We talk to Meredith East Powell, founder of online fashion retailer Silkstonewood about what inspires her, why sourcing ethically made labels is so important and what she thinks keeps online retailers with an advantage over traditional bricks and mortar stores.
Q:How did silkstonewood come about?
I have a background in retail fashion merchandising. I love beautiful design and wanted to do something that was aligned to my values.
Q: What is the decision making process behind selecting new labels to stock on the site?
The first thing I will consider is the product, will my customer love it? Does it fit within the collection? I ensure none of the pieces are made from animal products such as leather, suede or fur. All the silkstonewood brands are unique, but also complement each other. I always ask the designer how their product is made, who makes it and where.
Q: Why do you feel it is important to source products that are ethically produced?
Firstly I am a vegetarian; it would be against my values to source products that have caused harm to animals. I also believe everyone has the right to fair pay and working conditions, by choosing to buy products that are ethically made it means you are giving back to the community by encouraging the artisans who make the products, to continue to develop their trade and prosper.
Q: Have you always been passionate about ethical design and production? And have you always had an interest in jewellery?
My passion for ethical design and production stemmed from developing an understanding of the issues people and animals were facing through the amazing work from charities such as Animals Australia, Amnesty International and The Australian Conservation Foundation (who silkstonewood donates to). I’ve always loved jewellery, from statement pieces that can dress up a simple tee but also more classic jewellery, I think jewellery makes an outfit complete and changes the way you feel too.
Q. What do you feel are the benefits of online shopping as opposed to an in-store experience?
I do most of my shopping online. I think it’s more convenient, it saves time and money and you can get all the information you need at the click of your mouse. As long as the online store has a good return policy and free shipping (like silkstonewood) it’s the best way to go!
Q: How would you describe your own style? And how would you describe the silkstonewood customer?
I like to keep things simple; I like to invest in classic, well tailored pieces such as a blazer and love good quality fabrics. I will often add some interest and texture with a statement jewellery piece (or two!). I’m Melbourne-based so yes, I do love to wear black!
I think the silkstonewood customer loves fashion but isn’t a slave to it – she has a strong sense of her own style. She likes to invest in quality and loves to not only look good, but feel good about what she buys too.
Q: What does the future hold for silkstonewood?
Stay tuned for some amazing new labels such as Bones and Feathers, 2 Bandits and Eleanor Bolton! Our current designer collections will continue to evolve; with stunning new pieces from designers such as Celeste Tesoriero and Noot Bijoux.
To find more information about Silkstonewood visit http://www.silkstonewood.com.au/ for all their fabulous accessories and home decor.