Meet the besties Audrey and Ashton whose friendship has been going strong for over 15 years now (and counting!). Their absolute love for the same kinds of things: golden sunsets, old cars, indoor jungles, the sisterhood, martinis & margaritas, treasures & curiosities, nostalgic glamour & worldly beauty, gave birth to a big idea. Whilst on a trip to India, they decided to make something of their common love for ethnicity and originality – it was then that ‘Mountain & Moon’ was born! On a chat with MoiFavs, Audrey and Ashton share some of their favorites and talk about their love for India!
Meet the founders of Mountain and Moon – Audrey (Left) and Ashton (Right)
Hi Audrey and Ashton. Tell us more about yourselves and the conception of your jewelry brand “Mountain and Moon”?
We are the Co-Founders of Mountain & Moon. We have been best friends – one may say, basically sisters – for nearly 15 years now & starting a brand together has only strengthened our relationship. Audrey was born in Australia into an Aussie/Greek family and Ashton was born in Calcutta India and moved to Australia when she was 12.
The idea actually came to us whilst in India on a trip. We were enamored with over-the-top embellished Indian jewelry and how it’s such a staple for women even with the most casual clothes. We love how women get so excited about jewelry and we felt like that was really lacking at home as the attention is always more on the outfit.
Tell us about your personal styles, and how that has transcended into the brand aesthetic.
We both have no particular style, anything goes and we are chameleons who try new things all the time. Despite this, jewelry is always a staple for us. How we dress is an extension of our individuality and what is going on in our lives. MM was born 3 years later (post the trip to India) and it has developed and evolved over time to suit our aesthetic and our customers too. We are so grateful to be able to do this together every day and wouldn’t want it any other way!
Who do you design for? What does an #MMgirl looks like?
Our MM Girls are who we design for and who inspires us. It’s really about the spirit that they have, more than a consumer profile to be exact. They’re girls, women, friends, girlfriends, wives, mothers, sisters, artists, designers, creators, entrepreneurs and businesswomen. They are smart, driven, motivated, passionate, cultured and fun. We create unapologetic & ambiguous jewels for all of these women and we see ourselves as more than just a jewelry brand, we are a lifestyle brand. We want everyone to feel like the coolest babe in the room because they’re! We love the community that surrounds us and the #MMgirls that we have met and bonded with throughout this journey.
What do you love the most about your work?
Working together on something that we are so passionate about is honestly a dream! Not going to lie though, the work is really hard! Running our own brand means that we are in charge of literally every aspect of the business, so there is much to do at all times. At the end of the day (or night!) it makes us proud to see how far we have come and we definitely try and celebrate all the little milestones along the way. Being able to create or work exactly the way that you want to is amazing – it beats working for someone else!
What does a day in your life look like?
Literally, no day is the same. We reply to emails, pack orders, speak to our manufacturers in India, post pics and vids on Instagram, sketch out designs, plan photo shoots, have meetings with our sales agent, look at our budgets and schedules for the year, update the website and blog and lastly spend time on Pinterest/blogs/magazines for inspiration. We try to keep it pretty varied so nothing gets stale.
We find time once a week to pop a bottle of prosecco and have big chats about where we are at & where we’re going. It’s important to recognize and celebrate how far you’ve come.
If you were to design for any celeb, who would you choose to design for?
From the beginning, we always said that if Rihanna ever wears our jewelry, then we can basically quit! Riri is our Queen, we adore her and to have her wear our designs would be the ultimate goal! She is beautiful, talented, smart, fun, takes risks and always campaigns for women. Literally our ideal # MMGirl!
We are big fans of ‘Mi Amore’ and ‘One & Only Necklace’ collection – Give us a sneak peek into what’s coming up!
The ‘Mi Amore Hoops’ and ‘One & Only Necklaces’ are part of Chapter I of our ‘Yours Truly’ Collection. Chapter II drops very soon, and then Chapter III & IV are soon to follow! Yours Truly collection is based on amazing women throughout history & the great love that they each had. Each chapter is focused on a particular muse and their iconic style. We have launched Juliet, but stay tuned for Bianca, Cleo & Victora soon! We ship to India and are available online as well (Yay!) We also have stockists around Australia and online.
- “MiAmour Hoops | Stars” by Mountain and Moon ($169.00 AUD)
- One quality that you love about each other?
Audrey: I love how Ashton can read my mind 😀 She is literally the sister I never had, I love most things about her but I especially love how fiercely loyal she is to her loved ones.
