Whimsy, Otherworldliness, and a Piece of the Past with Sally of Amonié Ring Boxes
With a love for all things antique and Parisian, Sally Maxwell saw a need for ring boxes in the Australian market and started working on a design. Sally resides in Central Queensland, Australia with her husband of five years. She enjoys the quieter lifestyle of where they are currently living and absolutely loves running Amonié which celebrated its second birthday in August! She finds that giving herself permission to purposefully set aside time for her creative ideas to flow helps keep her inspired.
Why did you begin your business?
There are so many reasons if I go back far enough, but the short answer is – I had run my own consulting business for about 5 years, and although it was successful my heart was really not in it. The sector I was working in was education and I desired a creative business - I have always been passionate about business. Once I married I started a wedding blog, which was more of a hobby, and a way to meet like-minded people in the regional town I moved to. It was while working in this wedding space I saw the need for a ring box for our Australian market (vintage and antique ring boxes and remakes were really popular in the US) and, with a love of all things antique and Parisian, I worked on designing the Amonié ring box. I was able to finally wrap up the consulting business and focus just on this instead.
What did you love about getting started?
This is probably my favourite part! Branding, ideas, colours, design –all the possibilities really excite me and I find I have endless energy at the start. I would often be working until all hours of the morning on ideas and found it really hard to switch my brain off from the business!
With time, working day-to-day in a business you can tend to lose perspective though and get stuck in the mundane tasks (hello packaging orders!) and so I do battle now to get back to the enthusiasm and perspective of looking forward and being creative with new ideas as I so easily did in the early days.
What were some obstacles you have faced in your journey?
For such a simple business there were actually so many! The actual quality of the creation of the ring boxes was the biggest hurdle, I really wasn’t happy with how they originally turned out and it took a long time and a fair amount of investment to get the boxes right. Working with such delicate material and light colours proved to create quality issues that we needed to resolve. Getting our name out to start also I found quite slow although we did have some lovely shoots featured early on that helped some people find us!
Also styled photography! Oh gosh, it all looks so easy but when you’re not a photographer or stylist, I look back at my early photos and cringe, haha!! Thankfully along the way we had a wonderful photographer Kylie from Just for Love Photography who took some really beautiful shots for us and then this year we worked with Type A Society and a group of creatives to take our images to a level I could never have taken them to! Hooray for that!
What has led you to press on through the obstacles?
I think because you invest so much to get a business off the ground (time, money, energy) and the feedback from our customers has always been so wonderful that I have wanted to keep Amonie running successfully for as long as possible. It is my dream job / business, and I am still besotted with antique french jewelry cases so there is still a lot more I want to bring to our market. Even if we’ve had a quiet month or a new design hasn’t worked out or there has been some kind of other setback I tend to just always think – “put one foot in front of the other, just keep moving forward little by little”! It is amazing to look back to where we started to see where we are now.
What do you do to help spur on creativity?
I would say a lot of historically based series, books, films etc that feature beautiful and mostly Parisian design (think Jane Austen, Victoria and The Paradise (Netflix); as well as what’s happening in the wedding industry – I get most of this inspiration from Instagram and blogs; as well as antique items which I find mostly online as we are removed from any great shops where I live! Also some fashion magazines and books.
What inspired you for this new brand shoot project?
As I mentioned earlier I worked with Carrie from Type A Society this year for our branding imagery as we wanted to step it up a notch and Carrie is a very gifted stylist with connections that I simply could not obtain where I am based. She really had free reign of the ideas after we talked over our style and a few particulars (i.e. I wanted to keep our look very romantic) and thankfully everything came together incredibly and I am glad she had the creative license to do what she does best! Honestly the ideas of the shells, crests and spring scenes would just never have come to my mind!
Our macaron shoot that was a part of this was my idea – for a long time our ring boxes have been likened to macarons so I had thought about playing on this idea with a macaron/ring box tower. Again Carrie ran with the idea and brought it to life and it was better than anything I had imagined! I almost fell off my chair when I saw the images.
What is your heart for your business and how does that play out in your life?
I think to treat people kindly and to give them my best. I always get feedback about our customer service and quality so I believe this is working quite well. Often I don’t see what I am doing as ‘customer service’ though I love interacting with our customers and I appreciate their support of our business and want to do what is best by them! Also to bring a little whimsy, otherworldliness and a piece of the past to their everyday life and especially their wedding day!
Ring Boxes by Amonié Boxes | Art Direction by Catalyst Creative Society | Styling by Type A Society | Film by Anna Lord Studio | Photography by This Modern Romance | Gowns by Claire Pettibone | Florals by Siren Floral Co. and Peony and Plum | Makeup by Amy Clarke | Hair by Hair by Missy | Ribbons and Silks by Tono & Co | Hair Pieces by Erica Elizabeth Designs | Shoes by Bella Belle Shoes | Rings by Sofia Kaman