While completing an Arts/Economics degree Virginia worked for Australian clothing and accessories label Papoucci in their wholesale department selling directly to stores. Upon graduation in 1991 she left Australia to explore the world, beginning in South Africa where a chance discovery of a beautiful bead store and semi precious stones ignited a lifelong passion for jewellery.
She travelled for two years, collecting beads and inspiration from farflung places, attended jewellery making workshops in London and sold her designs at Portobello Road markets and the idea to launch her own jewellery line back in Australia took shape.
Virginia Riley Designer Accessories was officially launched in 1993 when she returned to her beautiful hometown of Avoca Beach on the N.S.W. Central Coast and set up a small studio.
Every piece of VRDA jewellery is still made by hand with love and care here in her beachside studio.
VRDA jewellery enjoyed rapid success, featuring in many of the leading fashion and bridal magazines and stocked in 140 stores across Australia and New Zealand.
Her designs developed a strong following for special occasion wear, especially for weddings, where she won the coveted Australian Bridal Industry Fashion Jewellery Award several times.
In 2000 Virginia decided to focus on her retail customers and opened her flagship store in Sydney's historic Strand Arcade. Her exclusive custom design service quickly led to queues forming out the door of her little shop of customers wanting to have their jewellery specially made to suit their gowns.
With the birth of her second child in 2006 Virginia made the difficult decision to close the store and focus on raising her young family, knowing that one day she would return to her passion for designing jewellery.
Now, ten years later, she has re-opened with this website and will continue to offer her exclusive custom design service and quality her brand was built upon.