In her closet

Megan Castran Jewelchic

We talk to Megan Castran, Founder & Designer of Jewelchic accessories and Jewelchic video blog, about the path to her successful business and we take a peak In Her Closet

Name: Megan Castran

Title: Founder & Designer of Jewelchic accessories

Business:  Jewelchic

Tell us about your job

I love my small jewellery business, Jewelchic, but I am also very interested in social media and also produce my own YouTube channel, Jewelchic. I am very active on Facebook and Instagram and I have been on You Tube since it began in Australia. I have always loved photography and social media has become a natural extension for me. I really enjoy the connection with people worldwide and have so many wonderful experiences that money can’t buy.

Tell us about what you do and what your days normally involve?

My alarm goes off at 5.15am every weekday morning and I make a coffee before I hit the mat at yoga. When I come home, I do cardio either in the form of a walk or on a stationary bike. During the day I work on my jewellery, keep up with my social media and go to the markets to get food for the evening. If I am not going out in the evening, then I cook dinner and I have a gorgeous daughter Zoe who shares the cooking with me which gives us a fun time to chat. She has a real interest in healthy eating as she’s studying nutrition, which is great for me! You can see her Instagram @happinessendorphins

I LOVE to spend time by myself in my studio, working on my jewels preferably in my PJ’s. I find it so relaxing and I enjoy the solitude. I really enjoy the company of friends, but I equally enjoy time on my own.

Before you designed jewellery and did your Jewelchic social media pages, you’ve had a number of other successful businesses under your belt. How did that come about?

In 1996 I saw an Oprah show when my kids were little and it was about women who were in marriages purely for financial reasons. I thought that it sounded terrible and decided I would never want to be in a situation where I couldn’t look after the kids or myself in some form, should I need to. I wanted to be in my marriage because I WANTED to be there and I wanted some financial independence. After the show a girlfriend taught me how to paint ceramics, so I started a little business with custom designed and personalized plates and my business grew via word of mouth. When the kids were asleep between 12-3 I’d sand the plates and paint. It was time consuming and I didn’t charge enough at the time, but I really enjoyed it. The sunflower print was a big seller.

I always knew my ceramic designs and the way I paint would be suited to bed linen and in the back of my mind I thought that would be my next direction. I used to tell people that was my intention and at Noosa once I met a guy who had a bed linen company who I told that to and later ended up supplying!

My real opportunity came when I painted a plate for a friend and a man who worked for Adairs, a big homewares chain, saw it. He invited me to come in to the head office on the following Monday after I told him how much I would love to design bed linen. He taught me how to do a repeat pattern and we did one design with Adairs and it sold well. Then he introduced me to Linen House who I continued to design for under my name and I also created a diffusion line for Harvey Norman under the name Meegs.

Following on from the success of my bed linen and homewares ranges I then designed stationary for Playcorp who supplied MYER. This was in the form of photo albums and journals and address books.

Megan Castran Jewelchic   

What inspired you to start your jewellery line?

I saw a necklace in a shop many years ago and I thought “I could make that” as it was made of simple bugle beads. So I went straight to the bead shop and asked them to teach me to put a catch on and I made the exact same necklace, which I never wore because I like to be original-I just had to see if I could do it.

What inspired you to start your You Tube blog “Jewelchic”, which is very different from your previous experience?

I was on the computer and I had just met Oprah in Hawaii and I wondered who else had met Oprah. I did a search online and I came across this other girl who had met her .She was on You Tube and I couldn’t believe she wrote back to me when I connected with her. She had started an online group called the 100 Day Challenge. It’s where you set goals to achieve in 100 days. I had no idea how to use a video or upload it. She instructed me how to do it and I still have my first video on there. I believe if you put good things out there then good things happen.

I started the 100 day challenge because I wanted to document and show people that you can do it-  you can set yourself goals and intentions and achieve them. I also wanted to take people to all sorts of situations they may not be privy to, like backstage at a show or chatting to the cast from a musical. I’ve done red carpets, interviewed celebrities in my home, covered fashion parades and social events…all sorts of things. My intention was to show these events from a “regular person” point of view, casual, relaxed and sharing the excitement of the experience.

