Starting now, Punky Moms is going to be bringing you even MORE featured alternative (and mostly mom led) small businesses to read about. We hope to bring them to you every two weeks. All of our small independent shops featured will have a discount code exclusive to Punky Mom readers, so you can feel better about treating yourself! Our newest addition is Wax & Bones.
Wax & Bones is a relatively new Etsy shop only opening in October of last year. Australian designer Charlotte Antoine creates jewelry inspired from life and death, from nature, and the plants and animals that surround her. One of our favorites is the Sterling Silver Bird Bone Necklace. No worries though, she states that no animals are ever harmed in her jewelry process, and that they are all made from found specimens.
(Charlotte’s daughter holding a long necked turtle skull that they found together)
PM: When was your company Wax and Bones founded?
I launched Wax and Bones in October 2014.
PM: Where are you based out of? and how many are involved in the company?
I design, produce and sell handmade sterling silver jewelry independently from my home in Perth, Western Australia.
PM: Did you have a background in crafting prior to starting the company?
I’ve worked many different mediums over the years, most natural or inspired by nature, but metalwork is definitely my favorite. It’s one that I just keep coming back to.
I started making jewelry when I was about eight. I was gifted a beading set by a family friend, who showed me how to make little metal links with pliers to join the beads together. I treasured it like gold and took it everywhere with me. I moved to the city a couple of years later and spent alternate weekends with my grandmother. She was a successful semi-retired silversmith and lapidary with the sort of house you could get lost in. I spent the next few years learning all the basics of silversmithing from her. She had traveled the world collecting rocks, and her art and stories were a massive inspiration to me as a young teen.
After that I moved to Tasmania, back to the bush, where I went to tafe and studied jewellery making. I had a studio in Mountain River that was once an old stable. My friend put in an old cast iron potbelly stove and I would work there for hours in the warm studio smashing out designs while it was snowing on the mountains around me. I’ve had a few studios since then, but that was my first and still holds a special place in my heart.
Before opening my Etsy shop I’d mainly sold my jewelry through word of mouth. I’ve been lucky enough to have a very supportive community and customer base. My reputation is built on making very striking, wearable pieces that get noticed. I make pieces that people want to wear every day, and that are strong enough to last a lifetime.
PM: Did you run into any problems or resistance while launching your company?
The biggest barrier I face is time. I have a four year old child now and a regular job, so silversmithing really is my creative outlet. I prioritize at least eight hours a week for it, and try to fit it in with other activities as much as I can. I take my daughter out for bike rides and we stop to pick up dead insects and bones. I carry a sketch book so if she’s busy making art I can work on my own designs. She loves it, and really feels like she’s a part of what I do. The excitement in her eyes when I show her a finished piece is actually a massively motivating factor for me, and I can’t wait until she’s old enough to start using my tools.
PM: What is the most exciting part of running your own business?
Launching the Etsy shop is an exciting new chapter for me. It’s opened up a global market that I haven’t previously had access to. I’ve had a couple of international sales, a couple of repeat customers, and really great feedback. Which is nice because I always get a bit nervous when I’m selling jewelry to people who haven’t actually tried it on.
PM: What do you see in the future for your shop?
I’m excited about the future of Wax and Bones. I’m working on a collaboration with a very talented friend who is a MUA/stylist/photographer. She’s taken some fantastic pictures of my pieces in fashion shoots, which will be going up in the shop in the next couple of months. I ran my first facebook and instagram competition a couple of weeks ago, and had a fantastic response. I’ll definitely be doing more in the future. I’m really keen to grow the business this year, so I’m expanding the shop with new products being listed every month. Running this business is such a rewarding experience, I really can’t imagine my life without it.
Peeps can use the code ” PUNXANDBABIES ” to get 10% off until 30th of June.