Bijoux Jewellers has been operating in Canberra for over 30 years now. Why did you choose to make Canberra the home for Bijoux?
Following my move to Sydney to study jewellery making, I knew that back at home in Canberra, there was a real gap in the market in terms of unique jewellery stores, as much of the jewellery would be same from one shop to the next. I travelled through Europe, working in the jewellery trade, picking up experience you can’t put a value on! Here is where I cemented my style and worked out what I really love to both wear, and create.
Upon my return to Canberra, I opened Bijoux Jewellers in Civic. We stocked, and still do to this day, a range of jewellery from both international and Australian designers, with an aim to stock a high number of pieces which are unique one offs, so as to not have the wearer be wearing an identical piece to the next person, particularly when we are in a town as small as Canberra!
You’ve been a jeweller for your whole career, and we know you hand make many of your pieces. Can you tell us about the process involved and what it is that keeps you passionate in the art of jewellery making?
Creating custom pieces is one of the most rewarding parts of my job. Whether it’s giving new life to a piece of jewellery that’s been passed down for generations, or creating a brand new piece for a special occasion, it’s always a fun process. The client will come and meet with me in store and we will chat through what they are after. If they have an existing piece of jewellery they’d like remodelled, I look at what we can use from that piece.
Then, whether remodelling or creating a new piece, I will sketch a few ideas and the client can lead me in the direction they want to take. I’ll then source the stones (diamonds, sapphires, whatever they may be!), so the customer can see these in the flesh before they’re turned into a piece of jewellery! The piece is then hand crafted. The most rewarding part of this is seeing the clients reaction when they receive their new jewellery. That’s what keeps me passionate, along with the constantly changing jewellery scene, and endless possibilities in what you can create.
What past trends have you seen re-invented in recent years?
As a Greek Australian, I am particularly excited to see the reintroduction of ancient Greek pieces into today’s jewellery scene. Often overlooked, these pieces have great stories to tell and provide individual style amongst the branded and generic jewellery that is commonplace today.
The choker has come back with a vengeance as of late, and we’re loving it! The style allows you to be flexible with your neckline choice, looking good with just about anything! We’re also seeing bold, colourful earrings hitting the runways, a revamp of jewellery popular in the 60s!
Many people have a real love affair with jewellery. What is the attraction?
Jewellery is a form of self expression, much like clothing, or other accessories. Jewellery has the ability to really polish off an outfit, and can be used to accentuate certain features.There is much attraction in the art of giving and receiving jewellery, too.
Mother’s Day is fast approaching. Can you tell us a bit about what is currently on trend in the jewellery world, and give us some hints as to what Mum’s might like this year!?
We’re seeing a real popularity surrounding some of the pieces from our Australian designers as of late, which we love! The ever popular Dinosaur Designs earrings are always on trend, and are great for adding a pop of colour to your winter wardrobe! We’re also seeing rose gold maintaining it’s popularity, with earrings and bangles from Murkani making a great gift for Mum (even better if she’s an Offspring fan, most of Nina’s jewellery is from Murkani!). For something with a touch more luxury, opt for a fine gold and precious stone piece, whether it be fine earrings, or bracelets (which look incredible stacked up!).
If you had visitors coming to Canberra, what would your weekend itinerary look like?
We’d be up early for a morning walk around Lake Burley Griffin - it’s particularly great at this time of the year as we see the leaves change! Then head for breakfast at One or Two in Manuka, you can’t beat it. Would also take my vintage Alfa Romeo for a drive around the city, and up to the Arboretum. Great for a drive, and those views...! And finish off with dinner at Locale in Deakin, pizza & wine.