Polli: sustainable, Australian-made jewellery

Your search for jewellery that’s ethical, Australian-made and on-trend ends here thanks to Byron Bay business Polli.

Transcript
Video Audio

Video

We open on a shot of a collection of quaint shops in a Byron Bay street.

Audio

(Upbeat instrumental music)

(Voice of Chelsea)

“Are you sitting in a café in Byron going…?”

Video

Cut to Chelsea and Brooke, owner of Polli sitting next to each other in Brooke’s workshop. Chelsea holds up one of Brooke’s designs.

Audio

(Chelsea speaking)

 “‘…the eye and these kinds of designs’? Does it work that way?”

(Brooke speaking)

“(Laughing) Sounds cliché but yes.”

(Chelsea speaking)

“(laughing) Do you? No way!”

Video

Text of the brand ‘Polli’ appears on screen, flipping between various angles.

Audio

(Upbeat instrumental music)

Video

Back to a wider shot of Chelsea and Brooke seated. A selection of Polli jewellery sits on the table in front of them.

Audio

(Chelsea speaking)

 “I’m here with Brooke from Polli. I’m in accessories heaven here. Brooke is a jewelry designer and she makes all these earrings and designs. Tell me about your business and all these beautiful products.”

Video

Cut away to close-ups shots of the products and Chelsea holding them up to inspect them.

Audio

(Voice of Brooke)

“We create earrings and pendants from recycled stainless steel…”

Video

Back to Chelsea and Brooke seated. Some cut away shots of the workshop with machines.

Audio

(Brooke speaking continued)

“…wooden, acrylic; huge range.”

(Chelsea speaking)

“This is your amazing space. You’re not doing it out of home. How many girls do you have working here?”

(Brooke speaking)

“Um, there’s three of us (laughs)”.

(Chelsea speaking)

“Wow.”

Video

Chelsea and Brooke are in the very neat storage area of the workshop.

Audio

(Chelsea speaking)

“My inner OCD is so excited right now. Because wow, you’ve taken organisation to a whole new level here.”

(Brooke speaking)

“We have to do it. There’s thousands and thousands of bits.”

(Chelsea speaking)

“Of course.”

(Brooke speaking)

“It’s the only way to stay sane.”

Video

Back to Chelsea and Brooke seated at table.

Audio

(Chelsea speaking)

“So we’re in the heart of Byron, which is so beautiful. How does that inspire the ranges and collections that you bring out?”

Video

Cut away footage of various scenic locations around Byron Bay: waves breaking against a cliff.

Audio

(Voice of Brooke)

“For us there’s a certain vibe here.”

Video

Back to Chelsea and Brooke seated at table. Some cut-away footage of drawings of the jewelry designs and Brooke making a piece.

Audio

(Brooke speaking)

“I’m not going to say boho (laughs).”

(Chelsea speaking)

“But…”

(Brooke speaking)

“But lots of patterns and shapes and figures that we get kind of from the environment here.”

(Chelsea speaking)

“And colours and creations.”

(Brooke speaking)

“Yep. Exactly.”

Video

Back to Chelsea and Brooke in the storage area, standing around a table.

Audio

(Chelsea speaking)

“Let’s talk about the packaging at Polli. I can see that your presentation is amazing. How would I receive a pair of earrings if I was to buy some?”

(Brooke speaking)

“We package them all up in these reusable canvas bags…”

(Chelsea speaking)

“Beautiful.”

(Brooke speaking)

“So you can keep your jewellery in for travelling and stuff like that. That’s actually a big focus of ours, just to minimise that single use packaging.”

Video

Cut to a close-up of Brooke packaging up an order.

Audio

(Voice of Chelsea)

“What happens on those days when it’s just overloaded? Are you guys all going back and forth to the post office or how does that work?”

(Voice of Brooke)

“We usually do a bit of a production line.”

Video

Back to Chelsea and Brooke in the storage area, standing around a table. Some cut away shots: Brooke standing, smiling; Byron Bay scenery; Brooke showing Chelsea how to put together some earrings.

Audio

(Brooke speaking)

“We just walk around to the post.”

(Chelsea speaking)

“Are you close?”

(Brooke speaking)

“Yeah it’s literally around the corner.”

(Chelsea speaking)

 “Great”.

