“To me, jewelry is like poetry, because it involves the combination and synthesis of self-contained elements to create a cohesive and meaningful whole.”
The Sydney label Poesia Pietra was born almost by accident. Its founder Ally Sara was studying law abroad and took a six-week casting course because she wanted to make her “dream signet ring”.
The short-lived course sparked an enduring love for jewelry design, and over the past three years she has juggled her burgeoning jewelry brand with her career in law. Her initial desire to create jewelry that was simply pretty and decorative evolved into designing pieces that felt “powerful, powerful, and meaningful.”
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Her hope is that each piece will be so meaningful to the wearer that they want to keep it forever and eventually pass it on to someone else. This search for meaning is also imbued with the brand’s brand image – representing Ally’s Italian heritage and love of poetry, Poesia Pietra roughly translates to ‘poetry of stone’.
As she puts it, “In jewelry and poetry, the individual elements (whether stones and silver, or words) have little meaning when seen alone, but when they are combined, they provide context for each other and tell a story.” Below, she shares the label’s journey so far.
Tell us about you. What is your creative background?
In fact, I don’t have much creative experience! I studied law in college and stumbled into jewelry while on exchange in California. I was really doing a bunch of silly electives and took a six week casting course because I had always been a jewelry lover and wanted to make my dream signet ring. From the day I started the course, I completely fell in love with it and [I] juggling between creating jewelry and pursuing my career in law for the past three years.
How did the label start? Tell us about the process and the challenges.
The label started super organically. For ages I was just doing things for myself and [my] friends. Instagram’s incredible cobweb power was really what started it, and as friends posted pictures of their jewelry, I received messages from people. [with] further and further away from me.
In May 2020, I created a separate Instagram page for jewelry, under the name “Wrong Angler”, and that’s when it started to take shape as a brand that overtook my immediate circle. As with all creative projects, the challenges are too numerous to list, but I would say my biggest personal challenge has been overcoming the impostor syndrome of “running a brand” without being a goldsmith or a trained creative. professional. That, and learning to spell “jewelry” correctly.
What were you trying to achieve from the project at the time? How has that evolved and what are you trying to communicate through the brand now?
When I started, I was just trying to do pretty things. That’s still a goal, obviously, because jewelry is inherently decorative, however, my momentum has shifted to creating things that feel powerful, powerful, and meaningful. I think jewelry has this unique sentimentality and an unparalleled position as traditional “heirloom”.
I’m creating a new collection right now and my only goal is to make each item super special and super meaningful, to the point that someone wants to keep it for life and pass it on to someone else. It also means I have to do things that are timeless or timeless and not too referential to current trends, which has brought its own challenges.
Where does the name come from?
My family is Italian, and the name roughly translates to “poetry of stone.” To me, jewelry is like poetry, because it involves the combination and synthesis of self-contained elements to create a cohesive and meaningful whole. In jewelry and poetry, individual elements (whether stones and silver, or words) have little meaning when seen alone, but when combined they provide context. each other and tell a story.
What are you most proud of in your work on your label?
I’m proud that my mother wants to carry my things.
What did you wish you had known when you started?
don’t try [to] sell anything you wouldn’t wear yourself.
Who do you think is the most exciting in local fashion/jewelry right now?
There are so, so many talented silversmiths in Eora/Naarm [that] it’s impossible to name just a few, so I want to pick someone whose profile I haven’t seen as much as the usual suspects. I don’t know if she counts as local because she’s in Aotearoa, but I’m personally obsessed with Alice Lang Brown.
If you haven’t seen his stuff, I highly recommend checking it out – it’s so creepy and ethereal. In terms of fashion, I feel the same way (too many talented people to name!) but I think people in Sydney doing exciting things include Felynn and Julia Baldini.
What about the local fashion and jewelry industry that needs to change?
Nothing! I’m so proud of Eora’s resilient and determined fashion and jewelry scene [and Naarm], for staying true to this (sometimes abandoned) city and not succumbing to Naarm’s creative brain drain. Anyone who fights in a city that works so actively against the creative arts deserves a pat on the head, a cup of tea and maybe a cookie.
Dream local collaborators?
The first Sydney indie brand I came across was Diaspora and [I] have since had the pleasure of meeting the wonderful Stef in person. I think we discussed it briefly on a dance floor (where most good ideas happen) but it would be a dream collaboration because their brand has really opened my eyes to inspired production on a small scale. Also, Niamh from Ramp Tramp Tramp Stamp is an icon and everything she touches turns to gold, so I’d love to see what we could create together.
Must-read list for a dinner party?
The Cocteau Twins of course, because their lyrics are so out of tune that they never divert the conversation.
Who’s in your wardrobe right now?
Little elves who put mold on everything.
How can we buy one of your parts?
Either through my website or through one of my wonderful resellers, RTTS.land, Error404 Store and So Familia!
To see the range of Poesia Pietra, go here.