Starting a label at 21: I was blissfully ignorant & naive.

Starting a label at 21: I was blissfully ignorant & naive.

Like every young girl, Samantha Wills dreamt of being a dolphin trainer. While she isn’t that, she is an incredibly successful jewellery designer that dabbles in creative direction on the side. She also looks after her skin, with me of course.

What’s the first thing you think of when you wake up?

Check my phone! Its a dirty habit I’m trying to break!

Then, what’s the first thing you do?

Breakfast (oatmeal & fresh berries) while checking my email at my desk.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

I wanted to be a dolphin trainer –but I think I really just wanted to swim with dolphins! I was also really bad at science, and was always doing creative subjects, so I probably have more hope of painting pictures of dolphins than studying them!

And what do people say now when they find out you’re a jewellery designer?

I don’t think anyone was surprised. I grew up in the late nineties, and I was never short of a wrist full of sterling silver & moonstone jewelry or a black velvet chocker necklace!

You have set up your own company #girlboss. What have been some of your biggest obstacles?

Oh God, there have been so many at different levels of the journey. One of the biggest one was taking the brand to the USA market. Even though it’s an English speaking territory, it is completely different to the way we do business in Australia. It’s been, and continues to be a huge learning curve.

And memorable moments?

Ohhh heaps! Having Eva Mendes wear our Bohemian Bardot ring and put us on the map with our signature style, having Patricia Field feature our earrings in the SATC II film, being nominated for Australian of the Year, being named a breakout star by the New York Times… Even listing these things feels like I am reading about someone else – very surreal.

You started very young at the age of 21. Was this scary?

No, because I was 21, so naive and arrogant! I had no idea what lay ahead. People say I was brave, but I truly think I had a heap of passion mixed with the bliss of ignorance! If you knew what it truly takes to start a brand, and specifically a global brand, I’m not sure anyone would do it! That’s the beauty of the romance and love of creative, you just jump in and work through it as it comes at you.

You’re creating art, in the form of jewels. Do you do any other artwork/creative activities?

I love working on my own interiors. Working in jewels as my job, it is really nice to work creatively without any need or desire for commercial outcomes. I also work with handwriting, which I really enjoy. I like working creatively with foliage also. At the moment I am very much into greenery, and bringing the outdoors in.

Where did your creativity come from? Have you always had it?

Yes, I think I have always had an interest in creative. When I was little, I would move my bedroom around every week. Once, I moved all my clothes out of the wardrobe, removed the doors and had the bed coming out of the wardrobe with fairy lights strung up where you would hang the clothes. My parents very graciously allowed me complete creative freedom within the walls of my bedroom. I would paint murals on the walls, then paint over them and start again. I wish it was in a day of digital cameras because I just don’t have any photos of it, but it’s all so clear in my mind. I am really grateful to my parents for allowing me that creative freedom.

When you’re not working on SW, what are you likely to be doing?

I have another job as Creative Director of YELLOWGLEN which I love! It allows me to be creative, but with a different medium. I am also working a lot on the SAMANTHA WILLS FOUNDATION- a new project I am launching in January 2016 which is designed to empower women in business. If I’m NOT working, you will probably find me at a Soul Cycle class in NYC, or at the beach in Australia. I am also learning the guitar, so I often pick that up and practice for half an hour or so between work.

And, you have two days off. Where are you?

If I’m in NYC, I would probably get out of town, maybe somewhere you can hike. I try to get to remote nature as often as possible. If I’m in Australia, I would probably go visit my parents in Port Macquarie and you would find us by the pool or at the beach.

You split your time between Sydney and NYC. How do you find this lifestyle?

It has pros & cons. The pros are the locations are AMAZING and I get the freedom to live a life between two cities. The cons are it is a lot of travel time and it can be hard on relationships because you just get settled and then you have to pick up and leave again.

And what do you like best about each place?

In NYC, I love the energy of not only the city, but the people here. In Sydney, I LOVE the beaches. Every single day I am in Sydney I do a beach walk. Living away from the ocean has given me such a renewed appreciation for it.

Travelling a lot and working long hours it’s so important to look after your skin. What is involved in your beauty regime?

Drinking LOTS of water on the flight is a skin saviour. Annoying to have to keep getting up to go to the loo, but you notice the difference in your skin when you drink tonnes of water. I use SKII a lot and find it helps keep my face in check. Obviously also eating well is a key ingredient.

Any particular products or ingredients you look out for?

I like to keep it pretty simple. I don’t wear a lot of makeup day to day. I get my brows tinted to frame the face and try to keep some kind of fake tan glow about me.

Lastly, who should I get down and dirty with next? In other words, who should my next #frankcrush be? (at the moment, it’s you).

Carolyn Brown – NYC Nutritionist.

xx frank

Starting a label at 21: I was blissfully ignorant & naive.