Local jeweller evolves business into new Bolton St space
We first met the couple behind Newcastle’s raw and refined jewellery brand, JTaranaki Jewellery, upon their launch at The Station in 2021. Today, two years since their inception here in Newcastle, we caught up with Jacob and Charley to check in and discuss all things JTaranaki.
Originally from Cambridge, New Zealand, Jacob had a stint in the construction industry, before getting back in touch with his creative side and enrolling at Auckland’s Peter Minturn Goldsmith School.
Officially launching JTaranaki in Australia in 2019 – the culmination of Jacob’s ten years of expertise in the jewellery industry.
Moving to Newcastle in 2019, the young couple has built up the JTaranaki Jewellery brand through their custom work, creating their signature style, and launching their first retail space at The Station.
“It was awesome at The Station. It was the perfect stepping stone to get us to where we are now. We’re incredibly grateful to the council and to The Station for how easy they made it for us to get into having our own bricks-and-mortar space,” Jacob said.
The dreamy new studio and workshop space sits on the corner of Bolton St and King St, completely transforming what some of us may remember as the old Yoga For All space.
“We were always hoping that the business would grow from having that space at The Station that we could scale up to something like this. We knew we wanted something where we could be more independent and make our own mark.”
Not your typical jewellery space, JTaranaki Jewellery on Bolton St is more a visually open workspace than a retail boutique.
“The space is very rough and raw, but our jewellery is refined and high-end. This space has been perfect for us to really showcase the feel we want for the brand. We’ve found that every single person who walks through our doors is here because they’ve done their research or they’ve booked an appointment, which is exactly what we wanted,” Charley said.
Moving from The Station to Bolton St over the summer season, the pair have really been able to make waves in their new space over the past few months, and have recently just announced they’re bringing an apprentice into the business later in the year.
“We always knew that once we got to the point where I’d reached my maximum capacity we would look at hiring someone, but we weren’t sure if we would ever get there. So, to do it this early on is a huge achievement,” Jacob said.
The locally-based brand boasts an incredibly unique style of jewellery, focussing on using raw and precious metals in their custom jewellery, remodels, and their small retail offering – each piece featuring the iconic JTaranaki touch.
Walking around the studio, you can see that the tools Jacob uses are leaning towards the old-school handmade approach; something hard to come by in our modern day.
“It’s handmade on another level. Back in the day, you would have a family jeweler, that was a thing. You could go in and see their space and they would make all of the family pieces.
“That resonates with how we operate and who we are as people. For me, it just blows me away with what he can create with the tools that he has,” Charley said.
Custom work, one-off pieces such as engagement rings and wedding bands, as well as remodels, continue to be at the core of JTaranaki’s offering.
New custom jewellery production allows for infinite creative design possibilities while pulling on Jacob’s extensive collection of both national and international suppliers to create a 100% locally handmade piece for clients to cherish forever.
“The scope of custom work is so broad but we’re typically working with precious metals and stones. Not only is it custom jewellery, but it’s also special because of the way it’s made.
“You’re not going to find too many jewellers that do everything right here in their space locally. We’re not sending anything away – we’re doing everything right here in this space,” Charley said.
Custom remodels will see Jacob working with pieces from all walks of life. Whether it be a dated yet treasured personal piece or a family heirloom in need of some love and attention.
“I really enjoy doing remodels for clients. Getting to utilise old materials, recycling them, and creating something completely new. You’re often bringing together this real mismatch of materials and making a piece that looks like it was designed to look that way. It’s challenging, but I really enjoy them,” Jacob said.
Whilst custom work is at the core of JTaranaki’s offering, the business continues to offer a small selection of retail pieces with Charley hoping to expand this in the foreseeable future.
“I have big dreams for the retail side of the business, which may see me working closely with our new apprentice which is super exciting,” Charley said.
The couple, alongside their two children – Quentin and Murphy – have no intention of leaving Newcastle, with plans to continue to bring their signature JTaranaki approach to town.