Michelle Smith describes her jewellery line, via SMITH as her imagination running wild. It's everything she wants to see in rings, bracelets, earrings, and necklaces. And when it comes to business, she always reflects on her mother's (and grandmother's advice), remembering there are those as good as you, but no one better.
Tell us a little bit about Via Smith.
via SMiTH jewellery is my imagination running wild. It is everything I want to see in rings, bracelets, earrings, and necklaces. It is me playing with shapes, lines, and patterns, and balancing two colours – silver and gold. It was a natural progression from my rancho jewellery range I started 12 years ago.
Each piece starts with a drawing, with measurements to the millimeter. It is then up to our silversmiths in Bali to interpret and make. They are exceptionally skilled craftsmen and we are so happy to have supported this small business throughout Covid, as it was in 2020 that this label was born.
What or who inspired you to create Via Smith?
I think if I had to dig way back for an appreciation of jewellery, I would say it was a trip to Denmark and Germany when I was 21, (I’m half Danish). I can remember being blown away by the ring designs in the jewellery shop windows. They were very minimal, geometric designs that played with gold and silver, with matte finishes. Nothing I had seen before in my local Prouds! And it wasn’t until 20yrs later, in Bali, that I realised that my inspired designs could become a reality.
What makes Via Smith unique?
Im not sure if there is anything ‘unique’ left to discover in the jewellery world. But my jewellery starts from inspiration elsewhere. An embossed design on a retro vase, an abstract painting, a geometric pattern I see in a modern wall hanging, or maybe pushing an existing piece further. I'm also hoping my mix of metals and colours makes my pieces have a point of difference and are something different for jewellery lovers.
What have you sacrificed (both personally and professionally) at each stage of your career?
I don’t think I have sacrificed anything at any stage of my changing career. I chose to be an art teacher, I chose to be a mum, I chose to build a house, to have animals and manage a magnificent property, and I chose to change from teaching to my own small business. I think I am so very lucky to be able to choose and have these things. If I work a 60-hour week it’s because I want the business to be a success and I want to achieve my dreams. If I start complaining about the to-do list or the emails or the orders, I try to remind myself that this is what I signed up for and I must be doing something right! Maybe I am my own worst enemy?
What’s the best piece of business advice that you have ever received?
Now that’s a hard one, I have been lucky to have received lots of good advice. This one is maybe not strictly business advice but I think suitably applies to creative businesses. It’s from my mum (passed on from her mother). “Remember there are those as good as you, but no one better.”
What's one thing every woman should know about being successful in her career and life?
To know what success is. To know how far you’ve come and how far you have to or want to go. Our goals may change and that’s ok but we need to acknowledge and enjoy the journey.
What’s on the horizon for Via Smith in 2023?
via SMiTH is relatively new so it needs to meet and greet as many new people as possible. I really enjoy meeting people/customers face to face to see their responses to the pieces. I don’t get that response from wholesale selling. So more design markets like Finders Keepers and the Big Design Market. More industry Trade Shows like Life In Style which we’ve just exhibited in Sydney. And more collaborations with other industries. I've just finished designing some “S” earrings for our beautiful local SWELL magazine.
Location: Hunter Valley | NSW