“It is my dream to not only make beautiful jewellery but to honour the history of pearls, handed down from generation to generation through story telling. Pearls are the most beautiful way to tell your story”
Ever since Teresa was a young girl she has always been drawn to make jewellery. It started with deconstructing pieces of jewellery she found around the house and creating something new and unique out of them. On the odd occasion her admiration fell towards her mother’s jewellery box, filled to the brim with sparkly treasures. Although she never dove into her mother’s treasure trove, she dreamt of ways she could tear apart those jewels and create something new out of them.
Fast forward to 2016, after the passing of her father, Teresa tapped back into her love of creating jewellery as a form of therapy. JOHN AND LUNA was born to keep her late father’s memory alive — aptly named after her father Giovanni, fondly remembered as John. With Luna being from their favourite song, "La luna hizo esto" which represents their love of music.
A little over 4 years later, and much to Teresa’s surprise, JOHN AND LUNA would showcase alongside iconic fashion brands in Vogue Australia’s Online Shopping Night in February 2021, putting JL on the fashion map.
Teresa, lovingly known as T by her community, is bubbly and down to earth, a contrast to JL’s bold and classic imagery. T believes that the duality of light and dark coexists in all aspects of life. This is beautifully illustrated through her ability to story-tell within each piece of jewellery. Each collection thoroughly thought out and brought to life through detailed imagery and her vivid imagination.
Her unique mix of passion, approachability and infectious outlook on life has made her an inspiring role model for women around the globe.
T's goal is not only to make beautiful jewellery but to also create a safe and inclusive space for all races, ages, sizes and genders. Feeling alienated herself at a young age, her hope is to provide a safe environment where everyone is included in the conversation.
As the owner, creative designer and maker behind JOHN AND LUNA, Teresa infuses her personal style and vivacious personality in every facet of the brand. She actively sits across the brand’s marketing and communications, something she regards highly, seeing the brand as an extension of herself.
Reigning from Sydney’s north west, Teresa’s signature style embodied in JOHN AND LUNA’s designs and craftsmanship has seen the brand’s meteoric rise and cult following nationwide.
Questions with T!
HOW DID YOUR PARENT'S LOVE STORY INFLUENCE YOUR COLLECTION?
Mum shared that John and Luna's jewellery reminded her of my dad. He loved pearls so much that wherever he would go, he would look for them. I didn't know this until recently, but it explains why I have always been called to make pearl jewellery!
The story of the necklace my dad gifted mum is what inspired Folklore. Folklore was released with the intention of showing the world that John and Luna will be specialising in pearl jewellery.
I designed a pearl necklace called 'Mary', named after mum. It was the nickname dad gave her. He was the only one who called her that. Mary quickly became the key piece to the magic of Folklore.
I gave mum the very first Mary necklace I ever made on my wedding day. It was a very emotional moment.
CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR EXPERIENCE OF STARTING JOHN AND LUNA?
When I launched John and Luna, I was working full-time as a paralegal, then moved on to shift work in emergency services. In 2020, I resigned from my job to run my own business full time.
There I was, standing at a crossroads, faced with one of the biggest decisions in my life. It was looking at me right in the face, almost knocking me over, and I had to choose — stability or my dream?
I have loved pearls since I started John and Luna but never thought the world was ready for my pearl designs, so I kept them in a drawer for years. When I released New Moon — also known as the collection that broke my heart — I took a massive break. I was so close to quitting — but then I rediscovered the pearls in the drawer, and a little voice in my head said it was time!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF RUNNING JOHN AND LUNA?
My favourite part of running John and Luna is the stories I can tell through jewellery — to be able to create a way for people to share and store their stories through jewellery. I love connecting with my community and getting to know everyone.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR PAST SELF?
My advice would be to take your time and research — something I did not do. I started this business as a form of therapy when I lost my dad. I never thought it would be what it is today. I launched John and Luna in 2016, and I was super impulsive. I didn't even have packaging! Three hours before launch, I realised this and created some swing tags and thank you cards on Microsoft Word and raced off to Officeworks to get them printed! Looking back at that moment, I laugh, but man, it was stressful! Researching is my biggest advice, and to also follow what your heart says despite what others may think!
From growing up on a vegetable and flower farm in the small New South Wales town of Arcadia to working with some of the most exquisite authentic freshwater pearls, owner and founder — Teresa Bisazza — has come to understand the true meaning of beauty, hard work, and treasuring your family's legacy.