Meet the Makers - Janine Zafra of Brie Leon

Meet the Makers - Janine Zafra of Brie Leon

Tell us a little bit about yourself and the journey towards creating and starting Brie Leon.

Brie Leon has been around for quite some time and gone through many different phases. In it’s very early stages started off as a webstore for pre-loved clothing then evolved to an online store representing emerging labels from Australia and New Zealand. After falling pregnant with my son, I had the urge to minimise and simplify the store so began my focus around jewellery. I’ve always been drawn to classic vintage accessories and had a small introduction into jewellery making in my younger years, so brought that back to life by making some one-off pieces for the store using dead stock beads and up cycled old jewellery findings. From here I began sourcing and remaking pieces of jewellery that brought back nostalgia of my mother’s jewellery box. Sharing this feeling with others helped me moving deeper down this path which is why the brand has matured into what it is today.

Tell us about your creative and production processes.

We start by gathering imagery of fresh inspiration we are excited by, then consolidate to a few images aligning together to create a unified mood. This creative process helps us with the direction of the collection. Ideas based off this mood are then sketched, we then narrow down to the strongest designs to be either created in- house (Studio Made) or CAD drawn and/or sampled by our makers. We don’t support the idea or over supply hence why we have such a strong core jewellery collection and limited styles in handbags, some pieces have been here since our beginning. In saying this, we have been working on a few new things for 2021… so stay tuned!

Where have you found inspiration for the creation of your pieces?

Our inspirations are usually always based around a memory or treasured item from the past, it could be a jewellery piece that was given to us as a child or a handbag we wore in our late teens. We then mentally strip the object into pieces which helps us to recreate the design to include our ideas and mood for that half of the year. Staying true to our beliefs, each piece designed must be created with the intention to withstand time regardless of seasonality.

What are you listening to / watching / reading / cooking?

Further entertaining my curiosity for Astrology by reading ‘You Were Born for This’ by Chani Nicholas. Also have The Rumi Prescription I’m looking forward to. This year I’ve come up with quite a few fresh pasta sauce recipes, now I just need to learn how to make the pasta! I don’t watch much on screen but recently got into ‘Rake’. Regarding sounds search for profiles ‘Ryan Lopez’ and ‘Grace Tebble’ on Spotify, their playlists are always my vibe!

What are you grateful for?

The beauty in nature, art and generous humans.