This month we were lucky to steal some time from the gorgeous Renee, designer and creator of Val & Stone. We had so many questions to ask Renee and I am sure you will have a few after reading this. Feel free to leave any questions bellow.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came to start Val & Stone
It all started when I was living in Bondi after arriving home from my 2-year travels around the UK & Europe.
With hardly any money left in the bank account I started making little gifts for friends and family instead of buying them.
After making a necklace for a friend, she happened to wear it to work one evening and to my surprise got 3 orders for me from complete strangers.
It was from that day I thought, maybe I should turn my hobby into a career.
Not long after that I moved up to Byron Bay and landed myself the dream job of making jewellery for the fashion label Spell & the gypsy.
I worked there for almost 2 years with some amazing and very inspirational women which led me to take the leap into my own venture, which you all know today as VAL&STONE.
Have you always been into jewellery making, is this something that you took an interest in as a child?
I haven’t always been into jewellery making, but I have always been into the arts and creating things from a young age.
Throughout high school I studied visual arts and music then went on to study interior design.
I never ventured into any career with these studies but learning how to draw to scale from my interior design days has really come in handy with jewellery designing today.
Where did the name, Val & Stone derive from?
The Name was the easiest part to starting my business as Valda is my Beautiful Grandmother. I was very close to her, and she has always been a huge inspiration in my life. Having her name with me every day through this journey just felt right and the stone represents all the crystals I work with throughout my designs.
What would be one of your favourite products you have worked on so far, were there a lot of trials involved in making this product?
The Mahalia choker would have to be one of my favourites I’ve worked on.
A lot of hours went into hand drawing this design to scale and there were a lot of errors and frustration when it came to making the wax mould, which can be a very costly process to get right. But that feeling of achievement when you finally get it, makes all the hard work totally worth it.
Tell us what would be your favourite part of running your own business?
This would have to be running on your own schedule, and that you’re able to start late some days. hahaha
We always see the glamorous side of businesses through our social squares, what would be your biggest hurdles in business and if you could give a new business a little bit of advice, what would it be?
When things don’t go to plan and trust me, this happens A LOT.
For example, when you have spent many hours on a design and they just don’t work out to the point you have to scrap it completely or when you stand at a market stall all day and don’t sell a single thing, you start to question yourself “WHY” Why Am I doing this? Why is my product not selling, Is my product not good enough?
And believe me, every single negative thought you can imagine will tick over in that brain of yours time and time again. But, if there is any advice I can give, It would be to keep believing in yourself and that tomorrow is a new day and it just has to be better than yesterday.
What are some things to look out for this year, are there any new products launching?
I have just finished creating my new range “ORION” which I’m very excited about and hopefully will be launching by the end of July.
What markets can our customers find you at?