We first met Hayley from Bay On Third at the markets and were drawn in by her beautiful and minimal designs. So drawn in, in fact, that we did a few laps past to see them again and again. When we spoke to Hayley we were impressed by, not only her knowledge and the quality of her pieces but also by her kindness and warmth. We have stocked Hayley's designs for a little over a year now and they have become some of our most popular styles. We took some time to speak with Hayley about her journey creating Bay on Third and to take a walk through India with her.
Can you tell us a little bit about Bay on Third and where your love for jewellery and gemstones came from?
Crystals and gemstones have been involved in my life from a young age. I remember being young and going on family holidays and my mum would take me to the local crystal shops and let me choose a small crystal to take home.
We always had them around our home and I soon developed a real love for collecting unique, beautiful specimens.
Now as an adult, I have a much greater appreciation for their natural beauty and uniqueness. I think it’s incredible that they form in our Earth for tens of thousands of years and more.
Beautiful gemstones from Hayley's last trip to India
Is there meaning behind the name?
Growing up, my mum and sister would always call me Hay Bay, which then transitioned into just Bay. I also had a bit of an obsession with New York when I was growing up and I loved the idea of “Fifth Avenue”. For me, the number 3 has always been significant due to being so close with my mum and sister – it always felt like it was just the 3 of us. I put all of these aspects together to create the name Bay On Third.
Tell us about your design process? What inspires you?
I take inspiration primarily from architecture and the natural geometry in nature. I am very intuitive with my sketches and find either raw or simple geometry to be the most classic and timeless.
I have always loved travelling and find Asian countries in particular incredibly fascinating for their culture, community and architecture.
India was a great inspiration for my most recent and next collection.
What is your most treasured jewellery piece?
The one particular necklace that I value the most is a piece of Pyrite I sourced in 2015. It is geometric with the most amazing etchings. I had it set into a very simple Sterling Silver bezel setting and I never wanted to take it off. That piece was the beginning of Bay On Third.
I find Pyrite to be incredibly grounding and protective. I am also fascinated by its mineral composition of Iron Sulfate and am in awe of Pyrite’s incredibly beautiful geometric formations and etchings.
Can you tell us about your trip to India? What was the culture like, what were your favourite things to do, places to see.
My trip was fascinating – at times it was so frustrating and other times I was completely in awe. To say India is a country of extremes is no understatement.
The culture is kind, hospitable and overall, chaotic. The population density is so intense and with that, comes a lot of potential drawbacks.
I found once I accepted that I was in India and chose to simply enjoy my time and learn as much as I could, things became a lot easier.
I’ve always been a huge lover of food, so I spent a lot of my time eating and drinking Chai. I met so many people throughout my time in India and was fortunate to be welcomed into many people’s homes.
Of course, there are many sights to see, including the Taj Mahal and many forts. The Taj Mahal blew my mind and was far more intricate and spectacular than I could have imagined.
I could have spent the whole day there – it was so awe-inspiring and has become a great influence for my upcoming collection.
I was also in Jaipur for the Kite Festival (Makar Sankranti), which was without a doubt one of my favourite days in India.
If the opportunity to visit India presents itself to you, I really encourage you to take it.
The beautiful Hayley from Bay on Third
How did you know where to go, were you nervous?
Absolutely! I remember getting off the plane in Jaipur at 11:30pm and being so nervous when I arrived. I took a taxi to my hotel, fell straight asleep and when I woke up, I remember thinking, “I’m in India!” and feeling so excited.
India is overwhelming and challenging in many ways, but it’s also very inspiring, hospitable and encourages a very open mind.
I’m very fortunate that a good friend of mine lives in Jaipur and is an amazing Silversmith. I also have several other gemstone contacts I have been working with over the years and they were a great launching platform.
Sourcing gemstones is time-consuming and a lot of the sourcing comes from plenty of trial and error. Jaipur is one of the most recognized gemstone hubs in the world, and fortunately amazing gemstones present themselves everywhere in the city.
What’s next to come with Bay on Third?
Bay On Third is constantly evolving and I am now focusing on creating more unique, statement pieces. I am a strong believer that each gemstone carries a story from the earth and I am incorporating more gemstones that are not so often seen in the Australian market as well as colourfully intricate pieces in my upcoming collections.
I am also very inspired to use other non-traditional materials like silk cord in my designs.
Shop our Bay On Third collection here