Interview with Jewellery Designer // MIES NOBIS

c/o Claavi Ring, Kukir Ring with DiamondsMihlu Bangle

What's your earliest memory of Jewellery making? 

Earliest memory of making jewellery was after Highschool, I was living by Bondi beach with my best friend and we used to come home from our respective jobs and hang out making beaded, feather earrings. One day we did a stand at Bondi markets and that feeling of having people want to pay for something you just love doing was the first taste of my all time favorite high.

How did you know this was different to other hobbies?

I guess that’s how I knew it was different to other throw away hobbies, I have always been a creator; I was baking cakes, recording albums with my sisters, taking photos of our dolls, doing pottery, painting, sewing, anything!! I wasn’t necessarily good at everything, jewellery seemed the first viable way to create and make a living.

When did you decide to pursue Jewellery making as a career? - How did friends and family members respond to that decision? 

After I had been in Berlin for a year or so, I started to create some jewellery art pieces which I was loaning to stylist & photographer friends. I decided to go to Bali to escape the winter and ended up having a small sample collection made there. I come from the sort of family that support me no matter what I want to do, it was my Grandfather who gave me some start up capital, he said what can you do with samples, here take this make some stock to sell. After that I won a place at a Paris showroom and that was the beginning. 
Did you feel confident or out of depth when starting out? 

I was confidently out of my depth, I have a bit of a 'just do it and figure out the details along the way' attitude. When I think of myself in hindsight turning up to this trade show, a day late and not even knowing what a line-sheet was, I laugh.

Do you feel accepted and understood by the industry you work in? 

Mostly I've had really good feedback from people I work with, a lot of the Designers we've worked with through AA I count as close friends, although I have definitely also had my clashes. In a broader sense industry wise, I don’t know if we have made such an impression, it’s small company and not necessarily my aim to expand.

What would you change about the industry you work in? 

While I respect big brands and believe good marketing is almost harder to do than good design, I do feel like the monopoly of established brands makes it hard for individual designers & artisans. 
Have any relationships been hindered by your work?

I think it’s hard for any partner of a creative person as we tend to be passionately in love with our work, it’s not my ideal relationship to be competing with that!

What advice would you give to young creatives starting out?

The advice I would give to someone starting out running their own business would be; Blind optimism and enthusiasm go far. Also take the opportunity’s that arise rather than having to too strict direction.

If you could go back in time and choose a different line of work, would you?

I often look at people with regular 9-5 jobs and financial security and wonder, but probably not, I'm a really strong minded person and have a lot of difficulty doing things someone else’s way. Plus I need that passion for my own work to be motivated. But it’s not an easy route.

Why did you leave your home town?

The Blue Mountains, Australia is a stunning beautiful natural heritage area of littletowns outside of Sydney, I see that now, but at the time it just felt like a boring, suffocating small village and I was desperate to see the world.
Are you happy with where you are in your career? 

I'm happy I've managed to support myself solely with my companys for the last 5 years, but I'm generally quite critical of my work and always reviewing and adjusting how things are done. I have the feeling once I've finished this project or whatever then I will be happy, but there is always something else.

What would you like to improve on this year, in both your personal and work life?

This year I'm working on balance; work/life Balance, Health/fun balance, I'm quite an extreme person which has had its benefits, but I think it’s time to take steps to being a more even keeled, balanced person. Maybe I'll have another attempt at getting into meditation, I find it extremely hard.

What about yourself are you most proud of?

I'm proud of the risks I've taken and the opportunity’s I've embraced, as I said I'm proud of having grown not only my own jewellery label Mie Nobis with it’s loyal following of lovely customers & friends, but also curated the network of jewellers, Designers and Artists that are  AA-Collected & all the things we have achieved together.