I loved doing the 100 Day Challenge. We formed communities and became friends within the group. Whenever I go to NY and London there is a little group I catch up with – in fact anywhere in America, I know somebody from this challenge. I could conceivably stay anywhere in the States and I’d have a friend I could go to and say hello because of this. They don’t do groups anymore on You Tube so there’s no collective group there, but if people are interested they can join the 100 Day Challenge on Ning, where there is still a group going. It’s so nice meeting people from like minds.

Megan Castran Jewelchic

You’re skills are multifaceted. How do you have the time to run your jewellery line, be active on social media and interview people for your You Tube blog, not to mention the travelling and daily family grind?

I think it’s important to be relaxed, to go with the flow and not get too wound up. I do my best and I always meet a deadline but I don’t set myself up for stress. I used to call around at Christmas time seeking orders, and got so busy and stressed getting orders completed I’d get sick. Now I don’t do that-I just let whatever is coming to do so naturally.

I never say no to a jewellery order, that is my first love and if someone comes to me at the last minute I would absolutely do it, as long as it was humanly possible, because I love that they have chosen my work.

We love your enthusiasm for people and life. Where does that stem?

I don’t know, I grew up in a great family with lovely parents and two older sisters – I had a pretty nice home life.

I was also an exchange student and that teaches you to step out of your comfort zone for a year. It was one of the best things I ever did. I lived in Minnesota in the US with a lovely family when I was 17 -18. I finished HSC at 16 and so was eligible to go back to school in the States as a senior. I experienced all the things you’d expect in senior high school in the States such as prom, cheerleaders, attending football games etc.

Who or what inspires you in life?

Oprah obviously inspires me in so many ways- her spirituality, her kindness, her motivation and her willingness to make a difference. There will never be anyone like her-she has done such remarkable things for our World.

Australian designer Camilla Franks, who, through all my social media, has become a friend, also inspires me.  Her sense of colour and design is just beautiful and I love designing pieces to match with her outfits.

The inspiration for my jewellery often comes from my clothes, when I need to design to match specifically. I really enjoy doing this for clients too- creating personalized, custom pieces in their style. I can totally adapt to someone once I have either met with them or looked at pictures.

I’m also inspired by anyone who is positive and happy. I like seeing people who succeed and when they share their success stories.

Who or what inspires/motivates you’re dedication to your job(s)

I just enjoy it – it’s like meditation to me. I don’t find it work, if I didn’t have any clients I would still make jewellery because I love it and the same with my social media.

Who are your typical fans/subscribers?

My major demographic online would be between ages 30-50 but I’ve also got teenage kids that watch my videos. I’ve been overseas and kids have come up to me at a musical and have said, “Hi Jewelchic” because of my videos. My audience is both broad and diverse because I do videos about events, fashion, celebrities, musical theatre, happiness, positivity, music, nutrition, jewellery, and travel. I never know what I’ll do next.

Can you share with us your 3 most memorable moments career wise?

  1. When Marina Prior wore my jewellery for her Carols by Candlelight performance was pretty special. She was my first celebrity to wear my jewellery and Olivia Newton-John wore it shortly after.
  2. Selling my jewels to Paul Smith’s London, Paris and LA stores was pretty thrilling. It was exciting because I hadn’t wanted to retail anywhere except for Paul Smith as his designs are quirky and cool and I thought my pieces would work well with his. It all sold out for them and it was a great success.
  3. When I saw my bed linen on display at MYER for the first time it was pretty incredible and I remember Lisa Curry was on a TV show once showing her home and my designs were on her bed. It was unexpected and nice.

I also really love it when I see my jewellery clients out and they haven’t been expecting to see me but they are wearing my jewels.

 Megan Castran Jewelchic

You’ve worked with or met some very successful women, do they have some common traits – if so what are they?

I think kindness and generosity …meaning generous with time and spirit. For example Oprah always takes time to look out into the audience and communicate, whether it’s to comment on someone’s new dress or a special hair do. She is very kind to her audience and always makes an effort. She always says people want to be seen or heard or acknowledged and I believe that’s true and that’s what she has always done for me.

When I’ve interviewed on the red carpet, the ones who have the greatest success are often the ones who are also the nicest. I could see Margot Robbie was going to be a big star when she was up for Best New Talent for the TV WEEK LOGIES because she was so generous with her time and her interviews. I’ve enjoyed watching her career blossom, she deserves it.

Your social media feeds show you with some very famous people! Have you ever been star struck? If so, by who and why?

