Moreland Made in Brunswick
Ellinor Mazza set about learning her jewellery trade in her mid-20s, after realising she wanted more from her professional life than customer service and administration. She makes gold and silver jewellery and is the owner of Arbor in Sparta Place, Brunswick. Ellinor shares her insights on balancing a creative life with running a successful jewellery store.
|Business type||Jeweller and store owner|
|Industry||Manufacturing and retail|
|In Moreland since||2011|
|Core offering||Classic and contemporary handmade jewellery|
WHAT… my creative practice is all about
I make gold and silver pieces and have a couple of different lines. My silver work tends to be more production – I have a bunch of styles and make those over again. My gold work is more one-off pieces, mostly rings but also some necklaces and earrings. In 2018, was accepted into the Gold and Silversmiths Guild of Australia. I’ve worked really hard to build and hone my bench skills, and this was the payoff. I’m very process driven, so I only fabricate, which means I form and work the metal. It's all about the metal! I always try to find form in whatever design I do, and shapes make up a big part of my designs, often a little odd and uneven, hand formed.
I officially owned Arbor as of Valentine’s Day, 2011. We offer a whole service, like an old school family jeweller. There is a retail side to the business – pieces on the shelf that people can buy as is. Then, we offer a full range of repairs and maintenance, all the way through to full remodels of old pieces. We also offer a full bespoke service, starting from scratch, either based around designs in store or totally new works. Our represented artists are a really strong part of the Arbor story and history as well.
WHY… being ethical and sustainable is important to me
A few years ago, I noticed that people were asking about origin of stones and metals more and more. This was something I hadn’t thought a lot about, so I started researching and found many gaps in mainstream industry knowledge about the origins and traceability of materials. One thing led to another and now we have a range of full ethical, traceable pieces in gold – mostly rings at this stage. It’s really exciting being able to guarantee that we know every step of the process that goes into making a piece.
WHERE… I'm located
I’m in Sparta Place in Brunswick, and I love it! I’m one of 11 businesses here; we have a great mix. All are owner-operated by people who are really passionate about whatever they do. Although it’s central, a lot of locals don't know about Sparta Place. It’s a bit of a hidden gem, just waiting to be discovered. I moved my studio into the shop at the very beginning of 2019. It’s allowed me to consolidate a lot of things, and I went from 17 to 1.9 square metres!
HOW… I balance being creative with running my own business
There is never a balance – I always feel like one isn’t getting the attention it deserves. Some weeks I work six days, some weeks just three or four; I’ve learned to lean into the busy times and take time off when I can. Inevitably, my worlds of making and business cross over, but it’s a totally different brain space making compared to doing admin, so I try not to tackle them both in one day if I can.
Arbor is a Moreland Made success story!
Arbor, shop 12 Sparta Place, Mariana Hardwick building, 459 Sydney Road, Brunswick.
All images courtesy of Arbor.
Read more about the Moreland Made campaign and how your business can get involved.