She’s the golden girl of Australian jewellery design. The model-like #girlboss who’s the perfect front for her hugely successful eponymous accessory brand, which has been a go-to for celebrities, stylists and fashion editor for close to a decade.
But Samantha Wills has shocked industry and fans alike with the shock announcement she’s shutting the doors of her jewellery company forever at the end of January 2019. The reveal came, of course, via the millennial creative’s news source of choice: Instagram.
According to her wordy, four-swipe letter to fans, the brand is both profitable and successful in a commercial sense, but her decision to walk away rather than sell her namesake company was to make room for a new life chapter and “be creative again with integrity, passion and energy”. (And GRAZIA, supposes, to preserve control over her own moniker, a challenge experienced by many top designers who have had little control over the way their name is used after cashing out.)
She also appeals for jobs on behalf of her long-serving staff, although no mention was made of her business partner Geoff Bainbridge in the statement, despite her repeatedly crediting their company’s commercial success to him in the past.
The 36-year-old will continue to focus on her Samantha Wills Foundation, which supports young entrepreneurs, and she remains available for motivational speaking gigs via her talent agent. A long-time proponent for gender equality and the empowerment of women, particularly young ones, it’s likely her attention will fall to this in at least the near future.
“I started Samantha Wills jewellery on my kitchen table by following my heart; showing equal parts courage and insanity,” she writes. “It is this same heart that is now telling me that it’s time to let go and go out and discover the next chapter for the brand and the next chapter for me personally.”
Read Wills’ official statement in full below.