Interview with Justine from Two In The Sun

I met Justine during my first few months back in Byron. I found her business through Instagram and really fell in love with her beautiful work. Today I am lucky to be sharing an interview with this really inspiring woman. Justine is not only the founder and creative soul behind the jewellery brand Two In The Sun. She is also an incredibly inspiring, kind and genuine person, and I hope you will love reading her story as much as I did.

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Can you please begin with telling us a little about your personal background? Where are you from, where did you grow up and who are you?

I was born & grew up in a little place called Sapphire Beach just north of Coffs Harbour with my parents and 4 older siblings.
We were pretty 'free range' kids. Always outdoors- barefoot, exploring the beaches and climbing trees. As long as we were home by dark for dinner we didn’t have too many rules. I remember my older sister taking me on long beach walks and we'd carry a bag and pick up all the rubbish we could find on the beach. We'd also collect shells and sticks and bit and pieces..take them home and draw them and then return them to the beach. I can thank my parents and siblings for instilling such great care for our earth from such a young age.

My parents also built a little beach shack in Byron Bay in the early 70's, so all our childhood holidays were spent there. We had our own rope tied to a tree and we'd abseil up the cliffs to make our own little track through the bush and up to the lighthouse. I love thinking back to those days, the freedom and wide eyed curiosity of being a child...


What's your educational background? And what have you done for work since you finished school?

I moved to 'the big smoke' - Sydney and studied Interior Design straight out of high school, and went on to work for a textile designer in Surry Hills for about 4 years.
After spending 8 months travelling around South America, I moved up to Byron Bay and began working for a local fashion designer as well as doing a little casual work in interior decoration.
It was when I left Byron in 2015 and travelled around Australia in an old van with my partner Alex & had no job for for a full year that I got really into something I’d always loved- making jewellery!

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What does your life look like today?

Today, I'm running Two In The Sun full time. I have a studio in a shared space in the Arts & Industrial Estate in Byron Bay where I work amongst other jewellers, artists, musicians and graphic designers.
I live in a little old 60’s beach house in Brunswick Heads and I adore it here.
I love swimming in the river and watching sunsets over it in the afternoon... it never gets old.
I work most days, but I work to my own schedule. I don't have set hours and I like it that way.
It's so important to make time for the things you love. So if I decide I want to have a surf, or a swim or a slow morning- I do.
I create when I feel like it, I don't like to force anything.
Markets are a big part of my life... I love the gypsy lifestyle of Markets! Meeting people from all over, chatting about design, creativity, sustainability, marine conservation..and life in general.


What inspired you to start Two in The Sun?

I've always been a hands on creator...but have always worked for other people.
And to be honest I found it hard to be completely creative working for others- I felt I had to create in their style because I didn't believe in my own style at the time.
I now realise that is impossible. Creativity is based on tapping into your own natural flow, not trying to fit into someone else's.
I found my full creative freedom and was making things which only I need approve of, it was then I tapped a whole new source of inspiration. When I realised that I could combine both my love of our earth and wish to spread awareness on protecting her with my creativity, there was no looking back!


Where/what do you seek to for inspiration?

Nature is always my biggest inspiration. I am a woman of the water...the ocean in particular.  Walking the shoreline barefoot and swimming in salt water...especially if it can be nude! Time with Alex, going on adventures to new places and taking in the subtle details of different plants, animals and marine life. I also love watching the moon. Going to the beach to watch the full moon rise is one of my favourite things ever.
The people around me inspire me to keep creating too... the beautiful words from customers who adore their pieces make me never want to stop.
I’m still blown away by the beautiful feedback I receive, it’s like an amazing natural fertiliser for my creative brain!

How did you come up with the name "Two in the Sun"?

The name came from my trip around Australia with Alex. The simple life. Just the two of us. Exploring, connecting... following the sun... Alex was so encouraging for me and helped me so much to begin the journey of creating jewellery as an actual job that I really wanted to include him in the name.
Two In The Sun came to mind when I was sketching in my journal and I knew it was absolutely perfect!

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How important is your work and art to you?

It's a pretty huge part of my life. Not only to share my creativity but to help spread awareness in sustainable design.  We as creators hold a lot of power to alter the way the consumerist world functions. I actually see it as a duty to push for change through ethical design. And to support other creatives in doing so.

Do you express yourself through other forms of art?

I love life drawing & painting. There is something about drawing the nude human figure that is really special to me.
I love nesting and decorating spaces with second hand & found objects too.
Cooking for me is also a very creative venture... I love just making it up! Getting loads of fresh produce from the farmers market and creating exciting & unique meals.

What is your main intention with Two in the Sun? Do you have specific message you wish to spread?

To have a positive impact on the way we view 'fashion'. To encourage others to ask the question 'where did this thing I'm wearing come from?' 'who made it?'
To spread awareness for sustainable and ethical design. And to offer people a special piece they can wear and connect with every day.


Has your plans and intentions with your business changed over time and since you started this journey?

Two In The Sun has certainly grown more than I initially believed it would. I thought it might just be a little side project to share my creativity.
But the idea has always been the same. Simple design using low impact materials.
From the very beginning I have donated every month to a local marine conservation organisation called Positive Change For Marine Life.

Giving back to our planet is and always will be an integral part of the business.

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What is your favourite thing about doing what you do?

My heart melts, every single time people come to me to so genuinely tell me how much they love what I'm making. That they wear their pieces every day and feel so special in them. I pour so much love and intention into everything I make, so knowing people feel that is rewarding beyond words.


What makes you excited about life and being alive?

Love. Nature. Being in water. Learning new things. Positive change for our planet. Open minds. Summer!What is beauty to you?

Beauty is nature. Beauty is love. Serendipity. The way, somehow, everything works in synchronicity and happens as it should.

Beauty is growth. Forever I am learning on this journey and having an open heart and mind to what teachings may come along.


How would you define freedom?
To truly be oneself.  It's taken me a fair while to realise that being different and being true to yourself is a gift. When you are being true to yourself and not doing what others may perceive you should be doing.. things really begin to flow.

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Check out Two In The Sun’s website to see Justine’s latest collection ‘Salt of The Earth’ <3

Iselin Amanda Stoylen