HER Biz: Belle Maartensz & Briella Brown, Avant Studio

Be it classically chic earrings, birthstone necklaces or letter-adorned jewels, Avant Studio has quickly become a go-to for those looking to add to their jewellery collections. Famed for their timeless designs that are uniquely wearable — for both the everyday and the more dressy occasions — the local label as penetrated through the saturated jewellery market to find their distinctive niche. As part of HER BLACK BOOK’s Festival of Her, a shopping event to support female-founded businesses, Avant Studio co-founder Briella Brown, shares some insight into her business journey so far.

“We originally launched Avant Studio as a curated accessory destination but really wanted to bring our own designs to life. As soon as we introduced our own pieces, we knew we were on to something. The designs and brand ethos seemed to really resonate with other like-minded women, it just felt right.”

“Starting a business has been the most challenging, yet rewarding experience. You will learn so much in the early days of establishing and growing your brand, it’s hard to prepare for that. My advice would be to get started and not to worry too much about where the business will go, as it always tends to evolve as you learn what your customers are after."
“I love reading, two books that I recently really enjoyed were 'The Cold Start Problem' by Andrew Chen (who lead growth at Uber) and 'Shoe Dog' by Phil Knight (of Nike). My favourite podcasts include 'How I Built This' and 'Lady Startup Stories'. I find them really interesting and inspiring to listen to people's journeys. It's often not linear so it's also quite relatable! Belle and I are always discussing podcasts that we love, it's so inspiring hearing the business founders themselves describe the business journal and how they have navigated growing their business.”
“We are so lucky to have so many incredible female leaders in Australia to look up to. There are too many to name but a few that spring to mind include Michelle Battersby of Sunroom, Rey Vakili of LTD, Ava Mathews of Ultra Violette and Jo Horgan of Mecca. I have reached out to a few of these ladies and it's amazing how keen they are to share knowledge and provide help when you are stuck on certain problems. It's a very supportive environment.”
“We have just released our new collection called ‘Connection’ so I can’t go past our Celine Earrings, they have been a bit hit. Our Birthstone Necklace and Pavé Letter Necklace also make the perfect personal gift. Also, the Chloe Pavé Huggies are a must-have as I haven’t taken them out in a year and go with every outfit.”“It's hard to point to one specific piece of advice but I think the one that comes to mind is 'If you don't try, you'll never know. If you never ask, the answer is always no'. I originally heard it from Emily Weiss on a podcast and it's a good reminder to not be scared to ask. I think it's humbling to remember that the worst someone can say is no, it definitely gives me the confidence not to overthink certain business situations.”