Coveted New Zealand jewellery brand Zoe & Morgan was created by siblings Morgan, Zoe & Ruth, who were first introduced to the art of jewellery making by their goldsmith father. Zoe shares the Zoe & Morgan story, her design process and wardrobe must-haves with Superette.
When and how did Zoe & Morgan come about?
We started in 2005, and it’s funny looking back at that time, we were just kids really! Our first show was at Paris Fashion Week, and it was a really fun moment in our history. Some of the people we met at that first show are still good friends.
Any advice you would give to someone thinking of starting a brand?
Think about your life from a holistic viewpoint, and ask yourself lots of questions. How many hours do you want to work, versus how many hours do you want to have as free time for your weekly experiences. If you are creating a business and a family at the same time, it’s important to create time and energy to enjoy both. Also, where does it mention creating time for fun on a business plan!? It’s not all about sales reports and growth, it’s about designing a life you love living. So my best advice is not to follow a business model, but create a life plan, that way it will always be sustainable and enjoyable.
What’s your design process and is there anything you do to help to get the ideas rolling?
We travel to destinations that are really rich in culture and creativity, and this inspires new lines and techniques. We like to start at the end and work backward. So we will picture the end result, roughly plot out how many earrings and rings we need, then dive into the meanings before drawing them up. Sometimes ideas come in the middle of the night, or on a walk, we always have lots of pencils and notes to hand.
What is your workspace style and what essentials would we find on your desk at the moment?
We have created two workspaces in NZ now and one in London. We approached the design of the shops in a similar way to the jewellery design, we considered how we want to feel in the space. For our latest renovation in City Works Depot we wanted to create a space that felt calm, welcoming and uplifting. We had chairs and a sofa hand made for us by an Italian designer, and everything else was made locally. Claire Van Den Berg did the interior design, and I love the massive curtains she suggested. They were made from 90 metres of linen to divide the huge space if we want to focus on a job. My husband Teia did the fit-out, each desk we sit or stand at is made to measure for our purposes, so everything is beautiful but importantly functional and organised. My desk usually has an array of stones on it, for my bespoke clients. Lip balm, Waiheke lavender mist, and a vase from Astute Assembly.
What little pleasures have you found being at home?
I have LOVED the experience of being at home! The pleasures are not just little, they are profound, and I’m wondering how I can integrate them into my daily life going forward. I don’t want to go back to how it was before, I want to hold the feeling of freedom and time to connect and prepare beautiful meals and move forward with ease. Work is busy and there will always be little road bumps to navigate, but I guess it’s made me appreciate all the small things, and how important it is to make time to exercise as a family, learn new recipes and just play together.
What should every woman have in her wardrobe?
Clothes that are suited to her body type, clothes that make her feel like a woman, comfortable, that are stylish but worn with ease. And FUN. I like to dress for occasions, so I have some loungewear, work ear, adventure wear. And party pieces.
How would you describe your personal style?
I love the feel of clothes, so I choose materials that are made of natural origin. I’m more interested in items that suit me as opposed to items that are on-trend. I’m a white dress girl, not a little black dress girl. And I’m not scared of colours, but I’m not big on patterns, as my jewellery is usually the detail of the outfit, and patterns compete with accessory details.
Do you have any fashion tips for other mums out there?
Wear what makes you feel good. With little ones at home, their mood is dependent on yours, so if you need to lift the mood by wearing something that’s not practical, go for it! I enjoyed wearing silk shirts when I had babies, which is a little rebellious with baby dribble on shoulders, but it felt great for cuddles and made me feel stylish. I like to create a mood that I want to be in and clothes really help!
Where to from here, what’s next for Zoe & Morgan?
We are very focused on running a responsible business. Looking at our materials and questioning everything, and fine tuning it. At Superette you can expect to see a growing collection of pieces to layer in with existing pieces. And on our website you can expect a growing collection of One Of A Kind pieces, made from unique mineral specimens and made using recycled gold. We are also launching a new Modern Love capsule later this year, which is an all inclusive line for men, women, singles, couples - anyone wanting to celebrate a milestone.