You may have come across Sydney-based Natalie Marie Jewellery's stunning designs on Instagram, where the label has a following of more than 100,000. Or maybe, you've spotted some of its pieces on the US TV show Suits. Over the last couple of years, Natalie Marie Jewellery's fan base has steadily grown and now includes not only the team here at Home Beautiful but Suits star and Prince Harry's girlfriend, Meghan Markle.
We spoke to owner Natalie Marie Fitch about her work, running a jewellery business, staying small when demand is big and her celebrity clients.
Tell us a little bit about your work and how you got started?
Natalie: "I am originally from the UK and moved to Australia about ten years ago. I basically started building up the business as soon as I got out of university. It takes a lot to build a studio and all the equipment you need. I started doing small stuff from home and built the brand slowly alongside working full time at other places. The first proper collection we put out on wholesale was about five or six years ago and from there it's been a gradual, really organic growth."
How has the business developed?
"We were working from my spare bedroom only 18 months ago. Getting the studio and showroom space was a big step. Initially, it was just me, now there is six of us. Having the studio allows us to have a concentration and more of a presence and that really facilitated the bespoke side of the business, which was where we wanted to get the focus to - it just took a while to get there."
Do you still make your jewellery yourself?
"We have a few sides to the business. We have 30 stockists in Australia and that's predominantly our online pieces – the more production pieces. The girls really manage the wholesale and online side of things whereas I manage all of the bespoke stuff, which is really fun."
How did you get into designing engagement and wedding rings?
"The bridal side to the business kind of happened organically. Rather than pushing for big goals, we tend to go with what's working and develop and nurture those things. I designed an engagement ring for a friend of mine, it was the first one I did and that started a whole new way of working. Now, it has become a huge part of the business. With the engagement rings, we have a completely different approach to other jewellers and offer a different experience. It's really personal and intimate so it doesn't feel like a jewellery shop, which is what I always wanted for this space."
"We did a collaboration with [wedding dress designer] Grace Loves Lace. So many people have been like 'I got my ring from you and my dress from them'. It seemed like a perfect partnership. They do beautiful stuff we have a similar aesthetic, and similar customers."
Meghan Markle wore a few of your pieces...
"There were a couple of Instagram snaps she posted and people were like 'What are the exact ones she's wearing?' 'What exactly is the colour and length she is wearing?' It's amazing the effect that social media has."
Apart from Meghan Markle, are there any other celebrities you've spotted wearing your jewellery?
"Not really, it's not really something we ever pushed for. I much prefer someone who loves the stuff and the brand and my jewellery. It's not really my style to send things out. I made [award-winning beauty blogger] Gritty Pretty's Eleanor Pendelton's engagement ring, which is beautiful. She always looks immaculate and takes immaculate photos."
Natalie Marie Jewellery, 11-13 Avalon Parade, Avalon Beach NSW. By appointment only.