This article is for all the small businesses out there! During this crazy time so many businesses large and small have suffered extremely. In the last few months I have stumbled across many amazing small australian businesses, however, one in particular caught my eye. Belly Btray is a small victorian based handmade jewellery business, owned by the beautiful Bella Traynor. This gorgeous jewellery company focuses on individuality, sustainability and creativity.
But this isn’t your average small business story, Bella has an illness that affects her everyday life, she cannot work your typical 9-5 job anymore due to her illness, however, the real inspiration of this story is Bella’s resilience. Although life has thrown her an absolute curveball, she didn’t let it stop her. That kind of strength is rare to find, she is a true inspiration to all including myself. That being said of course we wanted to know more about her!
Tell us a little about yourself and your business
My name is Bella and I live in Melbourne, Victoria with my family, boyfriend and two dogs, Lucy and Gidget. I am 20 years old and am currently studying personal training and a Bachelor of Nutrition Science. I am the owner of Belly Btray, a handmade jewellery business focusing on individuality, sustainability and creativity.
Talk to us about your illness
My health has been an ongoing issue since I can remember but has taken a turn for the worse this past year. With no definite diagnosis, I am being trialled on so many medications and therapies in the hopes that one will work to reveal what my illness is. Not knowing what is wrong with me has been extremely difficult as many doctors just give up. The therapies and medications have awful side effects which interfere with other aspects of my life. I cannot have a normal 9-5 job as the pain is unpredictable, I have had to switch to an online university as I can’t be away from my own toilet (which I love to admit). I take 20 tablets a day plus whatever pain medication is required. Through this journey I have also suffered depression and anxiety however, i am proud to say i am on my way to remission, thanks to my family, friends, boyfriend and group of doctors which i am forever grateful for their constant support.
After being diagnosed with this illness, you decided to not let it stop you from achieving goals so you started a gorgeous jewellery business, we’d love to know more about your business and what it’s all about and how you got into it.
In the midst of Coronavirus, I was locked down for longer than most as I am immunocompromised. I was bored out of my mind being someone who is very active and has ADHD, so I started beading. This was new to me only ever having worked with metals prior, however, I became enchanted with the delicate craft and how each item was unique. Originally it was just a hobby, but i was encouraged by my mother to start selling these pieces. I loved being able to channel my creative energy into something that I could make money from. I never thought I would enjoy work but I consider myself the luckiest person in the world to be able to do what I love every single day.
Your resilience shines through immensely, tell us how you manage to keep pushing through when going through the highs and lows of life.
Belly Btray is a part of my essence as a human. My business focuses on sustainability, recycling and supporting fair trade materials. I do my best to purchase from small businesses like myself, reusing old pieces of jewellery that have been given to me or bought from second-hand stores. I try to buy from places such as Ghana, Fiji and Bali where people who create beads are paid fair wages and supported under the fair trade act. Every piece of jewellery is designed, created and packaged by me. I adore sketching my ideas while I browse through pinterest or instagram for aesthetics. If I had to say what style my business is it would say it is beach-chic as there is an element of elegance to every design incorporating pearls and colours that are inspired by the world I live around.
If there was anything you would say to your younger self, what would it be?
If I had to turn back time and speak to my younger self, I would say that everything happens for a reason and to accept each experience however, agonising they may be. I would tell her to never give up as there is always light and the end of the tunnel no matter how dark it seems.
If there was ever a small business to get behind it would be this one! The jewellery is made from recyclable resources and from one extremely strong lady. I am lucky enough to have my hands on some of this amazing jewellery, the pieces are truly exquisite. You can feel the love and appreciation put into each bead which only adds to all of the stunning features of the jewellry.
Bella a message to you, thank you for not only creating stunning pieces of jewellery but for showing us all what true resilience is. You are one of the strongest women I’ve ever come across and I believe we can all learn a valuable lesson from you. Keep pushing, never give up on your dreams and to always look on the bright side of life. I hope that we get the pleasure of meeting you one day but until then keep doing you because you are amazing.
Here’s the link to BellyBtray instagram, everyone go and get your hands on some of this jewellery.