ETHICAL JEWELLERY BRAND YCL ANNOUNCES NEW RETAIL DEAL

ETHICAL JEWELLERY BRAND YCL ANNOUNCES NEW RETAIL DEAL

GOLD Coast jewellery brand YCL Jewels has landed a deal with leading Australian online e-tailer, The Iconic, to be a stockist for the brand's core collection.

Fabienne Costa (pictured), founder and creative director of YCL Jewels, says the deal will help her business continue its growth and capitalise on the exposure gained by celebrities such as Delta Goodrem, Lorde, Megan Gale, and Jennifer Hawkins having worn her jewellery.

"As a fellow online retailer, I admire the work of The Iconic and am delighted to be partnering with them as our only other online stockist," Costa says.

The Iconic will initially stock nine of YCL Jewels' core collection and Costa says this was possible because of the move to ethical manufacturing off-site.

"Until 12 to 18 months ago, I was hand making each piece of jewellery that we sent to our customers," says Costa, who is a finalist in the Gold Coast Young Entrepreneur Awards 2017.

"I knew that if I wanted the business to grow, I couldn't continue to make each piece by hand and meet customer demand to the standard we've set ourselves."

After several visits to India and Hong Kong, Costa was able to find craftsmen to produce around 70 per cent of YCL's designs in an ethical and sustainable manner.

"It was vital that although outsourcing the production of the designs, they were being made with the same level of integrity and ethics as when we were making them by hand," she says.

"I worked extensively to find craftsmen who could do this and am happy to have a team in India and Hong Kong producing pieces that I think are still very much YCL pieces in design, quality and intention."

YCL Jewels was founded in 2013 when Fabienne left university at age 21 while she was one subject short of graduating to commit to growing her jewellery making full-time.

"I left my job and studies in nursing to pursue starting the business full-time," Costa says.

"The business was born on my high school desk, in my family home. I had no business training, no money and no clue what I was doing. But I followed my vision and passion for design.

"I had seen other jewellers at markets and in small boutiques, and knew that I had to give herself the opportunity to explore making jewellery and make YCL Jewels all that it could be.

"My aim was to create a business that was intention-led and allowed me to work in the creative industries. I wanted to create jewellery that was contemporary, sophisticated and timeless and brand that represented quality pieces and not mass-production."

This year, YCL Jewels is estimated to turn over more than half a million dollars in revenue.

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