The Story behind Tessarella House

I was married at 20. Sure I had doubts. But what does a sheltered young Greek woman know about life? Nothing…yet.

I experienced the unrivalled joy of having a child at 22. A healthy boy I named Michael.

I was a single mother before my 26th birthday. In just three and a half years, I went from wanting to give my son the world, to being worried that I might not be able to provide for him. Life challenges us.  This was going to be one helluva test!

I became so depressed that I was forced to quit my job at an accountancy firm and ended up working at a café. I knew I needed to subsidise my meagre wage if I was going to ensure Michael wouldn’t go without.

Being scared isn’t pleasant, but sometimes it forces us to find options. To grow. I decided I didn’t want to rely on others for help, but I had no idea what to do? The universe however, has a funny way of coming to our assistance when it really matters. 

With money being tight, I decided to make a dear friend something special – for her birthday – rather than spend what little I could afford on a store-bought gift. I purchased some beads and wire and stayed up until 3:30 the following morning making a choker. I didn’t even know how I did it, nor where the creativity came from? It was as though a fire had been lit in my soul and a passion ignited. My friend loved the gift and encouraged me to make more pieces for other friends. Suddenly I was displaying some of my work at the café and taking orders from customers, which led to jewellery parties in people’s homes.

Then just as I started getting traction for my work, the company my sister Contessa worked for folded, and she decided to join me in the fledgling enterprise.

Our cousin Tina joined not long after Contessa, to expand our product offering to include shoes, bags and accessories and collectively, we set up ‘Individual by Anna’ which was the forerunner to Tessarella House.

Coming from a non-jewellery or fashion background allowed us to be experimental. We weren’t constrained by any sort of ideology other than a desire to empower women by making them feel good about themselves. My self-confidence had taken a battering after my husband left and I didn’t want any other woman to feel the way I did!

We wanted to create product that was fashionable, stylish and fun. We wanted to make beautiful product that could be worn at work, at the weekend, at weddings and to red carpet events! We were different. And as a result we quickly grew a following with celebrities like Charli Robinson, Isabel Lucas, Ella Hooper (lead singer of ‘Killing Heidi’) and later, the Veronicas, Delta Goodrem and many other women who loved our unique, handmade creations.

Cousin Tina is no longer part of the company, raising 4 young boys became her priority, but she remains part of the Tessarella family and still shares her creative expression with us whenever we’re together. 

Today we employ a number of jewellers and continue to make everything by hand, using only the very best crystals and elements from Swarovski and very select suppliers. 

We make beautiful jewellery for real women.  Women who laugh and cry, who are jubilant and sad. Women who love and sometimes lose, and then love again. We make jewellery for women who feel like they’re not enough one moment and who recognise they’re superwomen the next. For women who know what they want from life and aren’t embarrassed no matter what that is! We make jewellery for women who are flawed, and yet perfect all at once. We make jewellery for women who ask; “do I look fat in this?” and for women who confidently stride out the front door feeling a million dollars. We recognise that you’re not going to be happy 24/7. But, we also know that rocking beautiful jewellery certainly helps! In fact it’s been clinically proven that smiling actually makes you feel happier. And wearing beautiful jewellery makes most people smile. So if only for the sake of your health, make sure you have plenty of beautiful jewellery.

Much love from us all at TH. Hope to see you proudly rocking our product…and smiling broadly!

Anna Nicolaou

A Real Woman

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