why?
 YSL!  I love everything about that brand. 

 9. What would you say is your signature piece? 
The Bohemian Bardot became our unassuming signature when Eva Mendes wore it back in 2008. It has been our best seller ever since!

10. In which country or city you feel reflects in most of your work and why do you think that might be? 
There is not one city. My work is reflective of my two homes: Sydney & New York City. I think this also perfectly reflects Bohemian Luxury. 

11. What is your motto in life?
Say yes & figure it out afterwards! (Figuring it out usually consists of me then sitting down at my desk saying 'how the F*#k am I going to do this!)

12. You also have a bridal range, stationary and homeware added to your ever-expanding empire. What's next on the horizon for the Samantha Wills brand? 
Bridal + FINE are our main secondary divisions. We have a really exciting category launching in mid-November that we will be announcing in the coming weeks. Every new category is an organic move for the brand. I'm a selfish designer; I design the things I wish existed! 

IJL Seminar Recap: Marketing Jewellery Brands via Blogs

Friday 17 October 2014

 After the IJL seminar announcement (here) exploring the topic 'How to market your brand via jewellery blogs and social media channels' Lead Speaker and Jewellery Blogger Katerina Perez has written an in depth version on how to promote jewellery brands via blogs. As the most attended seminar at International Jewellery London the topic was certainly interesting, insightful and informative.

What was covered at the seminar:
  • Brands' experience from working with a jewellery blogger
  • Finding the right blogger to feature your brand
  • Getting in touch with the blogger
  • Information needed for a productive feature
  • Relationship with the blogger

Insta-Jewels: Journey so Far

Monday 13 October 2014

Holts London first AW14 collection featuring Vivienne and Vicious cocktail rings in 18ct rose and yellow gold studded with spinels, green and blue diamonds with milky green moonstones as centrepieces.

Popping with these Jennifer Loiselle fun cherry drop earrings (left) and taking my Jenny Sweetnam's silver Rose Thorn studs to the natural surroundings of Lake District. 

Goldsmiths Fair showcasing one of my favourites Shimmel and Madden's geometric Cuboid pendants (view my first blog post here). Hee Young Kim exploration of hidden spaces in these minuscule floor-plan inspired rings (top right and bottom left). Abigail Brown's stunning sweeping Folds neckpiece spotted on the designer herself.

Visited Harrods Biennale Des Antiquaires viewing one of a kind jewellery collection featuring Archi Dior's jaw dropping diamond ring and bracelet (top left and bottom right) inspired by draped fabrics, ribbons and pleats. The art deco inspired Chanel neckpiece that left me speechless (top right) and separately, trying on Harry Winston cushion cut micropavé diamond ring (bottom left)

One off geometric clear quartz ring by Holts London from AW collection preview launch.

Brilliant contemporary jewellery designer Gina Melosi's Broken//PROMISES pointer ring cast from a broken bottle fragment. Destructive yet wearable (top left). Rocking Bjorg's grey horsehair ear cuff at Shoreditch's contemporary jewellery Boutique Parla in Boxpark. Wearing By Boe's minimalist wire arc earrings during an evening out (bottom left). Ellie Air's angular drop earrings in oxidised silver and gold(bottom right).  

Jenny Sweetnam's dainty Rose Thorn necklace (top left). Matching my Monica Vinader labradorite ring with thick navy jumper (similar here) (right)

The stuff of my dreams...Mirta Jewelry for Marios minimalist black geometric bangle (top left). Purchased this oxidised wire earrings by GN Jewellery to go with my beloved Osnat Harnoy's geometric black ring (top right). Jennifer Saker's architectural 'Chipperfield' gold ring selected by Zaha Hadid as one of her favourite pieces at the Goldsmiths Fair.

Conquer open rings by by Eaburns during a visit at Parla in Shoreditch (left). My favourite Icon ring by Ruifier (right)

 The stunning Kinetic Crux necklace by Ruifier (left). Played with geometric stacking rings at East Street eatery in Central London (top right). Timeless double winding wheel ring in gold and white sapphire from the Time collection by Cpt Jewellery(bottom right)

To follow my insta-jewellery adventure visit here

In the Mood for... V Jewellery

Thursday 2 October 2014

Sometimes it only takes a discovery by chance, and that discovery intrigued me to explore further. Almost immediately, I became besotted.

I couldn't take my eyes off V Jewellery.

 Intricate and timelessly elegant, V Jewellery's ethos is to create vintage-inspired pieces you could also lounge at home in whilst also becoming an essential wardrobe staple for the evening dress up ritual. It is a rarity to find jewellery so versatile and nonconformist to trends whilst ultimately becoming a trendsetter after spotting a gap in the market for quality yet affordability combined.

Launched in April 2013, Creative Director and Co-Founder Laura Vann created V for young women like herself without the expensive price tags or tucked away in places such as Portobello Market. By looking into past history of vintage jewellery and its associated movements, shapes and genres, Laura added her youthful perspective to create an irresistible concoction of historical yet modern luxury.

   The Sword ring is one of my most coveted from the V collection. It is visually commanding, royal-esque and delicately decadent. However, the beauty of it all lies in the story behind the design; think the Golden Era of Hollywood, the bejewelled love affair of Elizabeth Taylor and the dazzling 1920s jewels of The Great Gatsby, these combinations alludes glamour, timelessness and eternally down in history, never to leave our consciousness.

 Whilst V seamlessly integrates with normal everyday attire, wearing a LBD every women of all ages have in their closet creates that added drama and sophistication I was previously on a continuous mission to seek from jewellery. 

Mission completed. 

Do check out their instagram page for dressing the V way.


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