A Year Of New Beginnings
It has been a year of new beginnings for jeweller Georgia Wyrill.
First she rebranded her business name from By G to Saint Valentine then she opened her first boutique in the heart of Gould Street in Bondi Beach in the midst of a worldwide health crisis when many operators were shutting up shop and going online.
“It seems people need a bit of sparkle in dark times,” Georgia says.
“Online sales are up 900 per cent on last year and even though the store has only been open since the beginning of September, I am selling five or six times the amount of stock I had predicted.
“My biggest issue is producing enough stock to keep up with demand because it is flying out the door. I really under estimated how much people would love the product. ”
But Georgia is quick to point out that Saint Valentine hasn’t been an overnight success story. It has taken five years of hard graft for her creative journey to start paying dividends.
The Melbourne-born dynamo began her career in fashion working for high profile designers such as Rachel Gilbert before branching out into jewellery making.
“I saw a gap in the market for jewellery at the mid-price point so I saw it as a great opportunity to do my own thing,” she recalls.
“I saved up a bit of money to produce a range of products, quit my full time job and just went for it.”
Georgia started selling her earrings, rings and necklaces at the Bondi Markets in 2015 to introduce customers to the brand and work out what products resonated.
“Customers are quite savvy. They always ask about the materials which is why I put so much emphasis on quality,” Georgia says.
“From the beginning I decided I didn’t want unhappy customers which is why I triple plate my products – which is six times more than other brands at the same price point.
“We have really found the sweet spot between affordability and high quality. You get a beautiful piece of quality jewellery at a price you can afford.”
It’s why her decision to open her first store during COVID-19, has been a winning move.
With travel and social restrictions in place, a lot of her customers are now spending their money on clothes and jewellery.
“When COVID first hit, everyone told me I was mad for opening a store but I knew the online sales were at a record high and Gould Street is a premium shopping precinct so it was a calculated risk,” Georgia says.
Saint Valentine now employs three staff and is going from strength-to-strength thanks to its ongoing relationship with the retail juggernaut The Iconic.
“I started selling through The Iconic two years ago, which is when things really started taking off for me because it gave customers exposure to my brand.”
Georgia designs and makes jewellery on site in Bondi while other items are produced by factories in Bangkok and Barcelona.
Looking back on the growth of her business she says there was a lot of trial and error, but the key to her success is simple.
“You have to love what you’re doing but you also have to be strategic. It may look risky from the outside, but you have to do your research. I know my customers from years at the markets so at the end of the day I know exactly what they want.”
Saint Valentine is open Monday to Sunday – for more information visit
www.saintvalentinejewellery.com or visit www.theiconic.com.au