All the coolest Australian jewellery designers are now in one place
IMAGES VIA HOUSE OF MATILDA
PUBLISHED BY FASHION JOURNAL, WORDS BY ISABELLE SACKS
House of Matilda has done all the hard work for you.
I don’t know about you, but I find that buying jewellery online can be a daunting process. Either you err on the safe side (read: generic), or you risk it for a unique piece by scrolling on Etsy or Instagram.
It can be a struggle to look for cool, Australian jewellery unless you’re extremely brand savvy and know exactly what you’re looking for. Enter, House of Matilda.
Launched this month by Erin McLean, House of Matilda does the looking for you, showcasing a number of designers and their unique creations to provide a beautiful, seamless jewellery shopping experience. All of the pieces are handmade, made-to-order and of the highest quality.
The site is currently showcasing a curated list of brands including Black Finch, Laura Miers, Millie Savage, Davina Yves, Enesea, Henson & Gold and White November. Erin has plans to introduce By Azal very soon and expand to up to 25 brands in the future.
I spoke to Erin to find out a little more about what inspired the development of House of Matilda, and she told me that the extra free time she found herself with during the pandemic finally allowed her to explore an idea that she’d been sitting on for a decade.
Erin also works at new and used car website, Carsales, and thought an adaptation of that highly successful model made the most sense. “Physical retail is struggling, so having a platform connecting customers to designers to get custom pieces made seemed like a natural progression,” she says.
At the heart of House of Matilda is a celebration of Australian talent and design, so it was very important to Erin that all of the pieces would be designed and handcrafted in Australia. Even the name itself is a homage to Waltzing Matilda (you can’t really get more true blue than that).
Despite initially thinking international brands had more to offer, after doing a stint overseas, she realised that the Australian fashion and design sector is flourishing. “When I was younger I always thought the grass was greener elsewhere, I always thought there were bigger and better things in America or Europe – but the truth is that Australia has the most incredible fashion designers, we have the most amazing artists – we have such amazing talent right here.”
She also knows how powerful the Australian brand itself is. “There’s a huge market for people wanting Australian goods because Australian design is synonymous with quality,” she tells me.
The process of selecting and approaching brands involved months of research to make sure that the designers were a good fit for the experience Erin was trying to build. First and foremost she looks for “someone that’s got a really unique look and someone that has a clear aesthetic in their design… if sourcing sustainable and ethical stones are top of mind for the designers, that’s a really big deal for me too.”
“Not everyone is going to like pieces that are super unique, but there are always people on the hunt for something different. Laura Miers is a great example, I didn’t see anyone else that is doing anything like that. Millie Savage is another classic, she’s so unique and she’s got a really strong following. That’s what I’m looking for,” she explains.
One of the biggest challenges she faced when bringing designers onboard was making sure all of them felt comfortable about who they were going to be aligned with. “A lot of designers are very particular about the brands that they’re associated with… a lot of them had been waiting for a more premium space to house designers that handmake all of their own pieces,” she explains.
Affordability was also a key concern for Erin. “Obviously, there are things on the site that are really expensive, but we are trying to bring in more affordable designers so that everyone can find something special,” she says.
“It really is a place where you can go if you’re looking for something special, something that’s going to last you a lifetime. I think there’s a lot of jewellery that doesn’t have longevity, but all of the designers we’ve got make timeless pieces.”