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LUMIRA x LUXE profile: Natalie Marie, jeweller

LUXE has teamed up with fragrance maven Lumira in a regular column exploring the nature of scent and the spirit of travel. This month, Lumira chats with Brit-born Sydney-based jeweller Natalie Marie about travel, working by the beach and her favourite local spots in Sydney.

Five years since starting her eponymous jewellery line, Natalie Marie and her small team handcraft beautiful, contemporary jewellery for wholesale, seasonal collections and bespoke from a studio/showroom in Avalon in Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Natalie’s design mantra is ‘connection, sentiment and originality’ – words she also lives by. We catch up with the stylish goldsmith to talk work, travel, scent and Sydney.

Hello Natalie! First off, tell us a little about you and your business.

I started NMJ a couple of years after graduating from a fine arts degree, in which I majored in jewellery and object. I studied here in Sydney, after moving over from England in 2007. I am not a classically trained jeweller, so I’ve spent the years since my graduation developing my skills, understanding and knowledge base, while growing NMJ.

Natalie Marie has grown organically in the last five years, originally producing small-scale online collections seasonally, for wholesale and online sale, growing in recent years in both our distribution in wholesale, our collections and our product offering. We now offer a bespoke service, whereby we create one-of-a-kind precious engagement and bridal pieces for both local and international clients. All of our work is handmade to order by our small, five-person team of jewelers in the studio.

What does a typical work day look like? 

My day usually starts early, with a tea and lots of emails! I spend a lot of time corresponding with our clients worldwide, especially with my bespoke work, so this takes up the first few hours of every day (if not the majority). I take client consultations on designated days, so that the rest of my free time can be allocated to hands-on bench work. I am based in our showroom/studio every day (unless I am out sourcing stones or visiting suppliers) so that I can go between bench work and admin/meetings easily, and also be fully involved with the team in the studio.

We work very much like a small family business – we are all close and work closely together. Our little bulldog puppy Buddy now joins us in the studio, so we tend to sneak across the road to the beach at lunch times for a quick break and some fresh air. He’s been a great addition to the team in the sense that he forces me to take a break and tells me when it’s time to go home!

How does scent exist in your work?

The nature of our work is very noisy, dusty and smelly! We are constantly burning our Lumira candles to disguise the studio smells and keep the studio feeling luxurious and calm.

Is there a particular scent that represents a specific time and place for you?

Christmas trees! It’s the most evocative scent for me, immediately conjuring up many sweet memories of Christmases. We always had a real tree growing up, which living back in the UK would mean that the whole house would fill up with the scent for that couple of weeks of the year.

What do you most love about living in Sydney?

We are located in Avalon, on the Northern Beaches. It’s a pretty dreamy place to live and manages to bridge being close to the city while having a real beach-town feel. It’s a privilege to have our work and home space within this environment, with the best of both worlds right at our fingertips. We have the most amazing, and relatively secluded coastline on our doorstep, and the city within a short drive.

How does travel feature in your work or personal life?

Travel is really important to me and living so far from home, has always been a part of my life. We recently went to New York to meet some custom clients; it was my first time to New York and I completely fell in love with the city. I think next will be the West Coast of the USA, which would be exciting as I love California and have been looking for a reason to take another trip that way. Following that, a Europe trip is on the cards for the same reason, and also because all of my family are based over there.

Where are your favourite weekend haunts?

EAT: The Newport pairsdelicious, fresh food with breezy summer vibes. And it’s close to home, which makes it a bit of a no brainer for us on weekends.

DRINK: Bistro Boulevard is my regular pit stop for a glass of French rosé on-route walking from the studio to home.

PLAY: A morning walk and swim at Palm Beach with the puppy, followed by a coffee and fresh brekkie at The Boathouse Palm Beach is a perfect way to start a Sunday.

SHOP: Mama Papa in Avalon has the most beautifully curated selection of French homewares, women’s and littlies’ clothing. It’s a treasure trove of beautiful fabrics, details and sweet trinkets.

For more Sydney insider reccos…

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