Lady Alchemy is a brand new handmade designer jewellery line direct from the hills of Byron Bay, Australia made by the super-lovely creative lady Erin Lee (pictured below). As Conversations With Bianca readers know I love unique handmade wearable art, the cosmos and crystals!—Lady Alchemy has managed to combine all three beautifully! Australian musicians Natalie Carey and roots/rock goddess Dallas Frasca among a growing list of others are all fans of her work. I caught up with Erin recently to chat about her first collection GALACTIKA – “Channelled from the Rock & Roll gods, the range infuses electrical currents of colour, punk couture, interplanetary elements and daring new design ideas” and “each piece is handcrafted from universal forces including stunning Swarovski Crystal, Semi-precious Stones, Silver, Studs and Spikes.”

Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I’m 27. I live on a farm a few minutes from Lennox head. I love to collect things – mainly jewellery and clothes. I love vintage clothes! I have dresses in my wardrobe that I brought from Vinnies when I was 12 that I still love. Some people say if you don’t wear it within the year then you should toss it. I don’t agree! I’d rather pass them on to the person that loves them more than me. Clothes are to be shared. I remember once a friend brought a bag of hand me downs around, there was this one top in there that was supremo so my cousin and I wrestled for it right there in the hallway. I don’t remember who won but that’s half fun of it. Or racing your friend to the killer shoes you both spotted at a garage sale! I would love to have a costume/retail shop. I sew a little and one of my besties “little one” is a fashion designer so one day I think we’ll join together and make this happen.

When did you start down the creative path?
From day dot I guess. My parents are extremely creative people. They dabbled in many forms of art from painting, writing, dance and music. They had heaps of bands as i was growing up. I remember being a little girl being dragged along to their gigs, falling asleep in the back of our baby shit yellow station wagon after I’d danced myself to exhaustion.

The love of jewellery started fairly early. I used to stand at my grandmother dressing table admiring the over flowing jewellery boxes filled with jewels from the 50s through to the 80s. I loved the retro 60s & 70s pieces the most……still do.

Do you have any ‘official’ qualifications? Do you think having formal training is important to what you do?

Nope. I’ve worked in fashion for over 10 years, selling, designing and sewing. I also worked for another jewellery label for two years before embarking upon Lady Alchemy. So I guess I learnt a lot of what to do and what not to do business wise. I’ve done a few classes related to jewellery and want to do more. There’s always more to be learnt with techniques. I’m excited to see how my jewellery collections will morph over the years.

How did you get your start doing artistic/creative things – Lady Alchemy – for a living?
I studied small business management then got a big juicy business loan and just went for it.
Having the business smarts really helped me to take that leap of faith.

What were the biggest challenges you’ve faced?

(continues over page)