Meet Jodie Weerts, a fashion industry entrepreneur for over 20 years and a personal friend since we met in London over 15 years ago. She’s a go-getter, amazingly creatively cool, is always juggling multiple projects and an absolutely loving and devoted mum, as well as dog mumma. I wanted to share her gorgeous jewellery label Deer Ruby and the learnings of her journey over the last 10 years. I am in admiration as she handcrafts the most beautifully personalised pieces, with a family run business in Bali, and manages to continue to develop stunning collections each year. As with any entrepreneur, she was looking for something special as a gift and when she could find it she thought, I will create something special.
“something beautiful and personalised they could gift to someone special that would truly last a lifetime. Mothers and their children, brides and their bridesmaids, students and their teachers, husbands and their wives – so much love captured in such a simple piece of jewellery.”
As she effortlessly juggles her business, consulting, her beautiful boy and her other passions of healing and meditation, we chat about building a jewellery label, going personal, ‘tools down’ days and some pretty fun things on Jodie’s bucket list.
A little about Deer Ruby…
I’ve been in the fashion industry for over 20 years in some form or another, but I got my start owning four children’s boutiques in Adelaide at the age of 18. This was definitely the beginning of a lifelong love affair with fashion. Honing my creative skills, crafting unique pieces for friends and family, I discovered I also had a knack for making unique jewellery pieces that people seemed to really love. So when a national womens fashion retailer approached me to collaborate and design a range for their top 20 stores, I was all in, and Deer Ruby was born.
What drives you
The thing that drives me is a desire to move away from the fast fashion and season to season trends, with a firm focus on creating personalised, handcrafted pieces made to last forever. Also, being a single mamma, it’s important to be able to have a job that’s flexible and allows me to work my own hours.
The crafting of a name
Ever since I was a little girl, I have always loved the name Ruby (in school I’d tell my friends to call me Ruby instead of Jodie!). I also (back in the day) had an appreciation for taxidermy, hence the ‘Deer’ in the name but now I have to admit that it kind of feels strange as thesedays I’m vegan.
Your Bali story…
As my business grew, I became unable to physically keep up with the demand of manufacturing it myself. About 14 years ago I was introduced to a beautiful Indonesian couple, Putu and Nyoman, who own their own jewellery manufacturing operation in Bali. And as they say, the rest is history.
When I had my little boy, I was looking for a keepsake that had both our initials. I couldn’t find anything I really loved and realised I would just have to create something of my own – so I did! Whenever I wore it I received compliments and people asking where I had bought it from. I realised that other people were looking for the same thing, something beautiful and personalised they could gift to someone special that would truly last a lifetime. Mothers and their children, brides and their bridesmaids, students and their teachers, husbands and their wives – so much love captured in such a simple piece of jewellery.
Try not to wear all the hats in your business, ask for help in the areas you don’t understand and outsource things that take up your precious time.
Dreams in the next 12 months…
To expand into initial bracelets and earrings. Very simple and achievable.
Everyday is different and business, life and kids can throw anything at you at anytime, but I think I have finally found the right balance. I dedicate one day of the week and weekends to being “Mum” and that means no emails, phone calls or anything business related, I call it my ‘tools down’ days. They are by far my favourite, being 100% present for my gorgeous son, Kit – we have the best time together. I also make sure I carve out time for the things that fill my own cup like meditation, energetic healing and Pilates. Without these things in my life I’d go stir-crazy.
5 things on your bucket list
Be a contestant on survivor or the block
Join a running club
Complete my Esoteric healing level 4
See more live music
Muse – Pip Edwards, Sarah Jane Clarke,
Insta accounts: Bella Thomas, Alison Rice, jordanrisa, Rachelle Rowlings
5 things you can’t live without
My son Kit
My dog Harley
My energy healer, Gabe
My big sister who helps me everyday even though she is always busy
Jodie, thanks so much for sharing your story as well as all the wonderful years of friendship. We absolutely love your pieces and all the wonderful smiles and stories of the people sharing their gifts on Instagram and Facebook.
We also can’t wait to see you on survivor or the block. We know you would be a contestant to contend with!