Check out my little friend! More from him later...
I had a day full of meetings, interviews and objective setting’s today (yawn), which called for considerably corporate attire. However, I saw fit to share my rather nice new jacket; a silk striped H&M number, complete with elongated, flowing lapels and a pair of sharp shoulder pads.
You may have also noticed a rather beautiful new accompaniment to my everyday get-up – a stunning silver, gold and Topaz ring. The rather lovely Sarah Lushae, co-founder and designer from LuShae Jewelry sent me over the desirable item, and it hasn’t left my finger since.
With a combination of unusual and classic designs, LuShae offers us mere mortals the chance at unique pieces of jewelry at wholly affordable prices. From gothic cocktail rings to dazzling stud earrings and Celtic pendants, the Australian-based brand really does have something to entice every delectable type of fashion maven.
I recently caught up with Sarah to find out a little more about the brand; not only learning about their design and manufacture process, but also their exceptional business model and collaborative approach to stock rotation.
Sarah-Leigh: Hi Sarah, can you tell us a little more about your brand LuShae Jewelry, for those who aren’t familiar?
Sarah: Lushae is actually an Australian company (based out of Tasmania) but we manufacture and dispatch from California in the United States. We're owned and operated by myself and another Australian. For the moment we want to focus on contemporary trends and artistic style over expensive materials but won't compromise on workmanship. To us jewelry isn't precious because it costs a fortune, it's precious because of the unique style and memories of special times it brings.
S-L: How did the brand start, and how long has it been running?
Sarah: The brand has been running for almost 2 years now!! It originally started out offering unique precious gemstone and metal pieces, but the market for this just wasn't there due to the economic downturn and little recognition of our brand. I will begin to introduce high-end precious stones and metals once the brand develops a little more momentum. It's not so much to use the stones and metals but instead I'd love to spend more time designing special pieces without any form of compromise.
I selected the Faceted Blue Topaz Ring from LuShae’s current collection, perfect for a summer's day...
S-L: What products do you stock?
Sarah: Everything from vintage and Victorian styled pendants to contemporary promise rings. I believe we offer around 900 pieces at the moment.
S-L: You design some pieces yourself right? Can you explain the design and manufacture process?
Sarah: Yes, I've been into jewelry for as long as I can remember and over the years of looking at thousands of pieces I suppose I've developed a signature. I look for pieces that fit within that signature. I have a relationship with a manufacturer at the moment and we work together on ideas for a couple of my designs. It's not as I alluded to above, the method of manufacturing I intend to use in the long run, but for the moment I'm very happy with how things are progressing. The remainder of my line is chosen by my customers, we trial new products we like and review a number of indicators which tell us how popular an item is in comparison to the existing range. We're chopping off the tail end and testing new products all the time using this method.
"Christian Dior, Hubert de Givenchy 40's and 50's designers... I'm in love with the elegance of the era"S-L: What kind of thing inspires you?
Sarah: Creativity which seems to originate entirely from the mind of designer and is not simply an adaptation of an existing style of trend. A few designers (and artists in all fields) seem to be born with this gift, they define/invent a new style and I have no idea from where in there minds it is created but I draw so much inspiration from them.
S-L: The commentary on your site is very historical, is this a side of jewelry design that you are interested in and turn to often?
Sarah: A great deal of my customers (the majority in fact) are men and prior to creating our guides we would receive a tonne of questions on many different aspects of jewelry. We decided to turn our store into a resource. Even if someone doesn't buy from us we'd be happy to know we helped impart some knowledge for someone out there.
S-L: You produce some beautiful gothic rings with huge stones, which are my particular favourites, what are your favourite styles?
Sarah: I'm a fan of everything vintage at the moment... I always have been and always will be I suspect... Yes I love gothic and many Celtic designs as well.
"We decided to turn our store into a resource. Even if someone doesn't buy from us we'd be happy to know we helped impart some knowledge for someone out there"
S-L: I’m often inspired by celebrities jewelry habits, namely Mary Kate Olsen with her fistfuls of gems, who style do you always look to for inspiration?
Sarah: Audrey Hepburn in every way inspires me.
S-L: Who are your favourite designers both in fashion and jewelry?
Sarah: Christian Dior, Hubert de Givenchy 40's and 50's designers. I'm in love with the elegance of the era.
S-L: Whats next for LuShae Jewelry, do you have any exciting projects coming up?
Sarah: I hope to be working on individual pieces to showcase our capabilities early next year. I'm enjoying the way things are going and really enjoying working with some prominent fashion bloggers.