Mary O’Reilly and her husband Peter started their own family business in 1999 inspired by the shared longstanding love for jewellery. At the time, Mr. O’Reilly already had thirty-five years of experience in the trade and Mary had acquired three years of invaluable training with Hardy Brothers and their team.
Starting a family business wasn’t the result of an abrupt decision. Mr. O’Reilly acquired an existing valuation business in 1999 and Mary gradually found herself absorbing her husband’s wealth of knowledge by working closely with him. After Peter became ill and unable to work, Mary decided to expand the business to O’Reilly Jewellery.
Mrs. O’Reilly’s philosophy is based on honesty and a personal approach to all clients she had the pleasure of working with and will continue to work with.
“This is not just in my work, but also very much my life in general,” states Mary. She also adds “I am very straight forward with people and very flexible with my time. I make sure to value the time it takes to design and create what my client requires.”
Mrs. O’Reilly strongly believes that, as a jeweller, you should create unique pieces for your clients, creations that they won’t just like but love.
“If my customers do not honestly love the jewellery I created for them, I don’t feel like I have succeeded,” she says.
O’Reilly Jewellery has been a JAA member for 25 years.
“We became a member for many reasons,” states Mary. “The foremost, it is very important in the jewellery industry to be a member of such an accredited and established organisation. The JAA provides me with useful news, updates and peace of mind. I sell confidently, with the knowledge of having the JAA behind me as I do so.”
Mrs. O’Reilly also adds, “My membership with the JAA is reflective of the quality of my business. By that, I mean when customers enter my office and website they can see the JAA logo or my JAA certificate and know, or come to understand, that this is of major significance. They are bringing their trust and business with me because I am a JAA member. Of course, it goes both ways, hence my membership.”
O’Reilly Jewellery is located in Swanston Street, Melbourne, a fantastic area in the heart of the city. The shop, a welcoming upstairs retail office, offers a great selection of engagement, wedding and dress rings as well as an extensive range of men’s jewellery. Bespoke designs are also on offer together with remodelling and second-hand pieces.
“My business doesn’t have many of the bells and whistles of other jewellery stores, but I have all the resources I could ever need: an abundance of diamond merchants, jewellers and suppliers in the heart of the CBD,” she says, and adds, “Quite a few within the industry know me well by now, and know what I stand for. My husband Peter was always very well respected for his honesty and integrity.”
Mrs. O’Reilly has never been concerned about her work budget, her ethic stands clear: customers need to be in love with their jewellery, that’s her key focus. She believes that, especially in business “you can’t expect to be brilliant or overly successful straight away as this is gradual, but if you love what you do, you’ll do fine.”
“It is acceptable to be ambitious, however some patience and humility is also required. By humility, I mean honesty and transparency with people around you. You do have to be on guard in this ever-changing and uncertain world, but a humane connection will get you much further in life.”
Mrs. O Reilly continues to have a successful and gratifying career;however her family needs remain a close priority. “I have been a carer for my husband for ten years,” Mary explains.
She also adds proudly, “Peter and I are very fortunate as we had three children together who have grown into wonderful people.”