I started following Susan Ewington Jewellery on Instagram for her absolutely beautiful jewellery and she is the person who got me started watching Instagram stories. I was then lucky enough to meet Susan in real life and she is one inspiring lady!
Recently opening her jewellery studio in Noosa, Susan is an established jeweller who generously shares her knowledge of all things jewellery via her social media. Susan has a range of jewellery available on her website (see below for details) and also creates beautiful custom work.
Tell us about your brand – who are you, what is it about and how did it begin?
I am a maker at heart, and a natural lover of craft and historical practises. I am a mother of two boys, the wife of a chef, and a true Capricorn through and through. Overall, my jewellery practise was a natural progression, an evolution of sorts. I would say it is primarily a creative discipline, and I would describe my work as an aesthetic style, rather than a brand.
Jewellery manufacture is a skills based trade, so it started with formal training at Tafe in Melbourne, and then I worked for a number of years for other jewellers, whilst building my own design style and skills on the side. 12 years into it now (3 years here in Noosa) and there has been a lot of learning as I go. Up-skilling when and where I can is necessary, through all the facets of small business. From manufacturing, marketing, finance, education, customer service and customer experience, the list goes on. The best thing is that I will never have to stop learning.
What is a typical day for you?
A work day consists of coffee first! Then first up is emails, ordering materials, and social media responses. Then to my happy place on the workbench where I will be working on a number of pieces at any one time. I'm often quite smug about how many podcasts I get to listen to while at the bench. Consequently, I'm often the first person to say "So, I just listened to this podcast ..."
Which part of your brand do you enjoy working on the most?
Playing with beautiful gemstones and precious metals - of course!
You have 2 small children – how do you balance motherhood with running a business?
Currently, perhaps "juggle" is the best term for it. In logistical terms, I would say that part of the success of the balance is due to the co-parenting situation between myself and my husband. We have developed a pretty even parenting load, which suits our family quite well. In mental load terms, almost every single day poses a new strategy, a re-think, a plan-of-attack. I'm honestly not sure most days how I manage the mental load, it's just like trying to tread water constantly. The twin facets of my identity are so strong though, mother and maker, I just know that I wouldn't feel complete if one was not there, so I just keep going I guess.
Can you tell us what you have in mind for Susan Ewington Jewellery in the next 12 months?
Well I've only just relocated the studio into its brand new space here in Noosaville, so I guess settling in and growing from this space is on top of the list. There are always new ideas and concepts for pieces and collections brewing in my head, so hopefully I will get the opportunities to work on some of those as well. I would love to have an official opening of the new space at some point this year, so if you're local then jump on my mailing list for an invite when I eventually get around to it!
Susan's workshop in Noosa - open by appointment
Your Everyday life
What do you enjoy doing (outside of your brand!)?
Unsurprisingly, I love creative activity things, like sewing (badly!), painting (mediocrely!), and baking (hit and miss!) I like to think that I am a nature lover, but I could probably get out more, even with two little distracted explorers in tow. I am definitely NOT an exerciser.
What are you reading at the moment?
Mothering Our Boys by Maggie Dent, and Any Ordinary Day by Leigh Sales.
What are you watching at the moment?
Queer Eye. Taboo.
You live on the Sunshine Coast and have a day with no responsibilities to do anything you like. What do you do?
Beach walk. Coffee and a snack, there are too many great places to mention for that. And then op-shopping. Oh, there would be op-shopping.
Which do you prefer?
Dogs/cats - Dogs
Camping/staying in a hotel - Hotel
Home cooking/eating out - Eating Out
Watching a movie/reading a book - Reading a book
Summer/winter - Autumn!
Waking up early/staying up late - Waking up early-ish. But please tell my kids that 5am is just too early.
Tea/Coffee - Coffee am, tea pm
Sweet/savoury - Sweet
Breakfast/no breakfast - Breakfast! Who doesn't have breakfast?!
Online shopping/in store shopping - Sustainable shopping, wherever that maybe.
And finally, we have to ask - what is the best gift you have ever received?
Geez, that's tough! I'm a collector of small objects with deep sentiment, so in that sense, I have had many best gifts. They are usually tokens or keepsakes, which carry a significant story or memory. But a set of linen bedsheets wouldn't go astray either you know. Always the practical Capricorn.
Susan's workshop in Noosa. The chairs were salvaged from a church in Brisbane and the table was made by Susan's great grandfather.
Find Susan Ewington Jewellery
Photo of Susan by Anna Dekretser Photography
All other photos by Susan Ewington Jewellery