To understand the beginnings of Quinnoa, you must first understand the hoarding problem that most members of my family have. As a result of this hoarding problem, our family home is stocked with collections of this and that, little trinkets and unnecessary impulse purchases. A lot of people say it’s what adds “character” to the home, but I see it as clutter. The difference for me is, I may be a hoarder, but I’m really good at hiding it. Whether it’s tricky storage solutions to conceal my winter clothes during the summer, the sneaky placement of my bottle collection, keeping the collection spaced specific distances apart as to mask the fact that I have a serious alcohol/bottle problem. This jewellery brand started on the grounds of this so call problem, and the time I found a paper bag filled with wine corks in our cupboard of mugs. The corks were supposed to wind up in a charity bin (pardon the pun) somewhere, but my mum never took them and her failed humanitarian efforts have allowed me to create a jewellery brand with a point of difference.
The initial objective for the brand was to allow young online shopping addicts understand where their jewellery is coming from. With the recent increase in popularity with the introduction of international retailers to Melbourne and other parts of Australia, purchasing cheap, highly mass produced products from brands such as H&M, Zara, Sportsgirl and other Australian brands that outsource the majority of their manufacturing, has become more easily accessible. This of course excludes online stores which sell similar products at competitive prices. We all know the jewellery we are talking about. The stuff that makes your fingers turn green, or the pieces that only survive one special occasion because they’ve ended up sprawled across a dance floor or toilet bowl (depending on how you like to party). Not to mention the products that leve you with an infected piercing and pus filled earlobes. Have we heard enough yet??
By using a recycled item such as cork or even a bottle cap, buyers can see how important the use of sustainable materials is to the brand. It highlights our consideration and environmental approach with the philosophy of the brand, and is something that is easily recognisable. I have a part time job in a local cafe. Many customers immediately double take when they see my necklaces. Seeing a common household item to create a piece that is unique, and something that can be worn by like minded environmentalists is what makes Quinnoa different.
Albiet, for the past 5 months, the use of polymer clay has been a way to bring bold, exciting shapes and colours to the brand. Initially, pom poms were used as a juxtaposition to the cork material, which was then seen as impractical and, in the long term, not long lasting. Since the beginning of the business, it has continued to grow and develop, it is constantly changing for the better while maintaining the essence of the initial idea.
Whether your a friend, relative or a passer by, I thank each and every one of you for your words of encouragement and your support. A special thanks to the skeptics, the people who thought that this was just about making money and my family members who couldn't quite see the point! I thank all of that negativity because it encourages me each day and has helped me realise that I am doing exactly what I want to be doing for the rest of my life. It may not be perfect right now, but if this is where I am at 5 months into the project, then I am immensely excited for the future development of the brand and to see what will happen.
Have a peruse through the site, check out my new site 'Thum', follow Quinnoa on various social media, and send me pictures of things that you like to do!! Perhaps we can collaborate and make the world a prettier place together!!