Newcastle jewellery brand launch their new studio
The simple yet modern jewellery crafted by Newcastle-based brand, Kate & Kole has recently launched their brand-new Honeysuckle working studio.
After seven years of business, from originally their sole-online offering to their first retail studio at The Fernery in Islington, the highly sought-after products of Kate & Kole have grown and landed themselves in a beautiful new space, right in the heart of Newcastle.
The local brand is the brainchild of two close friends and fellow creatives minds, Sara, originally from New Zealand, and Maddy, originally from Dungog, who connected on their want to join their individual skills and experience to create something truly unique.
Once the idea of creating their very own jewellery range was decided upon, the next question was, how?
“When I was looking into 3D printers, I found this company that printed in all different materials, and one of them was gold and silver. I text Maddy, and I said oh my goodness I’ve found this great company.
“I had studied jewellery at university, so I had some idea of the process. I just sent one off to see what it would look like. It came back and I opened it up and I sent Maddy a photo saying, it looks great, we should do this,” Sara said.
Thanks to this new technology and a strong just do it attitude, the first Kate & Kole collection was released in 2015. Their debut range, named Explore, featured a set of 9 stackable rings and were centred around female explorers and pioneers in their fields.
“The idea was that we wanted to do something creative together and we originally saw it as more of a side hustle, but we were really open to see where it would lead us,” Maddy said.
The name, Kate & Kole, comes from the combination of the girls' middle names; Madalynne Kate, and Sara Nicole.
Since 2015, the business has slowly but surely been bubbling away with Kate & Kole truly becoming bespoke jewellery specialists in the Australia-wide jewellery scene.
“We would have so many chats asking when does it take off? How long do we have to wait? Just really waiting for that moment. It was totally just a massive passion project for both of us that we had this inkling that one day it would really be something special, but we just didn’t know when.”
Just over 12-months ago, the girls moved the business into the much-loved Islington-based space, The Fernery with the aim to move from their online everyday pieces into the engagement and wedding ring space.
Following a successful 12-months at The Fernery, when Maddy officially made the move up to Newcastle in September last year (having been splitting her time between Newcastle and Sydney up until), it wasn’t long before the girls realised, they needed more than their current 30m2.
“We started checking out what was around, and we didn’t really know what we were looking for other than more space. Then everything we were looking at was quite in-between of ticking all of the boxes. We eventually found this, and it was very extreme; we thought it was too big.”
Deciding to say yes to the old New Black Industries space in the Honeysuckle precinct late last year, by the time they moved into the space in January, they had already outgrown every single other space they had looked at.
“It was a really quick turnaround. We got the keys on a Monday and had a consult that Friday.”
“Our first client was with a girl called Lauren who is an influencer in Sydney who knows our brand quite well. She had followed our journey for years, so it was pretty exciting to have her be the first to experience the new studio,” Sara said.
Excited to be situated in the Honeysuckle precinct, the girls are excited to share the best of what Newcastle has to offer with clients who visit the space for consultations coming from all over Australia.
“We have quite a few clients that have come from all over including Sydney, Melbourne, and even a couple from Tasmania flew up the other day. It’s pretty amazing that people will travel for a consultation with us.
“We knew that we wanted a good Newcastle destination, and this is so lovely if people are travelling and haven’t even been to Newcastle before. It’s a nice entry into the city. We love that we are able to welcome customers into a beautiful space.”
The working studio is open by appointment only and offers so much more than just a behind the scenes experience of what Kate & Kole does.
“It’s really nice that people can come and meet their jeweller. If they’re having something repaired, we can do that whilst the consult is happening right here. It’s lovely that it has the balance of appointments and working space.”
“It enhances that, we’ve always been very dedicated on being made to order. Having a space that reflects that gives us the opportunity to show the values of each and every piece and having that interaction with customers is quite unique,” Maddy said.
With plans to explore a kind of ‘retail experience’ in the future, unlike any you’ve seen before, Kate & Kole does hope to be able to create a way for customers to interact with the brand and its products. Watch this space on what they get up to.
Having built the brand up with just the two girls behind the business, over the last 12-months, Kate & Kole now has a close-knit team of 11 employees, including both operation managers and jewellers; most of which all operate a full-time schedule.
“The girls are all just so dedicated. We’ve been so lucky with the level of care each of them brings with them. They all truly do treat it like it’s their own business.”
Having grown the Kate & Kole collection since its inception in 2015, the brand aims to offer simple yet modern designs, with each piece distinct and unique. Focussed on creating their collections alongside working with clients on bespoke designs, each Kate & Kole piece will continue to be made to order and often customised for the wearer.
“Our jewellery is created by a combination of modern technology and traditional jewellery practices. Each piece is finished carefully by hand, and every design is carefully considered.
“All of our stones are sustainably sourced, and we use lab-grown diamonds to ensure the highest quality – while making sure they’re conflict-free and ethically sourced.”
Browse the full Kate & Kole collection and bespoke service through their website here and contact the girls here to organise your very own consultation with Newcastle’s premier bespoke jewellery studio.