Creative Director, Designer, Business Owner / YCL Jewels
In a world were more is often more, it’s remarkable to meet a person who understood wholeheartedly that her power lied in working for herself, and not for others. Without any formal training, 24 year old Fabienne Costa has grown her vegan jewellery line YCL to epic proportions. Often adorning the likes of Delta Goodrem, Jennifer Hawkins, Loni Jane and Miann Scanlan.
To us, no one has a better understanding of living life to hear own accord then Fabienne. After Year 12 this beauty went on to study a nursing degree before starting YCL Jewels with zero savings, and no business acumen. What a leap of faith! This Cairns native is not only the Creator and Creative Director of YCL, but also the HANDS that make each piece of jewellery.
Warm, passionate and with a crazy creative streak, this self confessed Italo-Australian now spends her time tinkering between her studio in the sunny Gold Coast, and travelling to India to work with her team. In today’s #careerstory we invite you into the world of this young entrepreneur, and take a deep dive into her time at high school, the ethos of her brand, and why she does what she does.
This #careerstory will set your soul on fire, and propel you into the New Year with inspire-fuelled visions of career wanderlust.
Don’t fight them, this is the best time of the year to meet and fall in love with yourself.
Are you ready? Please meet the gorgeous Fabienne Costa.
Fabienne we are so excited that you can join us today. It’s crazy, we can’t believe that you are only 24, we are totally obsessed with your career. The first question that we ask all of our interviewees is, can you tell us a bit about where you grew up and how your experience shaped the person you are, and the career that you are in today?
I was born in Cairns Australia, I lived in Italy for five years and then moved back to Australia when I was Five . I’ve lived in Australia ever since. I feel that my mother was always extremely supportive of any wild venture as I had as a child, and that gave me the belief that I have in myself today.
Where did you go to High School and how was that experience for you?
I went to Mt. Alvernia College in Brisbane. I focused heavily on creative subjects. I definitely did not excel at school, if anything I found it quite stifling to be boxed into certain categories that didn’t feel quite right for me.
Did your high school play an important role in helping you choose your further education and future career?
High school made me believe that I needed to go to university to be deemed successful in this society. That never really felt quite right for me. High school tried to lead me in a certain direction, instead of helping me to listen to my intuition and what I really wanted to do, which is the only reason I have made it to where I am.
Did you complete any internships or work experience placements in high school? Tell us about that experience.
I did from the age of 15, I embarked on an apprenticeship in nursing with aged care, and I left school with a Cert III in Aged Care Nursing. I loved taking care of my patients, and found it fulfilling. I grew a lot from doing such an emotionally invested role at a young age and I learnt compassion.
Did you go to College, University, Tafe or another equivalent? Take us through the courses that you studied and why you chose them?
Straight from school I threw myself into a bachelor of nursing, I loved it. But as a creative, I found it very stifling. I had only four subjects left when I quit the degree completely and started my own business.
Tell us about your career journey so far. Who you have worked for, and explain any highlights.
I have worked for myself since the age of 21. I enjoy innovating and creating daily within my brand YCL Jewels. I love being able to tailor my days, I love knowing every day when I wake up that I am doing something that I have created from my heart.
How did you get into the job that you are in now?
I started making jewellery as a hobby when I was a teenager, and then just shy of graduating university, I made the leap to start my own jewellery label, YCL Jewels. I couldn’t have imagine my hobby would turn into my “job” all these years later.
What is the hardest part of your current job?
Being the creative director and CEO of a brand requires a lot of responsibility, forward thinking and focus. Sometimes, this role can feel very lonely as no-one has the same information that you have within your mind that you need to make decisions from on a daily basis.
What does a day a typical business day look like for you in your current job?
I work four days a week in our Gold Coast based studio. My mornings entail me liaising with my team and replying to any emails that have popped up for me overnight. Then, I spend a good portion of my day making jewellery for our online orders. Afternoons usually involve meetings with our marketing director and publicists, skype calling our factories in India, and working on concepts for upcoming designs and photo-shoots.
Who has been your hero, or greatest inspiration growing up and why?
My mother, because she was the epitome of what it meant to be a selfless strong women who showed her vulnerability and taught me that I could do whatever I believed I could.
What advice would you give girls who are interested in your career?
To choose from your heart. It’s so easy to get caught up in what you feel you should or shouldn’t do. But when you listen to your heart and intuition, this is when the magic really happens.
Fabienne, can you please list your most valuable resources that you turn to constantly for inspiration.
- Favourite Blogs or Websites: The Lively Show, and any podcasts around entrepreneurs and start ups.
- Name an Instagram Account or Snapchat that you can’t go a day without checking: Loni Jane on Instagram and Snapchat / love her authentic life.
- Books: Right now I’m loving “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert
- People: My team, and my good friend and Marketing Director Claire Deane.