Friday, January 20, 2012

Belle-Donna - Catching up with Belle Bijoux

Last year I got to meet Fremantle-based accessory designer and mother-of-two Belle Bijoux of Belle Bijoux Australia . Since our first meeting you could say that I've become a little OBSESSED with her ah-mazing bags, shoes and leather goods. Having started from her home studio more than 10 years ago her business has gone from strength to strength. Worn by celebs including Mia Freedman, Katy Steele, Jessica Simpson, Cate Blanchatt, Jennifer Hawkins, Megan Gale, Kate Cebrano and Sophie and Gemma Ward,  I caught up with her yesterday to find out how 2012 was treating her so far and what direction she was looking to take her business this year.
Here's what she had to say:

It's been a few months since we last spoke how have things been going since we last chatted? 
Busy is a word for it.. I've been hugely inspired of late.
I'm constantly dreaming up new collections.. more shoes.. jewellery.. new year, new creative energy!
Last year you won Cosmo's FFF Award in the entrepreneur category - what was that experience like and has it helped with the exposure of your brand? 
I was extremely honoured to be one of the finalists but to take out the title blew my socks off!
I just never thought it would happen.
It has given the brand a lot of exposure Australia wide and I've gained a heap of confidence in myself and in my brand.
What's the latest with Belle Bijoux? I believe you are planning to start your new shoe line - how has this been going for you? 
I've always done a shoe here and there but this summer the Millie wedges I did went, well, lets just say 'ballistic' so I'm bringing out a few extra styles for Winter and then again for Summer 2012/13. I'm very excited about expanding this part of my business as are all the shoe loving woman out there.
What's on the agenda for this year have you got any exciting coming up? 
I'm in discussions with a distributor in Singapore which is wonderful so if all goes well I plan to head up there to  check it out.
Launching the shoe and new jewellery collection is what I'm most excited about.
What is your favourite Belle Bijoux bag? 
Of course it's the Evangeline - the colour for winter is cobalt blue (bluebird blue) it's to die for!
You've come up with some fabulous collections - where do you draw inspiration from? 
I can't really pin point it but I'd say vintage fashion has a huge influence, travel, old films and just from people watching - Fremantle is great for that!
Tell us about Mister Sun and what we can expect from your next collection? 
Mister Sun was all about the ocean, sunkissed bombshells and the beach!
The next collection will be a little more mod 1960's!
What are some of your goals for this year, where would you like to see Belle Bijoux take you in 2012? 
My goal this year is to really relax into my business and to go with the flow.
I would like to take opportunities as they come my way not necessarily go chasing them.
The most important thing for me is that I enjoy what I'm doing and that means I have to go at my own pace.
You're a mother of two  how do you juggle motherhood and running such a successful business? 
It can get tricky but having a very supportive partner helps a lot.
My children are also very supportive too, they love what I do and they get as excited about it as I do, especially my nearly teenage daughter Elianah - she's already desiging for me.
"I have the direction for AW.. a back pack mum a pack pack.. with really long straps.. and you know what I think I'll just do it and name it Elianah!"
What advice would give women looking at starting a home business in order to make it successful? 
To have a very clear understanding of what they want to create and achieve.
It took me a few years to really have a clear understanding of my brand and where I wanted to take it.
If you can have that before you start you are going great guns. 

Belle Bijoux is celebrating her birthday this week and is offering shoppers 50% off her Mister Sun collection - visit Belle Bijoux to find out more.
Hurry offer ends January 23.

Belle's favourite bag the Evangaline in Coral

Bonnie Bag in mint
Mirella Wallet

Oh Millie you're so fine, you're so fine, you blow my mind - Oh Millie!! Millie Wedges black
Millie Wedges Coral

Millie Wedges mint
The beautiful Belle with Evangaline - love this shot!

Evangaline & Belle's partner Greg

Future BB designer Elianah with little sister Evangaline

How cute is this pic Evangaline being piggy-backed by Greg on the beaches of Freo




5 comments:

  1. gorgeous interview, Evangeline is certainly my favourite bag , in coral, but i cannot wait to see the new BLUE !!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Bern! And yep Evangaline is my fave bag too. I'm thinking the Bluebird Blue will be the next purchase but I have to say I got a sneak peak of the AW shoes coming out & they are gorgeous. Got to control myself eeeeeeeeek!! xox

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great interview! I LOVE belle bijoux and always get comments wherever I go with one of her bags strapped to my shoulder! I have a confession though-I have the biggest Belle Bijoux collection of anyone! I'm a little obsessed ;) Jewellery, bags, belts, shoes...the lot! And I don't plan on stopping anytime soon!
    xxx

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks Peachy! I share your love for Belle Bijoux although not sure I can match your collection - but it's getting there!! And like you I don't plan on stopping anytime soon :) P.S Love, love, love your Peach products too. I want some Butter London polish, Sodashi and Savi products - need to get me some ASAP!!! xox

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete

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