Champagne Gem

Bebe Bakhshi is a Persian born, Melbourne based jewellery blogger whose love for jewels started when she was a child, growing stronger over the years: she finally decided to attend a GIA AJP course to deepen her knowledge about her passion objects.

While finalizing this course, she moved with her husband to Melbourne, Australia to start a new life and that’s where she had the idea to convert her passion into a professional activity, launching her blog back in 2011. By 2013, ChampagneGem on Instagram was also born and Bebe started traveling the world finding the most exquisite jewels to share with her followers. Today, her Instagram account counts more than 700.000 followers and is synonymous with original content, showcasing personally selected pieces from globally known high jewelry brands. It is a niche platform for connoisseurs, industry leaders and every individual with interest in jewellery. We had a chance to meet her during Vicenzaoro. How do you select what to post and what kind of audience do you wish to inspire? I usually don’t schedule my posts. Depending on my mood, I will choose either a diamond centred post or gemstone and of course my audience input is very important, some days you notice they are more intrigued by design oriented pieces and other days just classics. In other words, it’s a combination and I am trying not to stick to a certain theme (either gemstone or design) for more than 2-3 posts. My motto hasn’t changed since I started my blog back in 2011, maybe slightly tweaked, but the main goal remains the same: your daily dose of sparkle! My follower base ranges from 16 years to older: particularly with millennials and generation Z, I try to put emphasis on the importance of transparency and ethical sourcing of diamonds and gemstones. The ultimate goal is to encourage my audience to appreciate and admire jewellery and take informed decisions when making a purchase. You have many collaborations with well[1]known brands. How do you organize the content in order to keep a balanced eye and be always at the forefront of the latest collections ? I have been working with many brands in the past 6-7 years and many of them have their fixed spot on my page. Loyalty and trust play a great role in purchasing something sentimental as jewellery and my followers trust my judgement, therefore I have the responsibility to protect their trust by featuring only reputable brands that carry similar vision and business values as mine. What are your “tricks” to get people’s engagement and interest, since you have a great number of followers? I have a very simple yet effective formula, consistency! Finding your niche and being consistent with your content. I personally reply to every single comment because I enjoy communicating with my followers – we all share the same passion. I also include interesting facts in my captions to capture my audience’s attention and intrigue their curiosity, which eventually starts a conversation and helps me to get to know more about their preferences. Over the years, I also had the chance to personally meet many of my followers and made virtual friendships which to me are as real as face to face ones. To sum it up, consistency in content, communicating with followers. In what way you think you are bringing your own vision about the jewellery industry? I think I helped shaping a community of jewellery enthusiasts, connoisseurs and designers. I created a space where they can explore the latest trends and collections. As for my vision, I love wearing/ layering/stacking jewellery, the terms “dripping in diamonds” and “more is more” are two that I use a lot. Some argue asking me what is the point of showing so many diamonds at the same time and my answer is that this is only to show possibilities and options that you have when adding jewellery to your style. There is no right or wrong, just do what makes you feel good, and at the end of the day we buy jewellery to celebrate, so let’s have some fun with it. What about new talents? Do you also have your way to “recognize” the artists of tomorrow? I believe social media have an important role in raising the bar for market’s taste and desire in unique jewellery. Based on my experience, I have seen that my followers’ preferences have heavily evolved in the past few years and when I post a design oriented piece, they have genuine appreciation for the design, craftsmanship and hours that are put into creating such a piece. Complex pieces, wearable art and unique creations are what attract the younger generations. Therefore I am always looking for more innovative designs and in recent years there has been a rise in bespoken pieces, where designers combine different methods, metals or gemstones to create a unique piece. Which stones do you fancy the most? What jewellery styles? Diamond is my most favourite stone and it helps that it is my birthstone too. I have developed a soft spot over the years for Paraiba tourmaline, ruby and emerald too. I am somehow obsessed with rings and bracelets, as you can see it translated in my posts; those two are my favourite jewellery styles. Do you take pictures on your own or do you have a team? I have a partner, Tracey Ellison, TheDiamondsGirl: together we attend most of the events and exhibitions. As for filming, pre-pandemic, I used to create all of my original content but since pandemic and shift in world’s dynamic in terms of traveling I had to rely on our clients to create content that I could use on my page. Since Tracey is based in the US and can travel without any restrictions, she has been creating content for me for the couple of shows that I couldn’t attend.

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