When did you first start designing jewelry and when was "Samantha Wills" the brand, born?
I started designing jewelry when I was 11 years old when my Mum put me into beading classes at the local craft shop in the town I grew up in. I moved to Sydney when I was 20 years old & was working in retail thru the week & selling jewelry at a local market every weekend. A friend offered me a spot on a showroom wall at Australia fashion in 2004, I was 22 years old. I took the spot hoping to make the $500 cost back, & walked away form the evet having written AU$17,000 worth of orders. I quit my retail job the next day & decided I was going to give everything I had to building the SAMANTHA WILLS brand.
Where do you draw your inspiration from when designing your jewelry?
I design every single piece for the SW woman. She is the one who inspires me. It is a luxurious time to be a designer, because social media allow us to see the consumer, she shows us how she is wearing it, what she is wearing it with, where she is wearing it. They tell you exactly what they like & don't, so I am very inspired by creating for her.
In what ways is your jewelry unique?
I think the way we work with turquoise is unique. Turquoise is traditionally set in silver, & gives it a very bohemian feel. Our design aesthetic is bohemian luxury, so we rarely set our turquoise stones in silver, but rather in burnished bronzes or metallic gold to give it a much more luxe feel.
Would you say that your jewelry is a direct representation of your own personal style?
Absolutely. After I design a collection, & the production house has produced all the samples, it all goes onto our boardroom table & we then edit it into a collection. My main point of reference is that if I wouldn't personally wear it, it does not go into the collection.
What type of girl do you envision wearing your pieces?
She is confident in her own way. She is adventurous. She is not at the forefront of fashion, but has her own unique style. She marches to the beat of her own drum. She is like me.
What's your favorite part about being a jewelry designer?
It may surprise some, but designing jewelry is not even in my top 3 favorites things about my job! My favorite thing is creating a brand, and as our brand has a very strong online presence, its about creating this incredible community that women are a part of, that is honest. Its about communicating & interacting with them…. It just so happens that jewelry is the vehicle that has allowed me to do this.
How do you wear jewelry (yours or other designers)? Do you have any pieces that you wear every single day?
I have one other costume jewelry piece, which is a CHANEL bangle I recently purchased… otherwise, all costume jewelry I wear is SW! I wear a few fine pieces that are not SW that I have received as gifts, or bought myself.
Do you have any favorite jewelry designers?
I love YSL jewelry, I think is still really encapsulates the studio 54 era, which is really of interest to me. I also love vintage CHANEL.
What has been your most exciting moment thus far, since the launch of your brand?
There have been a few. Being named as a break out star in the New York Times was pretty surreal. As was seeing SW jewels in the Sex & the City 2 film – but I think the most exciting thing, which only dawned on me the other day, was that now, nearly 10 years on from that market stall, where my dream was to create a brand, that was commercially successful & to have a like minded team of people around me, has come true. I say that in a way that it dawned on me the other day, because there was a designer I admired when I first started, to me she was the greatest & very untouchable. At 21, I wanted to be her & replicate her success. Then, the other day, I was in an airport, two people behind her. Standing in the same line, sitting in the same part of the plane as her & it dawned on me at that moment, I chased this dream & at this very moment, it looks even more sparkly then I could ever imagine.
Do you have a favorite piece in your collection right now?
The Bohemian Bardot ring will always be my favorite, it is the piece I wear the most & it is comes in a million different stones, so it is very versatile!
What can we expect to see in your fall/winter collection?
I design for both hemispheres, so the palette is always 1/2 spring/summer, 1/2 fall/winter. Our signature style remains; statement rings & necklace wear plus decadence earrings.
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