Australian jeweller HLSK makes handcrafted contemporary jewellery that won’t break the bank, while its sustainable and ethically sourced materials won’t harm the planet
“My clients don’t wait to be gifted jewellery on special occasions,” says Hannah Stewart, founder and Creative Director of Melbourne-based jeweller HLSK. “They are confident and discerning when it comes to their own style and ethical values, and they choose to buy their own jewellery – pieces that embody their identity.”
Hannah handcrafts contemporary jewellery from ethically sourced materials, at prices that are accessible to a young, independent and environmentally savvy generation. She was drawn to her father’s jewellery atelier from a young age and, as a teenager lacking career direction, she eventually accepted his invitation to turn her tinkering into a trade by becoming his apprentice.
“My father had been a jeweller since he was 15, but he was only compelled to start his own business when my parents lost everything in the 1990s recession,” she says. “By the time I joined him, my father had been a jeweller for 40 years, so I was extremely fortunate to be able to gain my experience and qualifications under his mentorship.”
In 2013, Hannah branched out on her own and founded HLSK. What started as an off-shoot brand in her father’s garage is now a thriving family business that employs her father, mother and sister. HLSK has a solid, organically nurtured online presence, a 300-square-metre factory in Melbourne, and a flagship store in the city’s upmarket district of Armadale. The brand has shown at Paris and New York fashion weeks, is lauded by the fashion press and has a celebrity client base that includes Miley Cyrus, Candice Swanepoel and Kylie Jenner.
Over and above Hannah’s exquisite designs, the family business is recognised for its strong ethical compass. Her father’s well-established connections remain pivotal to HLSK’s ability to directly source high-quality materials at a reasonable price; creating a shorter, more environmentally friendly supply chain and less inflated jewellery prices. “We know where our materials are mined, how and where the gemstones are cut, the welfare of the workers and the condition of the environment,” says Hannah. “We use pure Australian gold, 95 per cent of our metals are recycled and we’re committed to using any surplus materials to minimise waste. We scrutinise any environmental impact, and so do our young clients. For them, wearing HLSK jewellery is a recognition of these shared values.”