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June 13, 2024

Vice Jewellery gleams on Pirie Street

A passionate jewellery maker has made the leap from online to a brick-and-mortar business in the heart of the CBD.

  • Words: Jade Woollacott
  • Pictures: Lucinda Corin

Lia Vice’s interest in jewellery-making was inherited and after a three-day crash course, she fell in love with the craft.


Vice Jewellery
Shop 6/195 Pirie Street, Adelaide 5000
Monday – Friday 10am ’til 4pm


Lia’s grandmother collected antique jewellery from all over the globe. She passed it down to Lia’s mother who has since passed it down to Lia.

Now, drawing from anything and everything around her — ancient cultures, music, art, nature and the natural world — Lia aspires to make pieces that can be passed through generations and continue the tradition her grandmother started.

“I like building jewellery that’s meant to last lifetimes so it could be handed down,” she says.

Lia endeavours to make her new store a place where anyone can create.

Lia started Vice Jewellery 10 years ago and is making the shift from online to a brick-and-mortar store with the help of Renew Adelaide.

Over the years Lia has hosted a handful of market stalls and stocked her products in the odd vintage store here and there, but when it came down to it she says the costs weren’t really worth it.

Owning her own store has always been Lia’s dream, but it has always been too big of a risk until now.

She was scrolling on Instagram when she came across a Renew Adelaide ad and the phrase “free rent” jumped out at her.

“I’ve always wanted to open a shop but… it’s a massive thing to try and put that money out there without knowing if it’s gonna be viable,” she says.

“It’s always been a massive dream of mine, and this literally made it a reality for me — I don’t think I would’ve ever been able to do it.”

Lia says jewellery making wasn’t all that easy to get into, having grown up in the Coonawarra. She originally set out to do an apprenticeship but found that a lot of the tradesmen in her area were “old school”, “gatekeeper–y” and not looking to take anyone on.

On the tools. This picture: supplied

Instead, when Lia was 23 she took a three-day crash course with a local independent jewellery maker in Beachport who taught her the fundamentals. Otherwise, she has mostly been self-taught with books, YouTube tutorials and short courses here and there.

Lia says once you learn the basics, jewellery-making — specifically lost wax casting, which is Lia’s method of choice — isn’t all that hard or expensive.  She wants to prove that by helping others learn and hosting workshops in her new space.

Lia uses lost wax casting to make her jewellery, an ancient method that uses a wax mould to cast metal objects.

“If you’ve got any inch of creative juju inside of you… it’s not hard at all,” she says.

“I’m really excited to teach people how cheap it is to get started.

“I think it’s such a beautiful, amazing craft and it really is such a special thing to learn how to do.

“There’s nothing that quite lights you up like holding a finished piece in your hand.”

Some of Vice’s collection

Lia makes alternative, chunky, organic mostly bespoke pieces and has gained a following over the years that resonates with her brand.

“I figured out over the years, every time I try and make something that I think people will really like, there’s too much pressure,” she says.

“I just love making stuff that I like, and that really attracts the right customers for me.”

The new Vice Jewellery store reflects Lia’s style and the things she loves most. She wanted it to be a cosy, welcoming space inclusive to all, and with a background working in disability services, Lia wanted the space to be a sensory-safe area.

She says she’s going for “a bit of 70s retro but also a little bit rock ‘n’ roll–y kind of maximalist” vibe with lots of warm woods and animal print.

“I want a space that’s super welcoming and warm,” she says.

“It’s basically just a reflection of everything I love.”

If all goes well over the next few months Lia plans on making her store a permanent fixture on Pirie Street, with plans to host bi-weekly workshops.

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