By BRIANNA TABIT
“It started out with a pair of earrings I bought in Delhi about four-and-a-half years now,” she says as she sips her white wine.
Amy Wayth has just returned from spending the last ten days at the Ekka, Queensland’s premiere annual agricultural show. Even after coming back from the event with a cold, she still makes a point to show off her lively energy.
The holiday in Delhi was when the 31-year-old business owner realised her vision. After she got back from her trip she was swarmed with compliments on her earrings from all different types of women. The thought dawned on her that if there was a market for such treasures, why not try it out?
Amy says that at the time she was struggling to find her calling. “I didn’t want to work for anyone else. I guess I was frustrated,” she says, grabbing a Kleenex and showing off her mixed-metal rings on every finger. She was at a standstill in her life. She felt competing urges to stay in Australia and travel far and wide. On top of this, she didn’t enjoy being an outcast as one of the few females in her working environment without a university degree.
Ultimately, she decided to go into the jewellery business. “I also had worked at markets already, working for a friend making coffee so I kind of already knew it was a low-risk investment as in a start-up business and I knew that I could work hard and put the time rather than making a massive investment financially,” she says.
On one of her many jewellery-finding journeys in Asia, she met the ultimate business partner. She had just been travelling across the India-Pakistan border, having little luck with buying quality jewellery, when she came across another young Australian. Amy told her new acquaintance about her idea and lack of suitable products, and the woman set her on a path. “I know the people for you,” the young woman said as she gave Amy directions to a jeweller who she believed could help her vision. Amy drove back down to the Himalayas for two days to find them, and then there they were, in plain view. As she became familiar with their work, she fell in love with their products, which led her to drive another two days to their big shop. Once she arrived at their main store, she says she liked even more of what she saw. From that main family, she has been able to meet other people to give life to her designs.
“It has definitely been chopping and changing of people I’ve worked with because of timing, quality, and sometimes being hit on,” she says laughing. It’s a normal thing for western women in India to experience, she says. Regardless of her negative experiences, she says most of the men are easy to work with, and she has become more direct with them. To her, it’s a nice change of focus to be the customer instead of always having to keep others happy. The men go out of their way to help her with everything from helping her with designs to making sure she is fed well. In return she trusts their judgement with business ideas and decisions.
Four-and-a-half years later, that pair of earrings has turned into a market stall travelling across the world. Jewellery lovers can catch her at markets, events and festivals, as well as an online shop. “The production is either by me in Australia or my friends in India so I get to travel there as part of that. India is my happiest place, and I did this so I could be there,” she says as she finishes her glass of wine and clears her throat.
Whether she is doing yoga, listening to music or travelling, a little part of India will always be with her.