Not even a global pandemic can stop jewellery designer, Julia deVille, from spreading a whole lot of love.
Determined to keep working with clients, the artist-turned-taxidermist continued to create keepsake jewels across the airwaves with appointments booked over Zoom.
Lockdown gave Julia deVille time to ponder too.
Despite the chaos and heartache of 2020, deVille managed to enjoy some of the happiest times of her life and took the opportunity to reflect on her business model.
The magic happens in a Victorian terrace tucked away on the cusp of the CBD. Filled with mysterious objects and taxidermy, the leafy space is delightfully kooky and is even home to its own resident ghost, Edith.
Together Journal caught up with the jeweller to chat business, gratitude and dreams for 2021.
Can you talk us through what first inspired you to venture into taxidermy?
I bought my first piece of taxidermy (an eight-pointer stag mount) when I was 16. This inspired me to learn taxidermy. It took me another three years to find a teacher/mentor.
It happened that I began studying jewellery at the same time, so it was natural for me to combine the two crafts together.
The pandemic forced many of us to slow down. What are you most grateful for this year?
My friends: Becs, Patto and their boy, Lenny! I moved back to Melbourne in March, after less than a year of living back home in New Zealand (I couldn’t run my business from another country). Then the pandemic hit and I was stranded with nowhere to live.
My gorgeous friends welcomed me with open arms into their beautiful property back in January. I have been staying with them off and on since March (I’m still at their place now!) while I found a house and through four months of renovations.
They made me feel completely welcome and part of the family. Despite all the stress and chaos of 2020, I’ve had some of the happiest times of my life because of these guys.
With restrictions easing, how is your business running right now?
We’re open for face to face consultations once again but because I’ve been renovating and I’m about to move house, we’re still running on restricted hours. I’ve realised I don’t need to be operating at the capacity I was pre-Covid.
I prefer working less so I’m scaling my business down to focus on the commissions I want to do such as bespoke engagement rings.
I’m going to be refining my range and getting rid of most of the silver next year – we’ll do a sale at some stage to clear it out. People can subscribe to the mailing list for notifications.
You moved into a beautiful new space last year. Can you talk us through what clients can expect when they walk through the doors?
My showroom is in a heritage listed Victorian Terrace. The space is full of light, creeping devil’s ivy and my taxidermy work (a Clydesdale and a rocking alpaca take centre stage).
And of course, a plethora of rings and jewels are on display!
Micro weddings have been on the rise this year. Did you notice any changes in what clients were looking for during the pandemic?
Most of my clients have been holding off until restrictions ease enough to continue with a full wedding – I feel my clients are the sort of people who like to go all out.
They prefer to wait to do it they way they want. I’ve been creating a lot of engagement rings but very few weddings bands since March.
You create bespoke pieces for couples and families around the world. Can you share any special projects you have worked on over the last year?
I recently made a lovely ring for an Australian couple living in San Francisco.
They wanted pink and champagne Argyle diamonds to symbolise their meeting in Perth but also wanted something to symbolise San Francisco.
So I carved a Phoenix wing on the shoulder of the ring (the San Francisco flag has a Phoenix rising). It was fun to make and they were both over the moon with the end result.
Do you have any exciting plans for 2021 that you can share with us?
I’m working on an idea for a collaborative exhibition where I make a ring along with another artist that I admire.
Thus far, the list includes: Dita von Teese, Adam Wallacavage, Jessica Joslin, eX de Medici, Del Kathryn Barton, Reko Rennie, Juz Kitson, Dr Cooper, Lilli Waters, Kate Rohde, Joe Sheehan, Kathryn Bowman and Susan Cohn. To name a few! The plan is to make 100 rings.
Images by It’s Beautiful Here.
To see more, visit the Julia deVille website or Instagram page.