We had a chat to the delightful Laura Byrne of ToniMay, a beautifully unique jewellery label that has garnered a celebrity following including Delta Goodrem and Erin McNaught.
We find out where Laura got her start, her inspirations and her thoughts on the online world, so get reading!
What inspired the name ToniMay
Every day I get asked the question “so are you Toni or are you May?” and depending on how many hours sleep I’ve had (or how many wines I’ve had) I either respond with Toni, or prepare myself for total confusion when I say my name’s “Laura”.
The name ToniMay in it’s simplest explanation is for the love of my grandparents Antonio and Shirley May Filippi. They have been the most wonderful pillars of support in my life and the biggest inspiration, without whom I wouldn’t be the woman I am.
It is one word, because for all the years that they have known one another they have been just that, inseparable.
What has been your journey up until the launch of ToniMay
I started toying with the idea of ToniMay a little over 3 years ago, at which point I had just moved to Sydney and was unsatisfied with the 9-5 grind.
My mother was a silversmith, so jewellery is in my bones, and was for the longest time my favourite hobby – I hadn’t fully realised that it could be my career as well.
I originally studied a double major at University as I was torn between fine arts and graphic design. But after spending several years entertaining both fields, I decided to follow in my mothers footsteps, take a leap of faith and do something that I loved. ToniMay was born, and I have never looked back.
How would you describe the label’s aesthetic?
ToniMay is an extension of all the things that I love, and for that reason it is constantly evolving. ToniMay is bold, quirky, unpretentious and just as sophisticated as it is fun. It calls for a girl with personality, and an appreciation of the handmade.
Who or what inspires you creatively?
I take a lot of inspiration from the raw material that I use, and would go so far as to say that the materials themselves are the biggest inspiration for me. My love for tactile and earthy materials comes from my creative background which has always been very sculptural and hands on. I think this is really evident in the new AW13 collection White Shadow which has a heavy influence in hand wiring and intricate weaves.
How has the online boom affected you as a designer?
I have a one year old siberian cat named Ninja running around the studio as a result of my unhealthy obsession with cat memes…. But, I digress.
My former life as graphic designer has helped shape a deep appreciation for online, and for me the “boom” has been nothing but positive. I understand what a powerful tool it is for an emerging designer, not just as a source (for really awesome cat videos) for revenue, but as a constant vehicle of inspiration, communication and development.
Speaking of online phenomenons, bloggers are obviously a huge part now of the fashion industry. Do you have any favourite bloggers?
You mean besides BWA? 😉
Well, in that case I have a few!
1) I have mega girl crush on Oracle Fox. That gal brings some serious ring game and has a collection to envy the biggest accessories addict.
2) The Coveteur – I find the interviews with high profile creatives really inspiration. Not to mention such glimpses as “Inside Coco Chanels Apartment”, it’s pure fashion crack for the unashamed addict.
3) Zanita – I have watched in awe as she has redeveloped herself from model to photographer over the past 2 years, to working on the Style Stalker campaign late last year. That sort of reincarnation is aspirational.
If you could have breakfast with anyone, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
It depends. If breakfasts flows on from dinner the night before then I’m going to have to say Ryan Gosling.
If not, then Daria Werbowy, she is all time style crush.
Check out more of ToniMay over on Facebook!