This Mother’s Day, we are so excited to share the story of a very special longtime friend of ours, Natalie Fitch, the founder of Natalie Marie Jewellery.
Natalie grew up on the south coast of England, where her family still resides. An idyllic childhood spent by the sea and countryside was exchanged for the Northern Beaches of Sydney.
A gap year after completing school brought the then 19 year old Natalie across the world, where she would shortly after meet the love of her life and future husband, Dan. Since then, Natalie has found a home, established a family, and built a successful business with her two little daughters, Willa and Ottie, her husband Dan, and the cutest puppy, Rosie.
We sat down with Nat to talk all things family, life, business, who inspires her, and how to juggle being a mother while running her very successful business.
I grew up on the south coast of England, where my family still live. I relocated to Sydney as a fresh and eager 19 year old on a gap year after completing school, from which I never returned! I now live in Avalon, at the northern end of Sydney’s northern beaches.
I have spent more time in England in the last twelve months than I had done for over a decade prior, and it has definitely rekindled the deep connection to my roots there. Experiencing it through the eyes of my two daughters has naturally unearthed lots of nostalgia and childhood memories too. Living across the world from my parents and extended family means never not quietly aching with missing them, something which was amplified over the last few years of restricted travel. Alongside this, there are so many elements which are deeply familiar to me when I spend time in England, which I find it hard to put my finger on - little in-between things, everyday nuances and subtle background details. It’s these indescribable specifics that lie at the heart of the homesickness I hold.
I feel incredibly lucky to have built a life in Australia and to have now spent almost half of my life here. I still pinch myself that I live in such a strikingly beautiful corner of the world, with an outdoor lifestyle which I dreamed of growing up.
It has been such an interesting journey building NMJ over the last ten years. I look back fondly on those times hammering away after dark in my garage! At its core, the fundamentals of our business have always remained the same, in that we are still handcrafting pieces to order in our studio here in Sydney. Of course over the years our team has grown, and then shifted and changed; we have expanded into areas such as wholesale, and then withdrawn and redirected our focus - always realigning with our values at every step. With a decade in business comes a great deal of learnings, maturation and clarity. It’s funny how as the years go by, I see us circling back to our roots more and more. Hopefully one day soon that will mean I can free up some time to get my hands back.
I am inspired by life and love and human stories of hardship and hope. One of the greatest privileges of what we do is being invited into peoples stories at pivotal times in their lives. The commitment to marking these moments, and the investment of care into this, is really at the core of what we do, and is my truest inspiration.
We have recently abandoned our previous structure of seasonal collections (in line with our departure from wholesale), and returned to a much more organic process, purely driven by creative freedom and collaboration. Our focus is always on creating pieces of meaning, laced with intention and storytelling. This change and the resulting freedom from time constraints has really reinvigorated my love for designing and creating, and has opened up time and space to explore and play.
My favourite pieces to design are those which are entrenched with symbolism and storytelling, such as our recent release for Mothers Day - the Sollune Necklace.
This is still a work in progress for me, and something that I do lose sleep over like I am sure most working mothers. When it comes to work, I am very structured with my time. I work three days a week, and those days are structured to ensure maximum productivity and also to ensure space for creativity and design. I am realistic with what can be achieved and hold my self strictly accountable for what I commit to. I am fortunate enough to have built an incredible team who I can trust, which includes my husband and business partner.
The days that I am at home, I do my best to remain completely focused on being a mum. There will always be times when I have no choice but to try and do both, but it generally ends in frustration on all sides which is why I am so strict about it. It’s really important to me to be present with the girls, and I can’t be that if I also have one eye on my inbox. This has taken intentional reprogramming of my automatic reflex to check in and discipline to refrain from inviting in work stresses on days when I am trying to focus on parenting.
I do a lot of planning, meal prepping and late night laundry to keep things running smoothly, and I ask for help where I can. It is a juggle, and it isn’t always smooth sailing, but finding balance has been key.
I am yet to get a grip on mornings, they tend to be a little bit of a whirlwind in our house, especially with the introduction of the school routine this year (lunchboxes!!!). I try to keep evenings consistent as a time for connection and slowing down as a family. We generally eat dinner all together, before bathing and settling the girls. With my eldest starting school this year, it has felt really important to keep this window of the day calm and connected. Once the kids are asleep, Dan and I try to limit ourselves to an hour debriefing the working day. We barely have a minute to talk in the office, but do our best to not bring work talk into family time. Then for me it’s a hot shower, a check in with my mum at home, and usually an unfulfilled intention to open a book before I crash.
Staying connected with mum feels more important than ever, having lost my stepdad (the love of her life) to cancer at the end of last year. It’s difficult managing such a vast time difference, so we connect primarily on text or voice note during the week, alongside a daily dump of kid photos. I am so grateful for the multitude of ways to connect online now, vs 18 years ago when I first arrived here!
As much as I often look to nature to recharge, I really, really love to just be at home. I am the ultimate homebody, and as a mum to young kids, windows of time at home alone have become a rare luxury! I love the chance to quietly potter about, light some incense and enjoy our space.
My two daughters are so different in personality, but have the sweetest relationship. My favourite time with them is when we keep it really simple. Baking cookies at home, playing in the garden or making cubby houses. I like to follow their lead when we have the opportunity for complete freedom, and I love to see where this takes us. Adventures on the bus are their new favourite thing!
We don’t have any plans for mothers day this year just yet, which is just how I like it. I am very easy to please, quiet time at home with my family makes my heart so happy.
I would describe my style as a hybrid of classic & feminine with a hint of whimsy and an injection of teenage boy! Since having kids I am all about dressing for comfort and practicality while still feeling like myself (and without relying on active wear!). My current trans seasonal high rotation pieces include wide leg pants, full skirts, oversized shirts, linen suiting pieces and my trusty straight leg jeans. I live in my Beatrice Valenzuela slides or converse high tops. I am a sucker for a beautiful sundress and look forward to layering some of my favourites for the cooler months ahead.
I have been a UNIK fangirl since the very beginning, and rely on so many Unik pieces in my wardrobe. I love my Jonathan pants for their versatility and comfort, my Tore trench as a full length layering piece, and my forever favourite Byron shirt as the ultimate summer throw-over shirt. I have my eye on the Maya skirt for my next purchase. I really value the quality and timelessness of my UNIK pieces, and love how they carry through season after season.