"Annette Coleman is without question one of the true new-breed of Australian Wonder-Woman. Though we’re sure she’d be reticent with that title, there’s not much she can’t do or hasn’t experienced in her '40 something' years. On first appearance she seems much younger, the calm, yet steely resolve in her eyes belies wisdom and talent far beyond her age. She brings these qualities and many more, to her Jewellery Brand Gate Uniques."
A country girl at heart, Annette grew up on a working property on South Australia’s pristine & rugged Yorke Peninsula where her family still live today. Here she found her unflappable nature, humour and quiet determination. As many an Australian country-girl has shown, they are not to be underestimated when it comes to business acumen and sophistication. "Being surrounded by an entrepreneurial farming family, my first business was pulling wild turnip from the paddocks and roadsides in an attempt to erradicate the weed... I would lay the plants out in the back of the ute, Dad would count them, I prepared invoices weekly and send a statement at the end of the month. At 5 cents a plant, I earnt enough money to join in on the school trips on offer." Annette Coleman is no exception to her upbringing - she will quietly & steadily lead the way in just about any city, country or situation!
Annette forged the way early with the highly successful national fashion brands, chetWynd and Gate. Starting as an on-farm business in the rural recession, growing into brands that stocked over 120 boutiques nationally, export, mail and web orders. Along the way collecting awards for design and business success, advising on boards and to business startups with her husband Philip during from 1990 to 2005 when the business was sold. "I love it when I am still asked if I sell rugby jumpers and floral shirts!."
After sadly losing her husband to cancer in 2003, Nette found herself at a true cross-roads in life. Now a sole parent to her cherished daughter Violet, she needed to take time out and make some decisions. Following the advice from a friend and blissfully unaware of anything called “Eat, Pray, Love” Nette found her way in rural Asia spending time with the people and indeed her own spirit.
A keen wearer of layers of silver jewellery for many years, she stumbled across a silversmith and the concept of telling her own story (and journey) through symbols emerged. First developing her pendants, then braided leather necklaces and strung silver necklaces and bracelets, then more pendants and signet rings - the comeback was in full swing.
The Gate Uniques range has since expanded to include delightfully covetable pendants and cocktail rings with coloured semi-precious stones. "I love it when ideas just come to me without planning - they always seem to be the best... imagine running your hand through a large bowl of Amber Citrine, brilliant Blue Topaz or Green Amethyst just to find 6 stones that have a wonderful energy to include in the next collection... ."
Since starting her journey with the brand Annette has literally climbed Kosciusko and Kilaminjaro, Broken Bones and sat on boards of companies. She’s mentored new businesses and discovered new patience and love through Violet and most recently her little black kitten, Cherry. Chipping away at the exterior you’ll find out little surprises like ”I’m currently training for a charity bike ride through Vietnam.” Recently Nette cycled 1000km in a week from Coffs Harbour to Bondi, supporting her new partner’s cancer-charity foundation.
Another feather in her bow, Coleman is philanthropic both spiritually and literally. Through Gate Uniques she has shared pieces of her life with women around the country and overseas who resonate with her product, marking life changing moments, friendship and ultimately celebrating love.
In a world where increasingly, authenticity becomes truly the most valuable commodity Gate Uniques is not born from a factory-facsimile but from a personal journey of discovery, soul and love . Pieces of Annette’s story and energy are truly reflected in each piece and each piece waits to become part of your own story.