WHEN it comes to on-trend jewellery, unfortunately we’re often faced with a difficult decision: to buy based on quality or affordability.
Our choice pulls us between our high-end jewellers and designers who often carry a hefty-price tag for pieces which will probably fall out of style before we’ve managed to rejuvenate our bank accounts and the “buy-me-today-and-if-I-last-through-your-event-you-should-be-happy” purchases.
Fortunately for all of us, two Queensland friends saw this gaping hole in the market and, quite frankly, filled it. With three gorgeous words, they introduced to the market quality, hand-made, bohemian-inspired statement jewellery.
Stylehunters, may I introduce you to: Frankly My Dear Store.
Stylehunter spoke to Frankly My Dear‘s founder Samantha Martin, who shared the story of how the online store came to be. It wasn’t long before it was clear that this highly sought-after brand all started with the love she had for her daughter, Frankie.
“I have always worked full-time my whole adult life and never really had the chance to pursue something I was really passionate about,” Martin said.
“I guess you could say that Frankie is the reason this all started. The name Frankly My Dear was inspired by her, I had this idea that I wanted to start up my own brand that would one day grow into a successful business that I could pass down to her.
“She has always been my inspiration and motivation in everything I do. The idea of creating a secure future for her and my son Archie is what has driven me each day, I just want them to grow up knowing that it’s ok to take a leap of faith and follow what you’re truly passionate about.”
A piece of advice which isn’t always particularly straight-forward, as Martin found out herself.
“I found after Frankie was born I had so much free time on my hands … newborn babies just sleep so much … I wanted to find a new creative outlet to fill in my days and after months of yelling at my sewing machine I tried my hand at jewellery making,” she said.
Martin’s decision to start designing jewellery marked the start of a brand that would transform into a much sought-after Australian label.
“I started off by making jewellery for my family and friends,” she said.
“After a few months and some positive reinforcement I decided to start an Instagram page. In the beginning I would be lucky to have one order a month, it would have been so easy to just give up on that dream and find a full time job after my maternity leave but I just couldn’t do it.
“It has been a lot of hard work, countless late nights and I was so close to … giving up after my son Archie was born. The workload had just become too much for me, I couldn’t handle the demand and it was consuming all of my time and taking me away from my babies.”
But, just like any true love story … just before the Frankly My Dear empire was put to bed before it even had the opportunity to truly awaken, a knight in shining armour came to the rescue in the form of her closest friend and confidant – Amber-Jade Scherrenberg.
“That’s when my best friend Amber stepped in and saved the day,” Martin said.
“She had just sold her business and offered to help me with orders as she knew how stressed out I was.
“She was a natural, after the first day she was hooked and I couldn’t get rid of her. I offered her a partnership and since then it’s been the most amazing journey.”
And, despite working together everyday, Martin said the move to include her closest friend (who was also by her side at her wedding) in her business was one she would never regret.
“Amber is without a doubt the most driven person I’ve ever met, she is a huge part of the success of this business and I couldn’t imagine doing this without her,” she said.
Martin’s admiration and love for her friend clearly shared by her business partner.
“Sammi planted the foundations for this business to grow with her incredible designs,” Scherrenberg said.
Now boasting over 60,000 Instagram followers, the online store has earned its reputation as the go-to for all things boho and unique.
“From a business side Instagram is definitely what boosted us to where we are today,” Scherrenberg said.
“We have always maintained that we want an organic following of girls who love our brand. We have never purchased followers; we also have our Instagram bloggers who love to wear our brand … they choose the products they want to wear and I think that makes it feel a lot more real to their audience.”
And, as if this label couldn’t get any better (Australian-made: tick), it’s not only known for creating stunning statement pieces for all over the body: necklaces, rings, anklets (my personal favourite) but they are also known for being affordable and of a high quality.
“I think creating a brand that appeals to all budgets and exceeding the standard costume jewellery quality is what has our customers returning,” Scherrenberg said.
Martin added that the affordability of the brand was something she had kept front-of-mind right from the start.
“I created the label at a time when I couldn’t afford the little extra things because I was on maternity leave,” she said.
“I want all ladies out there to feel like they can treat themselves without the guilt so affordability will always be something Frankly My Dear entails.”
(On behalf of every Stylehunter Samantha … we LOVE you for keeping this in mind!)
And, speaking of Stylehunters … the girls had some advice for any budding entrepreneurs who are reading this and drooling over the idea of creating their own label.
“You need to just wake up and do it,” Scherrenberg said.
“Work a standard job to support your dream of creating your label and do it while your young and have the energy to work long days and even longer nights.
“Don’t be afraid to approach people to help get your brand out there. Frankly My Dear has been blessed with amazing models and bloggers wanting to wear our jewellery and promote our company and without them we wouldn’t be the size we are today.”
We prodded for a little extra advice for friends considering going into business together.
“Make sure there is a balance in your skills,” Martin said.
“I love the creative side of this business however I despise paperwork and accounts and that is where Amber thrives. We both recognise our own strengths and focus our energy on those separately and then do the day to day work together.”
Amber agreed and added it was important to ensure you share the same goals with your business partner.
“You also need to be upfront and honest,” she said.
“You have to make big decisions in creating your brand and you both always need to be in agreeance for it to work.”
And work, it has, for these two bestie – with a large international customer base and a social media presence which is full of envy-enducing snapshots of sand-covered gals with sparkly Frankly My Dear pieces adorning their perfectly sun-kissed bodies (my feet just don’t look the same in those anklets!)
Unfortunately for us, it seems their social profile is only going to get more drool-worthy when the girls head to the Greek Islands this July for a Frankly My Dear photoshoot.
“We both haven’t been and we have the opportunity while our photographer and close friend Cassandra Ladru is working over there so decided it was a chance we couldn’t miss,” Scherrenberg said.
“So stay tuned for our working holiday spam.”
Okay girls, no need to rub it in. No need to worry … I’ll be here … freezing … double-clicking on your photos with hesitant, envy-ridden support (just kidding, we can’t wait to see the shoot!)