Jewel Divas is a South Australian jewellery company started in 2008, specializing in handmade, original, and one of a kind jewellery and accessories.
Growing up in the suburbs of Adelaide and living, although not for very long, on the sunny shores of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, Tiara King never imagined owning and running a jewellery company.
Growing up on the plastic variety from the age of six, her love for jewellery expanded into funky and quirky (not only earrings, but brooches and clothes as well) in primary school, drawing many gasps and comments from her admiring schoolmates.
High school in the 80s saw her start the trend of wearing only one big earring, mainly of Egyptian origin, until she left and had her ears pierced for the third time, and that’s when her earrings grew bigger!
Finding lots of inexpensive and unusual jewellery through markets and cheap stores, her small collection grew to hang off and fill a large cork memo board (though not a good place to hang jewellery). It wasn’t until her mid-twenties that her collection really started growing and the comments for her unusual one of a kind jewellery started flowing.
2005 saw her take to eBay and that was her downfall. Not only amassing unusual and unique pieces for her personal collection, but the start of her career into jewellery selling.
“I love bling and sparkle,” Tiara says. “I mean I.LOVE.IT! I love all the bright colours and unusual designs, stacking on bangles and bracelets, loading on lots of necklaces, a big pair of earrings and huge rings on each finger…well, almost each finger. I also enjoy making one of a kind unique pieces for myself if the mood strikes. If I don’t have a particular piece in a particular colour, I’ll make it, after scouring for the beads and findings of course. I think I was an Egyptian goddess full of jewellery in a past life. I love jewellery SO MUCH!”
In 2006/07 the world was her oyster, and so were findings from all over the world, many being made into personal pieces, many being made for sale on eBay. But there was something brewing, and after WEA courses on setting up an online business and being a silversmith, plus much researching and reading, Jewel Divas was born in 2008.
“It started as a hobby. I’m entirely self-taught, as so many designers and creators are, if I couldn’t find it I’d make it, and for years people kept suggesting that I start selling it. At first I resisted, I couldn’t get past the idea of making something I absolutely loved just to turn around and sell it. But that soon passed, and I was able to distance myself from the making process, even though I love most of the pieces I make and wish they were in my own collection. But since everything is original and one off, they can’t be.”
In May 2009, hair pieces from the African Safari collection featured in Beads etc. magazine, and in August the website went online and became global.
2009 also saw her start a blog to accompany her website and set herself up across social media sites Twitter, MySpace, and a profile and business page on Facebook.
2011 saw her include YouTube, Tumblr, Google+, Bloglovin’, profile sites About.Me, Flavors.Me, and bookmarking site Stumbleupon.
In 2012 Tiara overhauled her blog to be more of a style site, renaming it Jewel Divas Style and making the name uniform across Twitter, her Facebook profile, Tumblr, YouTube and newly joined Instagram. That leaves Google+, MySpace, Pinterest and her Facebook business page to the Jewel Divas jewellery brand.
In April and June 2012, her Inca Man, Deep Ocean Diver, and Marilyn Monroe sets from her personal collection featured in Australian Beading Magazine.
Specializing in handmade, original, and one of a kind jewellery and accessories made on the dining room table, Jewel Divas strives to achieve uniqueness in a small part of the world. A world that is overrun with the mass produced jewellery from China found in so many chain stores popping up around Australia and all over the globe. Although a few of her own personal pieces are from those chain stores, she’s finding many of them seem to be stuck in a rut.
“I don’t mind popping into my local chain store to see what they’ve got on sale, but so many of them seem to be selling the exact same pieces over different time periods. Maybe the market is too flooded with costume jewellery stores. Maybe they need to stop selling designer knock offs and lying about it being an original design, hence turning people against them. Maybe they need to change how they interact with their customers. I find the jewellery a bit bland, boring and repetitive some times. And jewellery I got off eBay six months to two years ago I see in stores all the time. I must be ahead of the trends if I buy and wear them first. So I prefer to find what I want and need off eBay.”
In keeping as home based as possible, Jewel Divas sources her findings at Australian wholesale bead warehouses and Aussie eBay stores. Trying to keep a little bit of Australiana still going in such an over mass produced world.
For something that started as a passion for wearing and turned into a hobby of making, Jewel Divas is sure to become a booming success, and thanks to the World Wide Web, where you can find the company over many social media sites, it’s bound to become a business set for the future.
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