Sydney-based private jeweler, Olivia Bond specializes in gemstone sourcing and bespoke jewelry design, a love she developed early on while playing with her grandmother's jewelry. After several years working for international auction houses Sotheby's and Shapiro, Olivia transitioned to work in house at Bulgari before taking the leap to venture out on her own.
In need of some at-home inspiration, we caught up with Olivia for aperitivo hour in her Sydney home. Olivia shared with us her go-to negroni recipe, tips on building a thoughtful jewelry collection and how to keep the holidays festive at home for friends and family.What are your favorite occasions to host?
I love lunches, dinners and cocktails! Sometimes just opening a bottle of champagne and having a bowl of cherries out in the garden with friends is just perfect.
How do you keep things festive at home for the holidays?
I have three children so I love to make the holidays feel really magical for them. Having children in the house really brings a new significance to Christmas time. We go a bit OTT with the decorations and the carols are always on! Our house is always busy with friends dropping in for a drink or a meal, and even more so during Christmas time. I hoped to have a big party this year but with the current restrictions we've put it on the back burner until next year.
Do you have any favorite family traditions?
I have inherited the tradition from my father of playing Christmas carols at breakfast time every morning in December to get us into the festive spirit!
When did you decide to take the leap to work as a private jeweler?
I was working for Bulgari in Sydney and then took time off to start my family. When I was pregnant with my first child a family member asked me to source her a diamond. I realised I had the contacts and knowledge to do that easily, and the idea of working as a private jeweler came from there. It’s ideal for working around my commitments as a mum of small children.
There is such a special sentimental component to what you do. What’s the most rewarding part of working in jewelry?
I feel quite privileged to be a part of very significant moments in people’s lives. Often it’s engagements and weddings, sometimes it’s to celebrate special milestones or events, and sometimes it’s a piece to remember a loved one by. It is an honour to be entrusted with these important and sentimental pieces.
"I think a key to this is purchasing pieces that symbolize a special time or place in your life, and building these up so after a while you have an eclectic collection of memories."
What’s the best way to build a thoughtful jewelry collection overtime?
I am all about jewellery that has sentimental value to the wearer. I think a key to this is purchasing pieces that symbolize a special time or place in your life, and building these up so after a while you have an eclectic collection of beautiful, wearable memories.
Is there a period of jewelry that you look to or are most inspired by?
I love it all. Historical pieces are so wonderful. In terms of design I adore the Art Deco period, but Victorian jewellery often has a wonderful sentiment and symbolism to it that I think is quite magical.
"The jewellery industry as a whole has seen a sharp rise in self-purchasing female clientele."
Do your pieces have a signature look or style that you gravitate towards or is the process more of a working collaboration with your clients?
I think everything I do has a signature Olivia Bond ‘feel’ about it, however I try to tailor to the client’s needs as much as possible. If I have an enquiry for a piece that I think isn’t really within my aesthetic scope, I usually refer them to someone else, as I don’t think I am the best person for their particular job.
Do you mostly work with women or men?
It’s about half and half! It used to be mainly men, however the jewellery industry as a whole has seen a sharp rise in self-purchasing female clientele, and that’s definitely a trend I’ve seen reflected in my work. martini cocktail napkins
It’s 5 o’clock. What is your cocktail of choice?
I have many favourites depending on my mood and the season, but the negroni is a mainstay! A close friend showed me that you can premix ahead of time and then keep a bottle of it in the freezer. Then at cocktail hour, all you need to do is add ice and an orange peel garnish!
- You'll need equal parts gin, vermouth and Campari. Use the best quality gin you can find!
- Pour the gin, vermouth and Campari into a mixing glass or jug with ice. Stir well until the outside of the glass feels cold
- Strain into a tumbler and add fresh ice; garnish with an orange slice or a blood orange when in season
It’s the dinner party of your dreams.. set the table for us!
What: Jordan Toft (from my favourite restaurants Bert’s and Mimi’s) cooking for us
Where: At home in our formal dining room, my favourite room in our house
What to Wear: Anything by Khaite or The Row, elegant and chic
The Jewelry: All my favourite Olivia Bond Diamonds pieces layered with some beautiful vintage Cartier. I am lusting after some emeralds to add to my collection at the moment!
On the Plate: A big bowl of caviar with all the accoutrements followed by a freshly caught seafood pasta, or the hand picked mudcrab from Bert’s
In the Glass: Billecart-Salmon Rose is my favourite
Around the Table: Our best friends and family