Culturesse /ˈkʌltʃəres/, with a French suffix, meaning women of different cultures.
Our story began in Lille France, capital of the Hauts-de-France region in northern France, near the border with Belgium. During an overseas trip visiting an old friend in Belgium, our co-founder and creative director Charlene Davies and her husband paid a visit to Lillie town centre. In a typical and quiet old European laneway, Charlene went into a small jewellery shop and her eyes were instantly drawn to some colourful handmade embroidery earrings that reminded of her culture. Despite their loveliness, Charlene could not wear them as her ears were not pierced. With limited English, the shop owner approached her and explained with gestures that she could convert the earrings for her. The jewellery was quite affordable yet the joy it brought to Charlene at that particular moment was no less than having an expensive wedding ring.
After coming back to Melbourne Australia, with a like-minded team, Culturesse was born. Our initial curated collection embraced different cultures with a complimentary service of converting earrings for non-pierced ears. In the years that have followed, Culturesse has become one of the largest independent fashion jewellery retailers in Australia with an extensive range catering for all budgets and personal styles.
“Women are as changeable as the sea.” - Greek Proverb
Our purpose is to empower and encourage women from all walks of life and all cultural backgrounds to manifest their unique elements and shine brighter via a magic touch of that piece of jewellery or an accessory. Modern women are ‘changeable’ as they face multiple roles and responsibilities in their daily lives, and jewellery or accessories become ‘changeable’ as women adapt to their multiple roles. From a dainty little stud to regular hoops, or a head-turning red carpet statement, jewellery celebrates our life journey, and signifies the subtle transformations we experience physically and mentally over time.
“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” - Pablo Picasso
Our purpose also lies in bringing art aesthetics to our jewellery collection, sharing the joy that something unique and special brings. We simply want those who wear Culturesse jewellery to be comfortable, confident, content, and charming, thus bringing positivity and sparkle to whatever they do.
We believe in transparency and keeping you informed. At the very beginning of the Culturesse journey, we noticed a practice that many fashion jewellery retailers were not fully describing the materials the pieces were made of. When buying a food product, the packaging informs the consumer of the ingredient, nutrition, additives, calories, etc. We believe jewellery should follow the same transparency, informing the customer of the materials, metals, plating type and thickness, stones, pearl types, origins and sizing, measurements, and be absolutely accurate about the information. This is something we demanded of ourselves from the very beginning.
We truly care about and want to listen to our customers. Your satisfaction is our top priority, and we take your feedback seriously. At Culturesse, we have a dedicated customer support team who take your inquiries via different platforms and endeavour to respond quickly. We believe in the very simple retail adage - a sale is not completed until the customer is happy. We are deeply grateful every time we receive an email or a message from a customer sharing their experiences and feelings with us, even in its briefest form.
COVID 19 has made us rethink our role and responsibilities for sourcing sustainable and hypoallergenic materials in jewellery design and crafting. Our latest collections focus on solid sterling silver, gold vermeil, and ethically mined stones, natural and ethically cultured pearls to create pieces that tick the box for style, sustainability and endurance. Culturesse also joined the Global Fashion Agenda for the practice of sustainability in fashion industry in 2020.
When it comes to material selection, being ethical and sustainable to our environment is critical to us. For the metal base, we use nickel-free environmentally friendly metals including brass, copper, and stainless steel. We also use quality solid sterling silver and platinum. When it comes to plating, we use a range of gold-plating varying from 14K to 24K gold plate. Our 18K, 22K, 24K gold plate are of a minimum of 2.5 microns and are tarnish-resistant. Our gold-filled jewellery uses the technique of ‘rolled gold’, which is a different process to gold plating, ensuring a much thicker bond of gold to the metal. Our gold vermeil jewellery uses solid sterling silver (as a requirement for gold vermeil jewellery) for the metal base and has a minimum of 2.5 microns of gold plating ensuring a rich, smooth and luxurious gold shine. When cared for properly, our gold filled and gold plated jewellery holds its original shine for a lifetime. You can find out more information about our material use in Culturesse Metal Integrity Assurance Policy here. You can find more information about our gold plating here.
We source natural pearls from around the world favouring pearls are natural or are cultured sustainably to help support the environment and marine habitat. For gems, we use various precious and semi-precious stones such as natural emerald, rose quartz, clear quartz, smoky quartz, agate, crystal, Swarovski crystal, Austrian white crystal, cubic zirconia and crystal diamantes that are ethically mined and produced. Our classic jewellery boxes are thoughtfully crafted to endure and reduce waste. Our mailing packaging boxes are 100% recyclable and reusable.
We launched in Australia and now extend globally. We are passionate about supporting both established and emerging fashion designers. It ignites our passion to co-create inspiring styles with fellow creatives. Culturesse has supported Virgin Australian Fashion Week, Melbourne Fashion Week, Melbourne Fashion Festival, Australian Fashion Week, Paris Fashion Week, celebrity red carpet events as well as renowned Australian reality TV shows. We look forward to contributing more on these exciting stages. It lights our spirit and we wish to light yours too.
We do not run sales very often. We design and make our collections carefully and mindfully with integrity reflected in the materials we source and use. Our artisan handmade pieces are 100% made by hand and it takes more time and skills to produce each unique piece that you won’t find elsewhere. Frequent markdowns diminish the value of the pieces and craftsmanship. Whilst we endeavour to make our collections accessible, we may from time to time run promotions on our website or partner for specials with our retail partners. We wish to encourage responsible spending and investing in high quality keepsakes that you can enjoy for many years to come.
We believe in continuous improvement, growth and evolution at our core. Whether product range, materials, visual presentations, customer experience or earth-friendly packaging, we are constantly looking for ways to improve. However, we cannot do this without you. We welcome you to get in touch with us at any time and our hearts are filled with absolute delight when we see you shine. Thank you for being a part of our story.