SYDNEY-BASED BRIT Natalie Marie started her own jewellery line 5 years ago, and from a studio/showroom in Avalon she and her small team handcraft beautiful, contemporary jewellery for wholesale, seasonal collections and bespoke. Natalie’s design mantra is ‘connection, sentiment and originality’ – words she also lives by. We catch up with the stylish goldsmith to talk work, travel, scent and Sydney.
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF & THE BUSINESS
I started NMJ a couple of years after graduating from a fine arts degree, in which I majored in jewellery and object. I studied here in Sydney, after moving over from England in 2007. I am not a classically trained jeweller, and have spent the years since my graduation developing my skills, understanding and knowledge base, while growing NMJ.
Natalie Marie has grown organically in the last five years, originally producing small-scale online collections seasonally, for wholesale and online sale, growing in recent years in both our distribution in wholesale, our collections and our product offering. We now offer a bespoke service, whereby we create one-of-a-kind precious engagement and bridal pieces for both local and international clients. All of our work is handmade to order by our small, five-person team of jewelers in the studio.
WHAT DOES A WORK DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
My day usually starts early, with a tea and lots of emails! I spend a lot of time corresponding with our clients worldwide, especially with my bespoke work, so this takes up the first few hours of every day (if not the majority). I take client consultations on designated days, so that the rest of my free time can be allocated to hands-on bench work. I am based in our showroom/studio every day (unless I am out sourcing stones or visiting suppliers) so that I can go between bench work and admin/meetings easily, and be fully involved with the team in the studio also.
We work very much like a small family business – we are all close and work closely together. Our little bulldog puppy Buddy now joins us in the studio, so we tend to sneak across the road to the beach at lunch times for a quick break and some fresh air. He’s been a great addition to the team in the sense that he forces me to take a break and tells me when it’s time to go home!
HOW DOES SCENT EXIST IN YOUR WORKSPACE?
The nature of our work is very noisy, dusty and smelly! We are constantly burning our Lumira candles to disguise the studio smells and keep the studio feeling luxurious and calm.
IS THERE A PARTICULAR SCENT THAT REPRESENTS A SPECIFIC TIME AND PLACE FOR YOU?
Christmas trees! It’s the most evocative scent for me, immediately conjuring up many sweet memories of Christmases. We always had a real tree growing up, which living back in the UK would mean that the whole house would fill up with the scent for that couple of weeks of the year.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN SYDNEY?
We are located in Avalon, on the Northern Beaches. It’s a pretty dreamy place to live and manages to bridge being close to the city while having a real beach-town feel. It’s a privilege to have our work and home space within this environment, with the best of both worlds being at our fingertips. We have the most amazing, and relatively secluded coastline on our doorstep, and the city within a short drive.
HOW DOES TRAVEL FEATURE IN YOUR WORK OR PERSONAL LIFE?
Travel is really important to me and living so far from home, has always been a part of my life. We recently went to New York to meet some custom clients; it was my first time to New York and I completely fell in love with the city. I think next will be the West Coast of the USA, which would be exciting as I love California and have been looking for a reason to take another trip that way. Following that, a Europe trip is on the cards for the same reason, and also because all of my family are based over there.
TELL US A FEW OF YOUR FAVOURITE SYDNEY HAUNTS
EAT // The Newport
Delicious, fresh food, paired with breezy summer vibes without having to go too far makes the Newport a bit of a no brainer for us on the weekends.
DRINK // Bistro Boulevard
This little gem of a restaurant is a regular pit stop for a glass of French rose on the Friday evening walk from the studio to home.
PLAY // Palm Beach
A morning walk and swim at Palm Beach with the puppy, followed by a coffee and fresh brekkie at the Boathouse. Palm Beach is a perfect way to start a Sunday.
SHOP // Mama Papa
Mama Papa in Avalon has the most beautifully curated selection of French homewares, women’s and littlies’ clothing. It’s a treasure trove of beautiful fabrics, details and sweet little trinkets.
Find Natalie Marie jewellery near you.
Brought to you by Luxe City Guides in collaboration with Lumira.