I am thrilled to have New Zealand jewellery designer Cathy Pope here today to answer a few questions for us. I am a massive fan of her work and am lucky enough to own one of her gorgeous necklaces, with the dream of owning more one day. Thank you so much for your time Cathy.
I’ve worked in the tv and film industry as a Costume Designer for the past 16 years and didn’t plan on becoming a jewellery designer. I call my jewellery business a ‘happy accident’. Until two years ago I never wore necklaces because I didn’t suit fine jewellery and found a lot of bolder jewellery looked cheap and mass produced. I’d been given some large faceted gemstones and decided to put one between a chain and then suddenly the penny dropped! This was the necklace I’d been searching for. Almost immediately people complimented it and soon I started making them for friends. I walked into a shop one day and the shop assistant admired my necklace and they became my first retailer. So it was all a little unplanned and here I am two years later with 23 retailers across NZ. It’s been such an unexpected and exciting experience. My brand ethos reflects this journey and I really want to keep the range boutique, sought after and not mass produced. Cathy Pope Jewellery is for women who don’t follow the crowd and who want to wear quality pieces that are a little different.
Who or what inspires you?
Travel and beauty are my two biggest inspirations. I prefer style over fashion and simple, classic designs over too much detail. I especially enjoy imperfections and irregularities in design and working with natural crystals that are pieces of the earth. I love the contrasts of faceted gemstones and highly polished perfect chains. Gemstones have metaphysical properties that really interest me and each stone has a story to tell that is passed on to its wearer. Travel is a great way to collect jewellery and find inspiration and learn about other cultures.
hat websites/blogs are you currently clicking on?
I’m an Instagram addict and follow lots of different people for design inspiration rather than following what’s on trend. I really like the Australian jewellery brand Mania Mania, Mociun and British designer Polly Wales and they way they embrace gemstones and irregularities. For fashion I keep an eye on couture brands like Celine and Valentino and I love what Ari Seth Cohen does with older women on his blog Advanced Style. I’m a little random.
How would you describe your style, both fashion and interior?
Simple and eclectic modern with a twist of nostalgia. I love colour and textures and my home has a white base with bold pops of oranges, pinks and turquoise in soft furnishings and artwork. Similarly my jewellery design is colourful and bold and like many NZ women I wear a lot of black. I use accessories ie jewellery, shoes and bags as my feature pieces on a classic base. My aim is to create timeless jewellery that withstands fads and trends and is treasured by it’s owner.
Any future plans that you can let us in on?
I’m in India working with my manufacturers at the moment and have some exciting new ranges we are working on. Its still early days for my business but I’ve found my bolder signature look is where I’m putting my focus. I’m planning on growing the business so I can work in it full-time as I’m still freelancing as a Costume Stylist on tv commercials. The plan is to find new export markets in 2016.
Thanks so much Cathy.
Thanks so much Cathy.