LOUISE JEAN celebrates its 10th year in the industry.
As LOUISE JEAN marks a decade in business, the Founding Director, Louise, recently took the time to reflect on the journey thus far. In an interview, she shared insights into her accidental entry into the design world, the evolution of the brand, and her vision for its future.
During the conversation, Louise delved into her unconventional start in the industry. Initially a full-time photographer, she stumbled upon jewelry design as a creative outlet. Sharing her handmade pieces on Instagram for fun, she never anticipated the brand’s current success.
Reflecting on her journey, Louise acknowledged the pivotal role of timing. LOUISE JEAN emerged during Instagram’s rise when dainty jewelry stood out amidst chunky trends. From experimenting with chains and Etsy finds, the brand gradually transitioned into fine jewelry. Currently, Louise shares that the brand utilizes traditional techniques and embraces modern methods like CAD technology.
Louise did not take the conventional route to become the jeweller she is today, learning mostly from Youtube. Apart from this, she also attended a small jewellery-making course with a jeweller who was funnily enough, based just up from her current showroom. With the jeweller, Louise learned to do some jewellery fabrication and stone setting to learn the basics.
Louise’s background as a photographer also played a significant role in shaping her approach to business. Drawing from her experience leading creative projects, she now applies those skills to navigate various aspects of running LOUISE JEAN.
When asked about her design inspiration and process, Louise emphasized sticking to her timeless style. This means creating pieces she would personally wear every day.
Over the years, Louise identified three major shifts in the brand. The first shift was the decision to go from more economical dainty handmade pieces into more luxurious fine jewellery pieces. The main difference is the use of solid gold and platinum designs over sterling silver and gold filled metals. The next shift was incorporating a bridal perspective in their designs. Today, if someone says “LOUISE JEAN” the thought of fine engagement rings and diamond wedding bands immediately comes to mind. Finally, adopting advanced technology was the last shift.
One of the brand’s defining moments was the popularity of the Oval Ceremonial Solitaire. This piece set a modern tone in engagement ring design. Louise also disclosed her current mood board. She graciously hinted at more bold designs, geometric styles, and a focus on natural gems in 2024.
“My inspiration often stems from the stone itself, so that’s usually my starting point. From there I think about wearability and practicality, always going back to that element of everyday luxury.”
Reflecting on her favorite piece made to order, Louise highlighted a three-stone ring with a vintage touch. It features a champagne emerald center stone and trapezoid side stones.
Offering advice to young business owners, Louise emphasized recognizing strengths and weaknesses, trusting the timing of growth, and accepting help. She stressed the importance of enjoying the work and understanding one’s capabilities.
“Obviously in the early stages there are a lot of hats that you do wear, but it’s working with the hats that you do enjoy and don’t enjoy so much. Honestly it’s not like you wake up everyday and love what you do, there are bad days and there are good days but knowing what you’re good at and what you’re not good at and accepting help led to great progress for me.”
Looking ahead, Louise envisioned maintaining a positive working environment and valuing her team. She expressed excitement about their flagship store in Noosa Heads, emphasizing a focus on efficient growth rather than sheer expansion. Ultimately, her vision for the future involves enhancing current efforts and maintaining the intimate connection with clients that defines LOUISE JEAN.