The Melbourne Jeweller Earning A Windfall
A chance encounter in India inspired hobby designer, Lani Williams, to strike out and create her own jewellery label.
With a team of powerful girl bosses at the helm and a new (and bigger) workshop on the way in South Melbourne, Windfall Jewellery is set to expand their entrepreneurial wings just in time for their fifth birthday.
For owner and creator Lani Williams, the ability to design and craft her own jewellery was initially a hobby to escape her unsatisfying retail job. The inspiration to make the leap from over-worked shop manager to independent small business owner came on a holiday to India with her husband when she met a couple who made their own jewellery.
‘Being a long time lover and collector of jewellery, we just naturally got chatting and they seemed so happy and at peace with their life and it really made me assess what I was doing with myself,’ Lani tells Local Eyes.
‘All of a sudden I had this “fuck you” moment where I decided I didn’t want to make some asshole rich doing something I hated simply because I needed to pay the bills.’
Returning to Melbourne inspired, Lani resigned from her job and set about building her Windfall brand. She describes her craft in such a way that you simply can’t help but admire her passion and unique perspective on her work.
‘For me jewellery is a time capsule. It holds memories and brings them back to us in ways that nothing else can. These pieces live entire generations and when we’re gone they continue to hold those stories for our future generations. That to me is really special.’
‘All of a sudden I had this “fuck you” moment where I decided I didn’t want to make some asshole rich doing something I hated’ – Lani Williams
It’s this approach that makes Windfall so personal and authentic. Lani hopes that people see her work and instantly like it because it’s unique and unlike a lot of jewellery they see in stores or online.
‘Our methods are pretty unorthodox with the things we design. We break down the barriers that surround jewellery, welcoming new ideas and new styles for our selves and our customers.’
Windfall specialises in using outside-the-box shapes with modern styles to bring a fresh and new look on things that might have once been considered old hat, for example swapping white diamonds with black and pink diamonds in engagement rings. She’s also passionate about not sticking to design trends and creating unique pieces that she and her staff would personally wear.
Lani is committed to supporting local Australian designers and small businesses, sourcing most of Windfall’s supplies from Australian businesses. Their aim is to keep their materials as “in-house as possible.” Whilst that isn’t always achievable, Lani is fortunate in sourcing gemstones on her own travels, frequently stocking up on materials while on holiday in Bali.
Customers wishing to create something special will find Lani and her team pulling out all the stops. Partner in crime, Krista Bradley, handles most of the custom orders for signet rings and the like whilst Lani focuses specifically on engagement and wedding designs for lover birds.
Having only been trading in their South Melbourne shop for just nine months, Windfall is excited to be expanding to a bigger venue just around the corner from their current shop, allowing for more styles to be displayed with a better fit out. The move also means they’ll have plenty more room for designing and extra space to flex their creative muscles for customers.
Reflecting on her own journey now, Lani would counsel her younger self to stop wasting time in a job she hates while the world is waiting with so many other possibilities.
“Start learning how to do something even if it seems unrealistic or scary. I’d tell myself that age-old manta “just do it.”’
You can find Windfall Jewellery at their current shop at 227 Clarendon St, South Melbourne, or visit them online at www.windfalljewellery.com.
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