Annie By Design Jewellery is hand made using traditional methods from Silver or Gold. The pieces range from simple and classic sterling silver and gold to bright and bold pieces that incorporate vintage and new beads. Specialising in giving vintage beads a new, contemporary style. Pieces are made using sterling silver, Yellow and Rose gold filled wire, gemstones and glass beads - many of which are vintage. I love the thought that vintage items had a life before they came into my hands and I want to revamp them and send them off to a loving new home. Handmade with love in my front room in Hastings, Victoria, Australia whilst being supervised by my naughty ferret, Clancy
My name is Leanne and Annie By Design is my little haven where I create, I love, I live. The name comes from a horse I saw in the form guide. I put a bet on her and won the money to buy my basic set of tools!
I adore vintage and vintage elements and I like to incorporate these elements into my pieces where I can. I also love to be as eco-friendly as possible by using recycled supplies, offcuts or upcycling old pieces to give them a new life.
The Annie By Design Collection
The jewellery pieces that I create in the Jewellery Parlour (aka the front room in my home) incorporate a range of reclaimed/recycled sterling silver and new and vintage elements such as beads and cabochons.
I like to take a vintage element that has already lived a life, has a story to tell, and turn it into something new so that someone can add their own story to its life. I often come across cabochons that were made decades ago but were never used. I wonder why they were not used, did they sit in a box in a storeroom or in someones attic before they were found? What stories could they tell? The silver I use comes from a company that reclaims or recycles old jewellery, scrap silver and even old negatives. I love the idea of this too because I wonder what photos were on those negatives, what items were made leaving the scrap behind, who wore the old jewellery?
For some of my pieces I also take inspiration from old Hollywood glamour and simple, classic styles of the past. Items range from bridal earrings with a bit of vintage bling to classic silver pieces that will stand the test of time.
I also use new materials in some of my jewellery and when I do I try to source them from sustainable manufacturers or small businesses. As a small business owner I like to support other small businesses because we are all trying to make a living and we need all the help we can get. One of my favourite suppliers is based in Mexico and they employ women in their workshop and teach them wonderful skills so they can make beautiful supplies and their wages help to feed their families.
Why I do what I do...
It bothers me that we have become a throw away society that replaces rather than fixes or recycles. A society that would prefer to buy mass produced items because they are cheap rather than spending money on a lovely handcrafted piece. There are so many cheap items out there that are produced in factories that produce harmful emissions and have poor working conditions for their employees. The items can also be made from toxic products or they do not break down easily and create great waste. And huge portions of the money spent are lining fat cats pockets rather than going to the employees who make the item. I also believe that we need to keep handmade alive. So many skills that our grandparents had are no longer being used and I wonder how long it will be before certain skill sets die out. I try to use traditional methods as much as possible because I love being able to say I made it with my own two hands. The beauty of handmade lies in the small 'imperfections' in each piece. You will never have an identical piece to someone else!
The Annie By Design Team
My naughty ferret Clancy and I live about an hour out of Melbourne in Australia. He supervises my work (and demolishes the couch) whilst I create beauty in my little jewellery parlour. Life is pretty simple in our little corner of the world and we love it that way. I am an avid sport watcher (why didn't they offer 'sport watching' as a class in high school? I would have aced it) and my partner and I love to travel to watch sporting events. I love being able to balance my jewellery work with my life.
I am in the first stages of my dream and I am taking little steps at the moment but I am 'forging' on, hammer in hand. As they say "If you don't dream big, what's the use in dreaming?"