It’s been two years since Brenda Phillips-Donohoe expanded her diamond and fine jewellery business from its base on Norfolk Island to a shopfront in Pokolbin. But while relocating over 1600 kilometres to set up a second store sounds like more than enough upheaval for most people, the savvy Cessnock businesswoman is never one to rest on her laurels.
Around 12 months ago the Exclusive Diamond Company owner decided the time had come for her business to be on the move again – although at least this time she only had to travel around 15 metres.
After growing a strong client base and cementing her reputation in the Australian market, Brenda felt the time was right to move from the simple yet elegant surrounds of Shop 2a at the Hunter Valley Gardens Shopping Village, into the far larger premises of Shop 6.
Whilst the new store still offers the same glittering treasure trove of diamonds, gems and designer jewellery that Exclusive Diamond Co. have become well known for, it now incorporates a much wider product line, which all come together under the new business name of Brea and Lulu Signature Collections.
Brenda said the expansion represented a new direction for her business – in more ways than one.
“I’ve had several businesses, as well as a few online platforms, but I never personalise the name of any of them,” she said.
“This expansion meant that I had to choose a name that not only worked individually but alongside Exclusive Diamond Co.
“It not only had to be fresh but a little sassy. ‘Brea & Lulu’ are both derived from my birth names, and ‘Signature Collections’ encompasses diamonds, décor and apparel, all of which have been designed or sourced by me!
“We moved to a space three times larger (than my original store), not only to diversify and broaden our brand but to elevate engagement across more platforms.
“The space itself has a wonderful feel and presence to it, is bright and has the most wonderful outlook directly onto green space and the fabulous rotunda.”
While Exclusive Diamond Co.’s stock lines were always exquisite, the new products add a chic, elegant touch to the store, with a range that now also includes clothing, giftwares and homewares.
“Brea & Lulu Signature Collections follows in the footsteps of the Hampton and French chic feel,” Brenda said.
“We stock stunning Paloma pillows; French Cote Noire scented blooms, candles diffusers and natural soaps, and fabulous elegant wall art. We have clothing from the Hammock and Vine Range, prominently found in Myers, and beautiful handbags, scarves and fashion jewellery.
“We also interweave our shelves with some adorable take-home gifts, wine charms, fun tea towels and porcelain ‘life message’ hearts.”
Of course, customers looking for a unique and finely crafted piece of jewellery, or sparkling diamond of distinction won’t be disappointed either.
"Brea & Lulu Signature Collections are prestige stockists of the full Exclusive Diamond Co. range including Argyle Blush and Kimberly Pink Diamonds, as well as certified loose diamonds of all shapes, colours and sizes, with an extensive range of sought-after black diamonds and the incredibly rare tanzanite also available."
A wide range of white, yellow and rose gold jewellery is also in stock, from Brenda’s own contemporary, vintage and bespoke designs to others sourced from Canada, America and Europe.
With such a stunning range of natural diamonds, precious and semi-precious gemstones set in private label and bespoke jewellery designs that you won’t find elsewhere, it’s little wonder Exclusive Diamond Co. were finalists in the Brides Choice awards for Newcastle and the Hunter Jewellery and Design.
The business was also the recent recipient of a Chamber of Commerce Service of Excellence Award for customer service.
With such a successful start and a bright future ahead, Brea & Lulu Signature Collections is the crowning jewel in Brenda’s rewarding and extremely diverse career. A career which has seen her begin her working life as a banker, travel to London to become a currency trader and end up on Norfolk Island running her own café and catering for airline companies before buying the Diamonds Exclusive shop from a South African diamond cutter.
Brenda completed training through the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the world-renowned authority in the diamond industry, and began creating her own range of jewellery designs for the store.
The mother-of-four ran the Norfolk Island store for 12 years before deciding to expand its presence into the Hunter in 2017.
You can find Brea & Lulu Signature Collections at Hunter Valley Gardens Shopping Village – 2090 Broke Road, Pokolbin. For more information visit www.ExclusiveDiamondCo.com.au