I was more tongue-tied than anything with Oprah because I wanted to thank her for inspiring my business and I had so many things I wanted to tell her and I was speechless and trying to tell her things all at the same time! She made me feel relaxed and it was a very special experience.

Bert Newton was the only other one!!! When I was a kid he used to be on the Don Lane show and I used to stay up late to watch him, he would only be on for 5 minutes at the beginning, but I loved him. He is so clever and quick witted. I got to make a You Tube with him on the set of Grease the Musical last Christmas which was just incredible.

With everyone else I’m pretty relaxed. The more I’ve done, the more I realize celebrities are just like us, they are just good at acting or their craft, in fact a lot of them are shy.

 Your Style

How would you describe your style?

Bohemian, relaxed, colourful. I like to be a little bit original so I don’t look exactly the same as everyone else so I quite often play around with my clothes creating different combinations.

Who is your style muse?

I love Camilla and I used to enjoy Sarah Jessica Parker’s outfits on Sex In The City

Signature accessory?

I have two necklaces I don’t take off –  one is a love necklace and the other is a peace sign necklace. Paul gave me the love one from Tiffany’s.  The peace sign was from a designer friend I met in Miami, Allina from Peace Love World, and we have become very good friends.

I wear Camilla a lot and also Peace Love World and I also love a bit of Missoni.

I especially love supporting Camilla and Allina from Peace Love World not only because their designs are beautiful, but so are they. I’m proud and lucky to have them as friends.

 Megan Castran Jewelchic 

Favourite style tip?

Dress to suit your shape whatever that may be. Doubt means “don’t” and don’t buy unless you LOVE it.

Item you’ll never part with?

Obviously my wedding dress – it’s outdated now with its big rosettes on the shoulders but I loved it on the day and felt like a princess. My Dad told me I took his breath away and it’s one of those moments I’ll always remember.

I also wouldn’t part with the colourful sweater I wore when Oprah came to dinner, A Kenzo sunflower shirt I wore when I was pregnant with Max and my Easton Pearson dress I wore to my 40th.

What is your ‘go to outfit’?

Something Camilla. If it’s dressy I know I can always wear it, it matches my jewellery, people always comment on it.

Casually I have these really baggy loose fitting pants that I bought from Mykonos – you can only buy them from this one shop. I have them in 9 colours and I wear them a lot. I’ve asked them to design a new colour the next time I visit Mykonos. I’d like orange or yellow ones.

Must have beauty products in your bag?

My daggy Nivea Pearly shine lip gloss

My beautician has this amazing product that won a Nobel Prize to get rid of fine lines. It’s called 1 Truth Serum. It’s AMAZING!

Synergie Skincare is beautiful and I use this every day.

What do you think every woman should own as an essential piece in her wardrobe?

A nice handbag. I never used to be a handbag person and I never got my first designer handbag until 40 and now I really enjoy them.

We hear you have a funny story about how daughter Zoe names all your designer bags

The last bag I bought was a colourful retro Valentino one and the first time I used it we went to Disneyland so we call it the Disneyland bag.

There’s another bag we call the Liza bag after Liza Minnelli. It’s a fabric Chanel bag that has a palette of colours that reminds us of a rainbow so we thought rainbow – Judy Garland – Liza!

I also have another sparkly Chanel bag called Melissa. After I bought the bag my girlfriend Melissa also loved it and bought one so we named it after her.

My daughter Zoe remembers all the names and the stories behind my bags!

Tell us about your bottle cap coat

I bought that in Laguna Beach when I was on a health retreat. It was handmade by a lady in Texas and is made with bottle caps and crocheted in between. It was a really hippy shop and I love this jacket. Every time I wear that it gets comments.

Megan Castran Jewelchic

Most recent ‘splurge’?

Probably in Camilla-there’s so much this season that I just LOVE.

What are you favourite cities?

LA because I feel like that if I had to duplicate my life I could do it in LA. I feel at home there and have made so many connections and friendships.

What’s next for Megan Castran?

I don’t know. I never know what’s next. I would never have thought I would do jewellery, get into You Tube, interview on red carpets, and get involved in musical theatre. It’s crazy isn’t it?

 

You can contact Megan at

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/jewelchic

Instagram: @jewelchic

Face book: Jewelchic

 Photography by Meagan Harding

 

Know a fabulous woman with an equally fabulous closet? We’d love to speak to her.

Email us at info@styleandtonic.com.au

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