For the love of jewels
Seated in the welcoming kitchen of her home, Rebecca Simcock recalls the times as a young girl when she would wander through Shades Arcade in Cashel St, and admire the beautiful pieces through the window of Young’s Jewellers. Several years later, when she was at university, she was offered a part-time job in the store. She jumped at the opportunity which would lead to her becoming a co-owner of Young’s with business partner John Morrison.
After February’s earthquake and damage to their New Regent St boutique store, Rebecca and John relocated to the garage at Rebecca’s house, investing many hours and much effort into security, insurance and display. ‘‘It’s temporary but for now it’s great to be back doing what we love most; providing beautiful jewellery and watches for a range of budgets. We buy what we like and hope customers like it too.
‘‘It’s not so much about making money, but more of a lifestyle choice,’’ says Rebecca.
She sources their new and antique jewellery locally and internationally. ‘‘I particularly love South Sea Autore pearls. Pearls flatter everyone and you can have them forever, as they don’t date.’’ The Autore label is worn by Cate Blanchett, Halle Berry and Uma Thurman.
Rebecca’s love of antique jewellery has extended to collecting antique homewares, which are displayed in the home she shares with husband Andrew and son William. ‘‘For years I’ve collected blue and white china, including Spode, Burleigh and Royal Doulton and I also buy pieces of Scottish jewellery; there are some wonderful colours and quirky designs.’’
Her passions don’t stop at china and jewellery. ‘‘I have a collection of antique sterling silver pin cushions, a large number of antique stick pins, which men used to wear on their cravats, and Victorian toys and dolls. Fortunately for my wallet, the pin cushions, which are mainly animals, are hard to come by, so I can’t be too impulsive when it comes to buying.’’
Rebecca’s flair for style and interior design is evident through her choice of furniture, colour schemes and soft furnishings in her home. ‘‘When we moved here, there was gold and burgundy striped wallpaper in the entranceway, and it was all so dark. ‘‘We’ve modernised the home but at the same time it still suits a mixture of old and new, which is what we’re all about.’’
Pride of place on a mantelpiece is a Fornasetti vase given to Rebecca by John for her 40th birthday. The Fornasetti cushions were also birthday gifts. In a corner, Victorian French and British bulldog toys sit obediently until Rebecca shows how they can mechanically move.
Another interest is her garden.‘‘i’m a huge fan of gardening. It’s the greenery, the different shades and textures,’’ she says.
Before embarking on her jewellery career, Rebecca was a model. She worked in Milan, Paris and Melbourne. ‘‘Paris, with its’s leafy streets and boulevards was lovely.’’
Rebecca says she was probably never cut-out to model as a permanent career.
‘‘ I probably would have been a better stylist than model. There came a time when I was due to go to New York to model for the Ford Agency but I came home for Christmas and that was it.’’
Young’s Jewellers, now at 43 Holmwood Rd.
Twoloves: Antique toys and jewellery are two of Rebecca’s loves.