Ashton: The thing I love most about Audrey is that she is one of the most driven people I’ve ever known. Her determination, drive, and passion for what she does, is inspirational. If I find myself in a creative rut, I know simply being in her presence is enough to get me right back in the groove. This chica is that inspirational pocket rocket of energy that everyone wishes they had! :p
Your jewelry have that soulful Indian touch. What is it about India that you feel strongly about?
We appreciate the craftsmanship and the skill of the artisans here. In some ways, it would probably be easier to manufacture closer to home but the label began with its roots in India so it’s only fitting we do it here. We’re constantly inspired whenever we make the journey over and spend time with the people, the culture, the architecture, the fashion and our team. Our designs suit the skills of our manufacturers and we always design with that in mind. The world really is our oyster when it comes to procuring stones and trying varied techniques. We are so lucky to be working with a talented and hardworking team of dedicated artisans for our gold collection and a certified fair-trade company for our sterling silver pieces.
Audrey: I love how it’s filled with contradictions at every single turn. It’s crazy and I adore how opposite it is from Australia. I can really get lost there -it’s like I’m in another universe.
Ashton: I was born in India and spent my early childhood there until I moved to Perth at the age of 12. I’d have to say the one thing I love about India is that no matter where I am or have been in the world, going back to India always feels like going home. It’s a feeling I can’t quite articulate properly, but when I’m there it’s this overwhelming mix of complete happiness, excitement, familiarity, melancholy and a dash of frustration.
Our work with grassroots NGO IPHD and their offshoot ‘Saheli Women’ is a really important aspect for us. We’ve been working with the women in Bhikamkor Village in Rajasthan for the last couple of years, they sew our beautiful little jewelry bags for us. They live in a marginalized community and their work for us helps them financially.
The NGO is helping to empower them by connecting them with employment and education opportunities. We’ve really seen an improvement in their living situations and their confidence over the past 2 years and we look forward to continuing this relationship.
Ah beautiful! Before you guys leave, tell us some of your favorites:
Your Fav Indian Brand?
Audrey: Nor Black Nor White for lifestyle and Sabyasachi for their decadence.
Ashton: I would have to say Nicobar. Not only do you get to drape your body in these beautiful natural fabrics, they have heavenly pieces for your home too! The thing I love most about this brand is that it creates a modern Indian way of dressing and living. Their goal is to leave the world in better condition than they found it. How incredible is that?
Your Fav International Brand?
Audrey: I wear loads of Reformation (another fav of the fam!) but in an ideal world I’m rather partial to Gucci!
Ashton: I think it would have to be Reformation, not only for their beautiful pieces but also the way this brand has been built on mindfulness, innovation, and a creative community. They’ve also opened new retail stores which I would love to visit the next time I’m in the US!
One recent fashion purchase?
Audrey: I’m obsessed with glittery holographic nails, natural unfiltered wines, seventies home aesthetics, the JULIET earrings from Mountain & Moon (whoops blatant plug! :D) and Mario Badescu skincare.
Juliet Earrings by Mountain and Moon ($150 AUD, ~Rs. 7500)
A recent Fashion discovery?
Ashton: One day during this past summer, I was staring at my wardrobe wondering what the hell to wear for afternoon drinks, found a bunch of old scarfs buried deep in my wardrobe and decided to tie one as a little tube top with the triangle at the front. It was like I hit the jackpot because over the year I’ve collected like a bazillion scarves and it was like I had a bazillion new tops to wear :p I got so into it that I started looking up different ways to tie them! Plus, I was being mindful and recycling all these beautiful fabrics, which is always a great feeling 🙂
“It was like I hit the jackpot because over the year I’ve collected like a bazillion scarves and it was like I had a bazillion new tops to wear :p I got so into it that I started looking up different ways to tie them!”
Your Fav Style Celeb?
Audrey: Argh! Why do you guys limit us to one of everything! :p It’s so hard! I’m just gonna say Riri then.
Ashton: Agghhh- that is a hard one! I’m a bit of chameleon and always like changing things up. It depends on what mood I’m in, my current obsession is Zizi Donohoe – that over the top 70’s/80’s Hollywood glamour, silk blouses, plunging necklines, wide leg pants and ALL THE JEWELS! :p
Feeling romantic and empowered already? Check out their collection and do share your favorites pieces – on the comment section below, or send them across as a Contribution!