We chatted with Anu Sawhney founder and owner of Bidillia about her new range of jewellery:
Why did you call the company Bidiliia?
In all honesty, I wanted the company to have the same name as my daughter but she lives a life away from publicly accessible social media, so it didn’t sit well. Bidiliia rhymes with her name and has the same meaning – ‘strong and powerful’. It took a while to name the company.
What motivated you to create the collection?
I was ‘stuck’ in rehab after major joint surgery, the months preceding that, I was in a world of pain and I did all that I could to make myself feel happy – for me that was almost always jewellery. But quality jewellery was too expensive and the cheaper pieces broke quickly. I couldn’t find good quality affordable jewellery that wasn’t mass manufactured.
And while it was just for me initially, I received a ton of great feedback and people (even strangers) asking me where I’d bought my jewellery (especially the rings).
So I decided to create my own.
Can you tell us about the design process?
I tend to start with the colours and/or crystals I want to use. With the collection set to release in January – I’ve played around with Swarovski pearls. After which it’s usually an over the top design that is scaled back to being wearable – all day, every day.
Comfort is SUPER important to whatever is created, if a woman can’t wear her jewellery through the day and sleep in it at night (not that I would ever recommend that) – it won’t be made.
Once I have a rough sketch ready, I send it off to Menorca to finalise findings (all the little pieces that make the big piece) – and usually, with minor tweaks (over time), we take that to an unfinished sample. Then more minor tweaks if needed, and straight to production.
It’s become a little tricky over time with Swarovski availability issues – there have been a few times a piece was ready to roll to production and Swarovski announced they were ceasing production for a particular shape/colour – so we try and get over the sampling hill quickly to procure crystals.
How are your items ethically made?
We (me here and the team in Menorca) are extremely aware of the effect of our creations on the people (who make them), the planet and resources. And I’m also conscious of keeping jewellery affordable.
- People: We pay fair and asked wages with price increases as requested by our creators. There is never a negotiation on pricing and our artisans and suppliers are paid first, in full. Other than that, I work around their holidays and time off.
- Planet: We use locally procured recycled materials and focus on minimising production waste – which comes as second nature to almost all makers in Menorca as the islands have been recognized as world heritage by UNESCO. This status ensures that all practices from manufacturing to tourism are done in a planet safe way.
- Resources: we use ONLY Swarovski crystals, which have been deemed as eco stones because of their carbon structure and environmentally safe manufacturing practices. All other raw materials used are sourced locally in Menorca and are a mix of recycled and new (for stability) metals.
We’ve added affordability to the mix because if ethical isn’t affordable, it isn’t sustainable, and I want everyone to wear ethically made.
Can you tell us about the Menorcan artisan makers?
I work with a family of artisans in Menorca, and we’re extremely supportive of each other. When our personal lives need to be prioritised, we all make space for each other to do this. It works really well.
I found these makers after searching for a team of people who could bring my designs to life in an ethical way, and it’s been a fantastic partnership.
Tell us about your collaboration with Nici Rijhsinghani?
Nici and I went to design school together and she’s a stylist to celebrities in India. During the extended lockdowns in Mumbai, she started making coin bags to help raise money to feed local stray animals. We were on a ‘design school group zoom call’ when she brought that up and one thing led to another and we decided to collaborate and create a one-off collection of hand-painted and hand-embroidered bags.
The non-negotiables of creation were: ALL materials must be upcycled and we still must feed stray animals. The rest was all that we know, designs – colours – what pops and makes a statement and happiness.
She also managed to create around 200 silk scrunchies from upcycled materials for the brand Bidiliia which are often sent out as unexpected gifts with purchase.
What pieces are ideal for birthday presents?
I would ALWAYS pick pieces that are crowd-pleasers and sure to knock their socks off – like super versatile Vintage Glam earrings and ring, the Bexley ring, or Carrie earrings. Or wow someone with the Monet ring or The Shan. Our rings are adjustable, so they’re great for gifting.
What pieces are ideal as gifts for Valentine’s Day?
What’s your most popular product?
The Vintage Glam ring is the longest-running and most popular product. Followed closely by the Sea Glam ring which will be discontinued next year as Swarovski have discontinued manufacturing that colour.
Do you have any predictions for the future of the jewellery industry?
Classics have a tendency to stick.
So, while we yoyo with trends, people are increasingly investing in pieces that make them feel amazing, ones that last longer than a change in season. They are growing cautious about who makes their jewellery and how it’s made. Consumers will continue to educate themselves on what they wear and the impact it has on them and their surroundings. I hope for a future where sustainable and ethical is the standard.
Do you have plans for future releases?
Earlier this year, I moved the business to releasing micro collections more often. For me, this has allowed more freedom to create, experiment and grow the collections AND for our loving customers, it has meant that they can ALWAYS turn to us for something new and different when they’re looking to buy.
I plan to stick to that model for the foreseeable future, this will be the first time since I started Bidiliia that there will be a January collection with entirely new sparkly earrings (and a few rings). It’ll also be my first to feature Swarovski pearls alongside the crystals that we usually shimmer in.
To order head to the Bidiliia website: www.bidiliia.com
Ethically-made, feel-good jewellery for women looking to add a little extra sparkle to their lives. Designed in Australia and carefully crafted by artisan makers on the beautiful island of Menorca, Bidiliia is all about happy jewellery, made by happy people.
With premium Swarovski crystals and high-quality finishes, these are pieces to help you feel confident, look good, and reflect your inner sparkle. Featuring versatile jewellery, bags and scarves, which are just as at home in Sydney as in New York, Bidiliia is classic enough to wear every day, but special enough to elevate any outfit.