HER Biz: Hayley Donnelly, Covet Goldie

Vibrant, show-stopping and expertly crafted European glass crystals make up the colourful earring collection at Australian jewellery label Covet Goldie. New to the scene, the brand, founded by Hayley Donnelly, has quickly found itself on the ears of the nation’s most fashionable stars, including Jasmine Howell and Erin Holland, just to name a few. Prepare to add this up and coming label to your collection. As part of HER BLACK BOOK’s Festival of Her, a shopping event to support female-founded businesses, Donnelly shares some insight into her business journey so far.

"Ever since I can remember I have been drawn to creative projects. I studied Fashion Design at TAFE NSW and at the time, started a jewellery label with a good friend, however, this was put on hold once I landed a full time role in visual merchandising. Eventually, I moved to London continuing to work in VM for luxury retail brands and after returning to Sydney and while on maternity leave I decided it was time to revisit one of my greatest passions… designing jewellery. In November 2021, COVET GOLDIE was born!”

“Being a mum to two young boys made walking away from a full time job to pursue COVET GOLDIE very daunting and although the demands of starting a new business are very real, I am so lucky to be surrounded by my amazing family and support network who have made the sacrifices feel bearable.”

“Aside from the jewellery itself, it would definitely be COVET GOLDIE’s packaging. The ‘carat cake icing’ pouch is unexpected and inspires curiosity from my clients which I love. I am also extremely conscious of the impact the fashion industry is having on the planet with excessive packaging fuelling the issue, so I knew I had to ensure that COVET GOLDIE’s packaging was both minimal and recyclable."

“I enjoy that my customers love exploring mismatch designs as much as I do. Australian women love to take risks in fashion and the fact that pieces that don’t look so uniform are bestsellers is a testament to that. The HAVANA and HASTINGS earrings are stand out styles. They are the perfect addition to a racing / special occasion / wedding look. CLEO and MOXY are a gals go to’s. Whether you want to add a bit of sparkle to your work wardrobe or need an option that will transiting from day to night, these are the perfect everyday style."

“It wasn’t so much ‘advice’, but more a memory from very early in my career which has shaped the way I have worked since. I was working for a leading global luxury fashion brand and while adjusting the position of a handbag, the Director of VM at the time asked me to 'move it 2mm to the left'. At the time I thought those 2mm were quite trivial to the floorplan given the scale, however, to my surprise the adjustment changed the visual completely. From that day onward, I had an even more profound appreciation for the intricate details that can have monumental outcomes, which I believe is what makes COVET GOLDIE so special. Every piece is handmade with the highest quality finishes and is gone over with what I perceive as the finest of fine tooth combs!"

“I dress for comfort. A rag & bone white tee and AGOLDE jeans paired with some chic slides will me do just fine!”

“My stubbornness and determination. To perfect the technique of the floating gems I went through a ridiculous amount of drill bits and cracked more crystals than I care to admit to. The design was important to me, and I knew that I would get there eventually, so I simply had to keep going! It was a very long, experimental process but it’s something I am so proud to offer as part of the COVET GOLDIE collection.”