Elise Eales is the creative mind behind the jewellery brand Di Lunedi and a long-time colleague of ours. When Elise is not working at the LM Fortitude Valley store she spends her time designing and crafting delicate and sculptural jewellery. We recently sat down with our friend Elise and got to talking about her new collection.
What lead you to start Di Lunedi?
Di Lunedi has been a long term goal of mine. I have always needed to create and be creative. I designed the memory bracelet a few years ago and have always had the intention to build on the collection. Last year I spent some time in Florence, which has always felt like a second home to me and of course offers plenty of inspiration. It felt like the right time to establish and explore the possibilities of Di Lunedi.
You have been working at Lee Mathews for over 11 years! Now that the brand is stocking Di Lunedi how do you feel your pieces correspond with the clothes in-store – and what is it like being at the forefront of communicating that to customers?
There is so much in the detail of Lee’s clothes that at first glance appear simplistic, but look closer and you can see the consideration that has gone into the process of designing and making them. It is that same narrative that I hope to embody within the Di Lunedi aesthetic. That ongoing communication with customers is the motivation behind it all…it is an opportunity to hear the story after it has left the store.
Jewellers are often called upon to commemorate some of the happiest and most important milestones of our lives; do you have any favourite customer stories/journeys?
I love how pieces are personalised, whether purchased by three friends who all live on different continents or as a good luck charm. Each piece begins to tell its own story. I recently made a pair of the Spaghetti earrings for a friend who was getting married in Bali. We added a simple pearl charm that matched the scattering of pearls stitched across her veil.
Do you have any jewellery that has been passed down to you?
I have an articulated fish charm that my grandmother brought back from one of her travels. I was always fascinated by its kinetic movement and still am!
You have spoken about how the memory bracelet symbolises a reminder for its wearer – are the other pieces in your collection an extension of this idea?
Yes, in many ways each piece carries through this common theme. Each design is based on simple lines with consideration to how it feels to wear, how subtle detailing and delicacy add to the way it will mould to the body. To be worn like an extension of the owner each piece is characteristic of our daily routines. One of my favourite pieces, the Flat edge cuff has a beautiful warmth to it when worn - I find its solidness comforting.
You design and create the first samples of your jewellery collection – can you tell me about the production process? And how involved you are with it?
I so enjoy the creative process of design and experimentation… fine-tuning the weight or the finish. I have a beautiful husband and wife team I work with closely in Bali. We work in the studio in Ubud to either cast or shape the designs, adjusting the details along the way. Once complete we use the design as the basis for production.
How would you describe your style? And how have you come to shape it?
I am lucky to play dress up every day! I gravitate to classic styles with a point of difference. Whether it's in the construction or the fabric I love to feel comfortably elegant.
What is the most treasured piece in your wardrobe?
My LM cashmere scarf - it has been everywhere with me! I am also drawn to beautiful shirting as many of my customers will attest… I love playing with cuff details.
Di Lunedi translates to 'On Monday' in Italian – what does this mean to you and has Italy been an influence for your work?
Italy is a constant source of inspiration for me. The pace is intentional, your daily habits become more ritualised and its about taking time with each task and therefore adding value. That is what I hope to achieve with the Di Lunedi pieces…that in the intention of wearing, they become apart of the story.
You’ve jumped around from Melbourne to Brisbane – how do the cities compare for you?
I’ve loved my time in both & of course in each city my heartstrings are pulled for the other. The flowers & daily markets in Melbourne, family & bright open spaces in Brisbane…
What are the challenges you face/faced running your own business, and what advice would you give those just starting out?
Time… without a doubt, it is always hard to prioritize when it is for yourself. Make many many lists! Also, surround yourself with beautiful supportive people who energise you.
What are you hoping Di Lunedi looks like in the future?
I would love to explore further creative possibilities. Incorporating both fine art and a further range of accessories. I also like the idea of working collaboratively on limited edition pieces that therefore add another chapter to the story.