INSPIRED BY LIFE IN THE TROPICS, LOCAL JEWELLERY DESIGNER TAMRA WILSON IS BRINGING THE COLOUR AND VITALITY OF THE NORTH QUEENSLAND LIFESTYLE TO THE WORLD IN A FUN, AFFORDABLE AND FASHIONABLE WAY WITH WAHBOO DESIGNS.
Wahboo was founded in late 2015, when a chronic illness diagnosis suddenly resulted in a major adjustment to Tamra’s everyday life. “I was working in administration, and then became a full-time mum when I had my two children. I (also) wanted to have the flexibility to be available for my children,” she said.
Tamra explains that she wanted a line of chic, budget friendly, practical accessories. “I wanted lightweight, fun, colourful jewellery that didn’t cost a fortune and didn’t infect my ears. My bright, unique fashion jewellery encompasses colour, comfort, and affordability. Plus, it is so kind on sensitive ears, as I only use surgical stainless-steel components.”
A local girl at heart, Tamra said her upbringing has shaped her inspiration and creativity. “I was born and raised in North Queensland, surrounded by rainforests and beaches,” she said. “The colours, smells, tastes and textures of my childhood has definitely shaped my design ideas.”
“I have been creating my own jewellery since I was a little girl. I grew up with a very crafty and creative mother, who made all our clothes as children, our dance costumes, and really tried her hand at any creative project, from quilting and needlework to floral art and painting. Her excitement for all things creative has certainly been passed on to me.”
Tamra’s bright, glittery, on trend acrylic and wood creations can be found online, in selected stores in Queensland and Victoria, at local markets, and on social networking sites Facebook and Instagram.
“TO CONTINUE BRINGING JOY INTO PEOPLE’S LIVES, THROUGH COLOUR AND QUIRKINESS.”
Whilst the business started by simply creating unique gifts for family and friends, it has now taken off with Tamra saying, “What started as a hobby has quickly taken off. Within my first year I was making 50 pairs (of earrings) a month and only selling at local markets and via Facebook. Our volume varies throughout the year, but on average I make approximately 300 pairs of earrings a month. During the last Christmas season, I made over 1000 pairs.”
Tamra taught herself to use the design software needed to create her own unique designs and has since collaborated with local artist Tina Maher from Tina Maher Art, and former local artist Kyla Flanagan from Designed and Collected. She has also recently worked with local teacher and avid cyclist Christy Guinea to design and create unique wooden earrings Christy is selling to raise money for the Townsville to Cairns Bike Ride, with funds going towards childhood cancer research.
Describing her own style as, “contemporary, with a splash of retro, vintage, and lots of colour,” Tamra said the mission statement of Wahboo Designs was straightforward.
“My goal is to bring colour and fun into people’s lives, by creating fashion accessories that complete your everyday outfits and make you feel fabulous, confident and comfortable,” she said.
And for the future?
“To continue bringing joy into people’s lives, through colour and quirkiness.”