(Brooke speaking)

“So we don’t actually require anyone to come and pick it up – we can just drop it in.”

(Chelsea speaking)

“And do they know you there?”

(Brooke speaking)

“They do.”

(Chelsea speaking)

“Hi Brooke.”

(Brooke speaking)

“Yeah the ladies are great down there.”

(Chelsea speaking)

“Some small businesses here they must be so successful here and they’re pumping out their orders so much they have an account manager…”

(Brooke speaking)

“That’s true”

 (Chelsea speaking)

 “…at Post. Do you have access to that?

(Brooke speaking)

“We do. We found it really, really easy. ”

(Chelsea speaking)

“Yep. And do they help you out.”

(Brooke speaking)

“They do. Yeah. Our account manager, we just call them up and they sort it all out but the people around the depot are always so helpful.”

(Chelsea speaking)

“It’s very community around here obviously too.”

(Brooke speaking)

“Absolutely.”

(Chelsea speaking)

 “So there must be a lot of businesses doing the run to the post office.”

(Brooke speaking)

“There’s an incredible amount of volume just at that tiny little depot.”

(Chelsea speaking)

“I find that because you’re working shorter hours it breeds that creativity.”

(Brooke speaking)

“I think so. And also just the freedom that having an online business gives you. You can do what you love and work from anywhere so you may as well work in paradise.”

(Chelsea speaking)

“Absolutely.”

Video

(End frame featuring Australia Post logo and the following text)

auspost.com.au/smallbusiness

Audio

(Fading upbeat instrumental music).

Earrings are big business. Just ask the owners of Polli - Brooke Johnston and Sarah Thornton - who’ve been managing and driving the brand’s unique jewellery designs since 2014.

Tucked away in the industrial estate of Byron Bay, Brooke talks exclusively to Australia Post about her career in jewellery making and what it takes to continually produce top-selling collections.

Two gold necklaces and a pair of earrings with an Aztec design draped in front of giant leaves.

It’s a very relaxed mood at the studio and Brooke talks about being a mother and balancing the demands of running a small business. “I have one daughter who is three and Sarah has two children, Lily who is six and Phoenix who is also three, so it’s a constant juggle.”

Brooke originally studied jewellery and object design and then got her trade certificate in jewellery manufacturing. By the sounds of it, there’s many years of making, creating, drawing and sourcing before you hit your strides in the art of creating beautiful jewels. It’s hard work, but a job that Brooke and Sarah find massively rewarding.

They’ve built a very loyal following on social media, with just over 12,000 earring fans on Instagram and you can tell they get excited when a new batch drops on their website.

A set of purple and yellow wooden earrings and matching necklace, artfully posed.

“We have a lot of fun with colour and texture, which has always been a huge driver for us aesthetically. Earrings are having a moment in the spotlight and we’re responding to our customers’ desire for big, bold, splashy statement pieces,” says Brooke.

Offering free domestic shipping for orders over $75, all Polli jewellery is proudly Australian made. All designs are hand assembled using quality materials, built to last. To craft their pieces Brooke and Sarah use fine recycled stainless steel and Australian Hoop Pine Ply, sourced from local manufacturers.

Close up of a gold Aztec necklace.

When asked about their inspiration points, Brooke says they are constantly drawing on their surroundings to create new collections and designs (some of the names of their collections include Modern Bohemian, Mystic River and Wildflowers).

“We are so lucky to live in an area with such abundant natural beauty, it’s hard not to be positively affected. Strong, simple and balanced are some elements we follow during the design process and we keep these ideas in mind when completing a collection,” she says.

They’ve learnt many things along the way too, especially the importance of investing in photography and styling to grow an online presence.

“Something we learnt very early on is that your pieces are only as good as your photography,” Brooke says.

Close up of resin hoop and half-moon earrings.

Brooke also notes that excellent customer service and simple, yet classic packaging helps to build a loyal customer base that keeps coming back.

“We love our regular customers and we always offer a personable experience and cute, environmentally friendly packaging,” Brooke says.

“We add details such as gold foiling and custom size cards and present each piece in a branded calico drawstring bag that the customer can reuse. We hope shoppers get a sense of individuality and attention to detail, which we try and focus on in all our branding,” she says.

Ethical jewellery made in Byron Bay

Free shipping within Australia for orders over $75.