CHARCOAL and TWINE
Flic, Lauren, Ruth and Mish are the creative minds behind the Melbourne based jewellery range Charcoal and Twine. In just a year these girls have gone from strength to strength, selling locally at markets and even shipping overseas all the way to Jordan. We talk to the girls at Charcoal and Twine about their story, their inspirations and their tips on starting a business.
Previously we didn’t know how many people were part of Charcoal and Twine but now we know there are four of you. Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves and how long have you been creating beautiful necklaces for?
The four of us together have been good friends since high school. We attended different schools but got to know each other at church. Although our lives have changed a lot since our teenage years and we’ve chosen different careers and made diverse life choices, our friendship is our common bond. We started making necklaces in April last year.
How did Charcoal and Twine come about? Did you guys ever think, looking back that you would be running a necklace business together?
The four of us have a lot of fun hanging out. One night we decided to try our hand at making the clay necklaces we’d seen on Pinterest, with interesting results. There was a lot of experimenting with shapes, sizes and the mushing together colours which should never be mushed together. We must have made some half-decent beads that night because we posted some photos of our creations on our personal Instagram accounts and piqued the interest of friends. Many expressed an interest in buying one if we would make it for them. We saw a potential business idea and ran with it. Within three days we had an ABN and Charcoal and Twine was born.
It can be quite difficult to manage a side business (especially when each of you may lead very busy lives) how do you manage to create, sell and distribute your necklaces and work around each of your individual schedules?
It requires a lot of communication, but we don’t necessarily find it difficult. All our stock, including clay, beads, twine, leather, chains and tassels, is contained in a few boxes (that are getting progressively heavier each week), which we rotate on a monthly basis depending on our schedules. We take turns making necklaces, sending out orders and checking emails. We will get together one night every few weeks to make beads and catch up on business. We celebrate successes, brainstorm new designs and discuss marketing, coming events and potential issues. Let’s be honest though, when four best friends get together, it’s not all business talk. Our meetings have been known to turn into raging dance parties in the lounge room.
We’ve seen that you guys have been shipping all over the world! Where is the furthest a Charcoal and Twine necklace has travelled to?
Yes! The beauty of the Internet is we can reach potential customers worldwide. We’ve sold to America, the UK, Switzerland and Jordan.
Are there any particular places where you get your inspiration from?
Anywhere and everywhere. We keep an eye on current trends and will always incorporate those into our new designs. We are often inspired by other artists, but when it comes down to it, our necklaces are a unique blend of our personal tastes and a touch of creative flair.
Our friends from That Dapper Chap previously said how amazing it is to see young people doing start-ups and side businesses. Where does your passion for Charcoal and Twine derive from?
Our business is unique in that it’s centred around our friendship – we didn’t go into business with strangers. So it’s our friendship that drives our passion for the business. Aside from that, we’re all quite creative and we love what we are making. We enjoy seeing others wearing our creations and telling us they love our products.
What’s been the most rewarding aspect of Charcoal and Twine?
Hands down getting paid to hang out with your best friends.
- Don’t be afraid to start small and learn as you go. We all chipped in a small amount of money to buy our first clay order and not even a year later, we’ve sold hundreds of necklaces to customers. We also generously got help from friends and family in the basics of setting the business up.
- Be wise. If you are starting a business with others, you will ideally have a strong foundation of friendship so you can weather any problems together. Make sure you’re on the same page in terms of finances and delegating tasks.
- Take a risk – you never know what could happen!
We are excited to share this exclusive post with you! Hopefully you guys enjoyed a behind the scenes pictures of Charcoal and Twine’s craft and the friendship that binds them together. In collaboration with Charcoal and Twine we have a giveaway on Instagram giving you a chance to win one of their beautiful necklaces!
Competition ends March 1st this week, so, good luck!
Selling handmade and unique pieces, Melbourne based label Charcoal and Twine create timeless, whimsical pieces that will be the stand out for any outfit.