- interview -

a minute with

Bronwyn Carabez

CARABEZ JEWELLERY

carabez.com.au

 

Bronwyn Carabez began her career over 20 years ago working at one of Australia’s most prestigious jewellers. Her unparalleled skills in design and extensive knowledge of diamonds created masterpieces that proudly sat amongst the finest jewellery creations in Australia. Carabez continues to ensure supreme quality jewellery design, gemstones and master crafting, guaranteeing many exquisite Carabez jewels will continue to shine all over the world.

 
 Photo  Hugh Stewart
 

How did the Carabez story begin?
I fell into jewellery. There was an exclusive jewellery store in Sydney where I used to purchase my jewellery and they offered me a job out of the blue. 

I studied diamond grading and jewellery design while I was working with them and everything flowed from there. I had the eye for detail that is needed in fine jewellery manufacturing. 

I was then approached by another jewellery store who asked me to come on board. During this time I realised I could do things better with a higher standard of manufacturing and grading of diamonds, gemstones and pearls. I had 3 little children and thought I would try working for myself out of home. Each day I would drop my children off at school, work during school hours and then be back to pick them up. Everything grew very quickly and I started to work out of a Sydney office with our workshop offsite. 

The business has grown to what it is today, 20 years later. I have master craftsmen that make our jewellery with love, but also with a commitment to perfection. We are still office-based and work exclusively one-on-one with our clients to create bespoke jewellery that creates unique designs for our clients.

In light of the recent positive vote for marriage equality, what advice do you have for same-sex couples looking for wedding jewellery or rings?

One thing I have noticed is that many jewellers have preconceived ideas of what gay couples are looking for and not always hitting the mark. 

My advice is to find a jeweller who will work closely with you and your partner to design a style that is unique to you. It is integral that your jeweller understands and executes the ring you have in your mind.  

Another branch of my company, Carabez Hombre was created in close consultation with the gay community. I didn’t want to be a jeweller who assumed they knew what men wanted, so the Hombre Range is a collaboration. Men have designed most of the men’s range so it just feels right. Once again, it is hand made and to the highest standard of manufacturing without compromise.

The Patrick Ring .jpg

Describe your process in working with new clients.

We have a one-on-one consultation to start to get some ideas of what they are looking for and what designs they have in mind. 

Once I have had some direction, I might add my little touch or advice to the design.

The next meeting I have with a client is to show them the specific diamonds and gemstones or other materials I have sourced as well as design ideas. The most important thing I do is educate the client on diamonds and gradings. I explain the real meanings behind the grading and how to look into the diamonds to see the individual characteristics of the stones. I think this is one of the most important parts of our process. The customer makes an educated decision on what stone they would like. It also makes it very personal.

After we have selected the diamond or gemstone and finalised the design of the jewellery, we then hand make the creation.

There is a lot of jargon that people throw at you when they are selling a diamond, without really explaining what it all means. Colour, Clarity, Cut, Carat Weight, the 4C’s, however, that is not always explained well to the customer. 

All of our clients walk away well-educated on what it all means and have the knowledge that they have hand selected their own diamonds or gemstones.

Favourite gem, piece or collection?

That is such a difficult question, I love jewellery so much. I have such an eclectic style. 

I guess everyone loves diamonds so that is probably at the top of my list but I do have a love of South Sea pearls, so my pearl earrings don’t often leave my ears.

I love looking at the lustre and feeling the smoothness of them. I love to know they have been born from creatures of the sea. 

At the moment, I just love wearing plain gold and rose gold jewellery with no stones but good design. 

Best thing about working in the world of bespoke jewellery?

I meet so many lovely people who often become friends. I get to know their style and what they like. 

I love that what is created in our workshop is so personal and manufactured specifically for the client. I love that we can make exactly what someone has in mind and it is unique to them and not mass manufactured or made of castings. 

We get to choose the quality of the gold and platinum that we use, and what people don’t realise, is there is a difference. It is very important to know the mix of the metal alloys that will be of the highest quality.

We make sure we can produce a beautiful item of jewellery working within the client’s budget.

a personal note

What inspires you?

There are so many things. Anything I see with good design, from antique jewellery to beautiful books of jewellery collections from the 1800s-early 1900s. 

I have a wonderful book of Elizabeth Taylor's jewellery; I find a lot of inspiration there.

Also architecture, art work, I love looking at old gates with the swirling shapes, even nature, when you look closely at a flower and the design in the petals, or the swirl of bark in a tree. 

When I’m not in the workshop I am…

Usually with friends and family or walking my dogs. I like to keep things simple so I can try and unload from work and not think about it day and night like I sometimes do!

Last book you read?

I am reading this beautiful book by Sarah Hue-Williams and Raymond Sancroft-Baker called Hidden Gems. Jewellery stories from the saleroom. 

I am loving it. It is not just about a piece of jewellery, but the stories behind them, the designer’s inspiration and the people who owned them. 

Favourite holiday destination?

Rome!

 

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