Meet the Maker: Shelley Tzeegankoff of Porter Jewellery

Porter Jewellery founder Shelley Tzeegankoff

When and how did Porter Jewellery come about? 

I’ve always been a lover of gold jewellery and over the years really struggled to find beautiful quality pieces at an affordable price point which wouldn’t turn green after a couple wears.   After a lot of research, back and forth with my production factories with hundreds of tested samples later I felt I perfected the most beautiful range of high-quality traditional jewels which I could continually wear and wear both in the water and shower and hold onto its beauty and shine; Porter was officially birthded in Aug 2019 with our first concept boutique opening just over a year after the online launch of 2020.

How would you describe the Porter Jewellery customer?

She has a strong sense of style, confident in her feminine form and treasures her independence. The yin & yang of masculine and feminine with her style approach

Porter Jewellery at the Bondi Beach concept boutique

What has been the highlight of your brand/career to date? 

I would definitely say the opening of our beautiful Bondi Beach concept boutique.  This was a huge milestone for Porter and a space that really brought the brand to life. It truly is my happy place coming to work most days and meeting my beautiful customers face to face.

Any advice you would give to someone thinking of starting a brand?

To not be afraid to take risks (calculated risks) and just go for it! Also, do your market research. Is your brand relevant, has it been done before (if so, can you do it better?), is there a gap in the market and how can you fill it?

Do you have a favourite style that you’ve created over the years?

I would definitely say the Nixon Bracelet is my favourite piece I’ve designed to date. This piece brings back so many fond memories of my childhood and my grandma used to wear a very similar piece when I was a little girl. All of my designs are inspired by traditional heirlooms my grandparents used to wear.

What inspires your products and aesthetic and how do you keep it relevant? 

As mentioned above, all my pieces are inspired by traditional heirloom so I’m forever pulling inspiration from generations before my time and recreating them with a modern twist.

I’m also creating pieces that resonate so deeply with me and my personal style and that I’m unable to find on the market or even at an affordable price point. In terms of staying relevant, my most loved pieces in the range such as the Hailey Snake Chain and 90’s Hoops are forever heirlooms which are classic, and don’t go out of style due to their classic & undatable designs.

What is something not that many people know about you or your brand?

Maybe that I never studied, and everything learnt to date about design or retail was all from working in the industry/researching. I’ve worked in retail for around 12 years and that’s what I feel gives Porter the edge in the market as we hear directly our customers likes/dislikes and are able to implement accordingly on our designs.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been  given? 

To stay in your lane (don’t look around or copy what others are doing. Stay focused on what you’re doing and stick to what you do really well) and always trust your gut! (because when things go wrong or don’t turn out like you hoped you’ll wish you listened to that gut feeling)

Describe your style in three words:

Balanced / masculine / feminine

What’s your daily go-to outfit?

Oversized blazer, denim jeans, gold hoops and a great oversized shirt. My current favourite oversized shirts are by Blanca

What should every woman have in her wardrobe?

A great pair of denim jeans and a classic pair of gold hoops. Game changer.

From left to right: Croissant Earrings | Croissant Ring

What’s your favourite thing about living in Sydney?

Definitely the beautiful beaches and coastline.  Me and my partners favourite thing to do on a Sunday morning is a coffee & do the Bondi – Coogee coastal walk. Also because we truly have everything at our fingertips here in Bondi. There’s a reason the call it the Bondi bubble. We never have to leave!

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