INTERVIEW: Studio Blanca On Bringing Classic Pieces To Your Everyday

Jewellery is a passionate endeavour for Isabella Hynes and while Studio blanca may not be her first effort, it may be her best yet. Moving away from fast fashion, Hynes wants to bring a classic look to her jewellery without the hefty price point.

Edited for readability and brevity. 

This isn’t your first jewellery line so what can you tell us is the difference between Studio blanca and your previous efforts?

My first jewellery line I started back in 2012. A long time ago now. I was a lot younger it was more fast fashion; very trend based. The idea was that people would have to buy pieces quite regularly to stay on top of those trends. It was my first business and since then I’ve had a few more but jewellery was always a big passion of mine and something that I personally loved. That’s what inspired me to go down that path again and start studio blanca.

The difference between this new business compared to my first one is that it was created with more everyday wear in mind. I wanted pieces that were still classic. Pieces that you could dress up or dress down. More of an investment but without the investment price point. So it’s affordable but you can still get longevity out of it as opposed to the fast fashion style.

So you’ve put in a lot of thought surrounding how you want your jewellery to be perceived?

Yes absolutely. It was a very considered decision and I felt there was a gap in the market. I found a lot of the brands that were out there doing something similar were more expensive and less accessible. So I wanted to meet in the middle at a more affordable price where people would feel comfortable wearing the pieces every day, but still with that classic, quality and more luxury look and feel.

What does jewellery really mean for you? What is its ultimate purpose and what should it do for the wearer?

I think it’s about having something that is stylish but in your own way. Everybody has a different look and feel, or a different idea of what style means to them, and I think that jewellery is way to finish off an outfit or add your own touch. Jewellery is that component that sets you apart or allows you to add a unique flair to something like a white t-shirt or that black evening dress.

There are so many ways to change up your look and for me that reflects my mood as well. Often when I’m picking what I’m wearing, it’s the jewellery that makes me feel a certain way. The finishing touches as opposed to the whole outfit.

Studio blanca is very environmentally conscious, this is something that your obviously passionate about. What are some of the efforts Studio blanca does to help the environment?

One of our main focuses, that starts off right in the studio when we’re packing up and sending out those orders, is that all of our packaging is 100% recyclable. Whether that is our organic cotton jewellery pouches through to recycled tissue paper. We really pride ourselves on not using plastic filler, wrapping, or coating on any of our packaging. Although some of the pieces will come in a box, those boxes are able to be recycled. Same can be said of our postage satchels.

Second, what we have done from the start, is our donation of 5% of all our profits to a charity which we choose each year. This year we have chosen the Australian Marine Conservation Society. I grew up in Western Australia, I spent a lot of time on and near the water, growing up on boats etc. so that aspect of Australia is super important to me. That’s why I picked the Society first but in saying that that’s also why I wanted to have the flexibility to support a different charity every year so that we can support a wide variety of causes.

It’s something I was so excited to incorporate into the business. I know in the short-term things come up, for instance the recent flooding in NSW and Queensland, but I didn’t want to be reactive. I wanted to be proactive by sticking to that 12-month period that allows us to really focus our efforts on one thing rather than doing bits and pieces throughout the year.

In what way are your products “locally inspired”?

This was something that was taken from the idea that Australian way of life. Those were the elements that I wanted to incorporate. A few pieces incorporate things I love in our day-to-day lifestyle, like our coastal aspects with our beautiful freshwater pearls. That’s something that is fed throughout my different collections. But also, it’s about looking at local trends, as opposed to looking externally overseas to the international runway circuit.

So you’ve kept it highly Australian but also your pieces are so versatile that you can see them on the massive runways overseas, but it still has that Australian touch to it.

Yes, and I think that’s also something that appeals to the international audience as well. Overseas, people love Australia, they love our culture, we have that laidback effortless style so that was something I wanted, as an Australian brand, to embody.

How do positive affirmations fit into your products and brand?

One of our signature products, which is one that we launched with, is the affirmation tile pendant necklace. When studio blanca was formed during COVID, that really allowed me the space and time to work on this business and I just thought the power of positivity is now more important than ever. We’ve been through a rough few years and I know a lot of people will have a mantra or are being positive in other ways but I wanted to create a signature piece that allowed you to wear that positive mantra. Whether that is something you share with a best friend and have matching ones or just something that you know is always on you and that empowers you to repeat that affirmation over and over.

The power of repeating affirmations is that the more you repeat it, the more effective it is to change your thoughts and change your patterns. Ultimately that translates to changing your life in a positive way, whatever that means for you. So having a piece of jewellery on you that reflects that makes it easier to reaffirm because it is there physically as a reminder.

We have five core pieces that are simple enough that people can add their own meaning or detailed affirmation onto it. For example, “Breathe”, does that mean de-stress or to take a moment for yourself? You can add your personal message onto each of them. They’re not specific but allow individuals the space to adjust the affirmation into what that means for them.

You have a selection of handbags on your website, does this suggest a further foray into other kinds of accessories outside of jewellery?

Yes, we love handbags, we love all accessories. We’d love to expand into other accessories and on the horizon for this year will be our first hair accessories collection. This will have beautiful headpieces, clips, silk scrunchies, things like that so people can continue to evolve and accessorise in that everyday way in hairpieces.

Where did you come up with your tagline?

I was thinking what our point of difference was or what does studio blanca mean for people. I wanted to create a brand that people could just pop on with a white t-shirt, but it would still look just as beautiful if they were going to dinner or on a date. It was more about pieces that did work in your everyday life that make you feel a little bit more special. That’s essentially translated to “elevate your everyday.”

Everything that I have done has been quite considered which is very different to what I did with my first jewellery line. Everything has a purpose or there’s some reason behind it. It’s not just thrown in together because we thought it looked nice or cute, there’s actually a purpose behind a collection. That’s why we have got longer gaps between drops because there is a lot more thought and energy put into the design and creation process than just “nice jewellery” but also fits into the brand and also backs up what we believe and what we’re striving for.

For more of our interviews, check out our interview with Afends co-founder, Jonathan Salfield

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