Hello to all our Fellow Jewellery Lovers,
Welcome to our blog. It's the place to come if you love jewellery, all things antique or if you just need a way of taking a break from the world around you.
Before I start with our weekly posts on antique and vintage jewellery and jewellery trends, I thought I would take this opportunity to tell you a bit about Irene Byrne & Co (our lovely little shop) and then introduce you to the team.
The shop is the brainchild of the lovely Irene and was originally located in Blackheath at the Victory Theatre. The shop was there for 14 years, however two years ago we moved it to the quaint little village of Leura and since then have never looked back.
Nestled just opposite Leura's famous Candy Store, we are open 7 days a week, (cause lets face it there really is no rest for the wicked!) and we specialise in Antique, Vintage and Bespoke jewellery.
We also offer a couple of services in jewellery repair and remodelling. So if you have any jewellery that you need fixed or any jewellery you would like turn into something else then please come and see us in store.
Now let us move on to the people behind the counter...
Irene Byrne - The Owner/ Jeweller / Mother to All
Let's start with the woman herself, Irene Byrne (or Mama Irene as she is known to most of us).
Irene began her career in the jewellery industry over 40 years ago when she worked in manufacturing. Back then all she saw were beautiful pieces of Victorian and Art Deco jewellery being melted down and turned into some sort of 1980s/90s monstrosity. While witnessing this may have crushed her soul for a while, it soon ignited her passion for antique jewellery. From then on, it became her mission to source a collection of amazing jewels (with some dating all the way back to the 1700s) and open a shop to showcase the history, craftsmanship and the love that can only be found in a piece of antique jewellery.
You can find her on most weekends in her gorgeous little shop, gushing over jewelllery and putting a smile on everyones faces with her bubbly personality. During the week, her time is spent between working in the workshop with our jewellers and minding the love of her life, her gorgeous grandson Harrison.
Jana Hunt - The Online Extraordinaire
Jana is the eldest of Irene's children (which she reminds Irene of quite frequently). She has grown up in the jewellery industry graduating from UNSW with a Bachelor in Design and from the Gemmological Association of Australia, a Diploma in Practical Diamond Grading.
Jana is responsible for our high standard of customer service as well as our sensational new website, but don't tell her it's sensational because she doesn't think so.
While she works for us 3 days a week managing most of our online presence and advertising, Jana is also responsible for raising her too cute for words baby boy Harrison, who Irene will proudly tell you all about and may even show you photos of when you come in store.
Andrew Byrne - Our Notoriously Shy Gemmologist
Graduating from the Gemmological Association of Australia with a Diploma in Gemmology, a Certificate in Practical Diamond Grading and the NSW Management Committee Award for receiving the highest mark in 2015, Andrew is a jewellery prodigy (and will most likely be so embarrassed that I just called him that.)
He is Irene's second child and makes very few appearances in store but does source a lot of our pieces as he has the most amazing eye for detail when it comes to jewellery.
All we ask, is if you see him, please don't make any subtle movements and scare him off. And on a completely different note how cute is his French Bulldog Frankie!!!???
Shirly - Sales Woman of the Year AND Most Stylish Woman in Leura
Shirly is the latest addition to our team and she warned me that if I put a photo of her on our blog she would beat me with a stick. True story.
She has lived in the Blue Mountains for just over 10 years. She has more than 25 years of experience in retail and flirting and spends most of her time enchanting everyone with stories of her amazingly colourful life in between selling jewellery in every language you can possibly think of. Her style is unrivalled and her love of jewellery almost beats Irene's.
Oh who am I kidding? No one loves jewellery like Irene does!
However if you have a question regarding style or to do with your love life, then Shirly is your woman! And don't worry, she has no problem telling you exactly what she thinks, which is only one of the many things that we love about our Shirl.
Me (aka. Liv) - Kind of mediocre in comparison to the people above / Completely camera shy!!
And last is me, I guess. What can I tell you about myself? Well I have no experience in the jewellery industry, yet I have managed to work for Mama Irene for two years. I run our Facebook page and Instagram account and can be found in the shop more often than at my own house.
When it comes to jewellery though, I can be a bit biased. I only love antique pieces. For me, they have so much more soul than the mass produced jewellery you see in jewellery stores today. I love the history and the sentimentality attached to each piece as well as the fact that clearly someone loved each piece enough to ensure that it has survive long enough to become an antique and it has been given a second change to become a family heirloom again.
Anyway, now you know about the shop and have met the team please stay tuned for more. I will try and post weekly about any new and interesting pieces we get in store as well as keep you updated with the latest jewellery history and trends.