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Selwyn thrives on the spirit of entrepreneurship, with new businesses and small enterprises going from strength to strength in our supportive community, where innovation is celebrated.
If you are a start-up business yourself, hopefully the following story of Selwyn local Julia Banks and her jewellery business can inspire you to keep at it and get even more involved with the community who are always willing to support local artisans.
Julia Banks Jewellery, located in Greendale, has become a local favourite that is winning hearts across Selwyn. Julia Banks, the talent behind the brand, started her journey into jewellery making by chance after a visit to the Little River Gallery. Inspired by local art, she delved into her treasure trove of antique and vintage buttons, putting colour combinations together with abstract layouts and finding she had quite the knack for creating distinctive designs. Sustainability became a big part of her craft, and as her pieces gained popularity, she further honed her skills at the Silversmiths Guild of Canterbury.
Julia works mostly online or at local markets, but even in our digital age, people love to take a drive to the peaceful countryside to check out and pick up her one-of-a-kind pieces. From delicate necklaces and gemstone rings to statement earrings, each piece is a masterpiece in its own right.
What sets Julia Banks Jewellery apart and makes it so special is its slow-crafted and handmade vibe. Julia avoids mass production, instead committing herself to giving each piece a personal touch.
“Every piece is meaningful, each piece is unique. I feel incredibly humbled each and every time a piece sells. It doesn’t just sell to a ‘someone’, it can be a husband’s special anniversary, a daughter’s graduation… To be a small part behind the story is special and it’s why I love what I do”. - Julia Banks
With a commitment to sourcing materials responsibly and supporting local businesses, many of the pieces feature gemstones and metals sources from New Zealand, reflecting the store’s emphasis on sustainability. This dedication to local resources not only adds a unique touch to each creation but also fosters a sense of community pride.
Visitors to Julia’s studio can expect a treat. She works with sterling silver using traditional techniques, showcasing intricate designs inspired by the natural world. Her botanical-themed pieces capture Selwyn’s landscape and reflect the beauty that Julia views the world with. Her online shop is full of ready-to-ship items, and soon, a physical studio shop will open in Greendale. It’s a chance for customers to not only take a scenic drive to come and visit, but to see and buy Julia’s beautiful and unique creations.
Beyond crafting jewellery, Julia finds peace in the natural world around her. Living in Selwyn lets her explore and be inspired. Her garden is her happy place, where she tends to plants and enjoys the sounds of nature – a perfect inspiration for her botanical-themed jewellery.
For anyone dreaming of starting a business in Selwyn, Julia’s advice is simple:
Keep it easy, don’t do everything at once and make sure you have fun!
Her fifteen-year journey has been just that! As for how she feels about running a small business in Selwyn, she feels as though she has received great support from the local galleries and libraries around her and that Selwyn itself was a great place for artists and craftspeople.
Julia Banks Jewellery is more than just a business; it’s a celebration of craftsmanship, nature, and the stories behind each piece. With a studio shop coming soon, Greendale will become a go-to spot for those wanting unique treasures crafted by a true artist.
Check out Julia's online shop here: Julia Banks Jewellery.