- Jewellery maker Tiona Pemberton, 19, is from Toowoomba in Queensland
- She will be travelling to the Oscars next Thursday to showcase creations
- The teenager will get the chance to meet Hollywood stars in the gift suite
- She will tell them about her line and will be photographed with her pieces
- Pemberton said she was ‘shocked’ when she was contacted by organisers
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An Australian teenager will get the chance to showcase her homemade jewellery to Hollywood’s biggest stars after she was invited to attend this year’s Academy Awards. Tiona Pemberton, from Toowoomba in south-east Queensland, will fly to Los Angeles next Thursday and take her place in the Oscars’ gift suite where celebrities pick up freebies before the awards ceremony and pose with products. The 19-year-old can then use the photographs of famous people modelling her jewellery – including necklaces, headpieces, rings and earrings – for promotion purposes.
When Pemberton was first approached by Academy Award organisers she thought it was a joke. ‘Initially I was completely in shock, bewildered and excited. I couldn’t really believe it and I thought it was set up,’ the Queensland University of Technology student told Daily Mail Australia.
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After a day full of research and talking to people who had gone to past events, it was not a sham… and [they said it was] one of the greatest experiences. You get to talk a lot and interact with a lot of celebrities… it can’t be anything other than a great experience.’
Pemberton already has a short list of stars she would love to get an audience with. At the start, I thought Snoop Dogg because he’s an interesting character and has a lot of contacts,’ she said. But I’m now leaning more towards Jennifer Lawrence because she seems like a lovely, lovely person.’ The teenager never thought her jewellery would take off and she saw it as more of a way to make money while she studied nutrition at university. ‘I started officially making jewellery when I was five years old and string plastic beads,’ Pemberton said.
- ‘Last year I had two people ask me why I wasn’t working at uni.
- ‘It was a way for me to have a hobby and get some money in when I was 18.
- ‘Almost instantly we had people buying from overseas, from the US and the UK. I put it down to social media, it had a great deal to do with that.’
Just three months after the inception of her brand Mallow and Thyme, a Hollywood stylist found out about the jewellery on Instagram and emailed to see if she could get hands on the 19-year-old’s creations. Since then, her jewellery has been worn by actress Vanessa Hudgens, singer Ashlee Simpson and her husband Evan Ross, who is the son of music legend Diana Ross.
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Prices of Pemberton’s jewellery range from $16 to $299 and are made from materials like quartz and silver. Pemberton also credits her success to the support of her friends and family. ‘My mum was so cute about it [when she found out about the Oscars]. She’s really chuffed. When I told [my parents] the news and they couldn’t believe it,’ she said. ‘I’m grateful for all the positive support and the kind words.’