As someone who doesn’t wear much jewellery (I don’t have my ears pierced and I only wear two rings I’ve had since I was a teen), I’m worth listening to when there’s a jewellery piece I actually (finally) want to buy.
And, when it comes to Saint Valentine Jewellery, it’s not just one piece I want to buy — it’s the whole range. Minimalist and made from gold and freshwater pearls, every one of the brand’s pieces would never date and I imagine I’d have for years.
Georgia Wyrill is the founder and designer behind the brand, which she launched in 2016 after seeing a gap in the market at the time for affordable jewellery made with high quality materials. She started by selling her designs at the Bondi Markets and National Design Markets. “It was fantastic to gain a loyal local following and test designs and quality there,” she says.
After success at the markets, Wyrill then partnered with online retailer The Iconic. And, after seeing a great response from the partnership, she eventually decided to take a leap of faith and open a retail store on Gould Street in Bondi last August. “I wanted to legitimise the brand further and to reach a wider audience,” she says. “It proved to be a great decision despite the current circumstances with COVID.”
Saint Valentine has around 80 pieces of earrings, necklaces, rings and bracelets. Two of its best-selling are the Mini Pearl Hoops, handmade in the Sydney studio, and the sculptural Wabi Sabi Hoops. Personally, I love the Mini Pearl Necklace, which features three pearls on a thin gold chain.
“I’m definitely inspired by art and travel,” Wyrill says. “Shapes tend to pop into my head and then I get sketches and tech drawings to suppliers, check 3D drawings, sample them, wear test and make changes until it feels right and different from what’s available in the market.”
She says she makes sure to design for a broad audience, ranging from 10-year-olds being gifted their first piece of special jewellery, to older women who love timeless designs.
“I’m always completely surprised and amazed at how diverse our customers are,” she says. “I design pieces that I myself would definitely wear and that has proven to be the case with our audience — luckily.”
Currently, you can shop Saint Valentine online at its own site, The Iconic or David Jones. In addition to the Bondi store, once restrictions end, a second store is set to open in Manly. Wyrill says next year, she plans to open other stores interstate and to increase exposure of the brand internationally. With designs like it has, I don’t see that being too hard.