Elizabeth Briedis and Isabella Briedis are the sister combo behind 'Spell and the Gypsy Collective'. In the 1960s and 70s their father was a leather craftsman and their mother was a potter, painter and wove brightly coloured threads on a loom. For as long as sisters Elizabeth and Isabella can remember they’ve been filled with the feeling of love by creating jewellery where they combine feathers, leather and turquoise.
When asked about her journey thus far, Elizabeth (affectionately known as Lizzy) had this is say. "It’s been a long and winding road to where we are now! My sister Isabella and I, fell into jewellery randomly when she was given a jewellery making kit by an old boyfriend’s dad 10 years ago, and for her it grew from there. She turned her wardrobe into a makeshift design studio and designed day and night. I quit my career as a film editor two years ago and moved to Byron Bay to go into business together. It’s been a whirlwind ever since".
Being sisters how does that change the dynamic of a working partnership?
We both bring our different strengths to the business. Spell is definitely your classic untamed creative, and I have more of a business head. We balance each other out beautifully - and being sisters means we just have this unspoken trust between us. We used to spend long days in the design studio, chatting and laughing all day, having coffee debriefs after big weekends, listening to Fleetwood Mac while we fossick away making jewellery. These days however, since Spell had little Texas, things are much more hectic and time in the studio is precious.
Have you had any formal training that has strengthened your creative design process and business or are you just extremely talented?
Spell has always been a true creative, she studied fashion, graphic design and fine art before eventually finding her way over to jewellery. I used to be a film editor, which is handy because I can edit our Spell videos & photo shoots myself.
What inspires or influences your designs?
For some reason we keep turning to imagery from California, South West America and New Mexico for our inspiration – my dad always mused that he was an American trapped in an Australian body - maybe he passed that down to us. That said we’re inspired by our home town of Byron Bay every day – there’s a really strong feminine creative energy all around us.
Some of your greatest moments so far for Spell?
One of the highlights was moving into our new working space! Two years ago we were working out of a tiny mezzanine level in a factory, it was a shoebox! We were literally working on top of each other! Now we rent a huge light filled space. And every photo shoot we do is a highlight - it really allows our creative juices to flow all over the place! We're always on such a high after a shoot!
Can you tell us about a Challenging time for Spell?
Hmm... For me every time in Bali working on production is a really challenging time - it's very hectic and physically exhausting. Also, when Spell was pregnant with Tex, she had the worst morning sickness ever and for 3 months I had to run the show myself - I had to literally bring materials to her in bed and she'd make jewellery in bed.
13 Banksia Drive Byron Bay,
NSW Australia 2481
PO Box 1102 Byron Bay NSW 2481
Ph: +61 402 180 456
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