Our latest workspace feature for ‘An Organised Life with…’ is none other than Rachel Sloane, Co-Founder & Creative Director of luxury jewellery design house Naveya & Sloane. Renowned for their iconic engagement, wedding & fine jewellery collections, every piece is designed & made in-house at their beautiful Auckland, New Zealand head office & studio including their completely one-off bespoke pieces. We visited Rachel to talk about her brand, her biggest highs & lows, and of course how she stays organised while managing a big team & fast-growing business.
Tell us about the moment you decide to start Naveya & Sloane - was there a light bulb moment?
I actually did have a lightbulb moment that I remember clearly. At the time, I knew I wanted to start my own brand but wasn’t sure exactly what. One day I was sewing (I was making costumes at the time) and I had this moment when I could see and feel exactly what I wanted my brand to be. I knew exactly what I wanted to do and remember thinking about the parachute symbol as well - which became a signature symbol of our brand. From there I designed a brand book and started designing the first collection.
What has your biggest pinch me moment/s been?
I think the biggest pinch-me moments for me personally have been the times where we have come together as a whole team to celebrate a launch, a special bespoke piece, an event or even an award that we have all worked collectively on /towards. Day to day our large team focuses so heavily on their specific jobs and it’s so special for me when I see everyone really stop & celebrate together. Everyone is so passionate & hard working, each individual is involved in making those special moments happen for our amazing customers.
Designed and handcrafted in your beautiful Auckland studio + workshop, each of your renowned engagement rings (& other pieces) are tailored and unique to the person they are made for. You have such a beautiful approach to your customers experience and pay attention to every detail - ensuring the product and the process is special and of the highest quality. You should be so proud of what you have created. I'm sure having these amazing standards and values within your brand hasn't always made it the most straight forward process at times. What have the most challenging moments been and how did you power through and keep going?…
I don’t think I could pinpoint ‘the’ most challenging moment. I think running a business in general comes with lots of challenges and you have to be happy for it to be that way - that is business! You have to be prepared and ready for it - noting that every day is going to be a journey. You also have to be creative enough to find a solution for problems and to also take time to celebrate the successes.
I think how I have personally worked through the challenges is by being really passionate about what we do at N&S. I think it’s important to have a strong purpose and passion for what you do. If you don’t really truly love it, you probably won't last very long. Having a higher purpose, and finding something that adds value to the world is so important. Also surround yourself with great people - family, friends, mentors and a team that have the same vision as you so that you can get through the challenges together.
Apart from your loved ones and partner, Alex, who else supports your with your business?
I have always had great coaches throughout different stages of my business. High-performance sportspeople always have a great coach and being in business you have that high-performance approach too. It’s important to have a coach by your side.
How do you organise your life?
I have to write everything down into my phone or a notebook - everything I need to action; a concept or a visual, and that frees up my brain space. I need to get it out and onto paper or my phone, and from there I prioritise & action it.
What are you disorganised at!?
I’m very organised & disciplined at work but I’m not the best at organising my personal life! I’m working on being better at that.
Stationery wise - are you a….Diary Lover / To Do List Lover / Calendar Lover / Sketch Book lover - or all of the above?!
For me, a Notebook is a must - one that I can carry in my bag where I can capture ideas, jewellery designs etc - I always have a pencil and a notebook, they are so critical to me.
What are the workspace essentials we would find at your desk on any given day?
A really good pencil - I only use Blackwing pencils or mechanical pencils for my sketches.
- A Notepad - for documenting visuals, designs, etc., I’m such a visual person
- My AOL Diary
- Tools and trays for jewellery designs and waxes
- Nice books that are inspiring
And finally - the fun part - what are your plans + goals for Naveya & Sloane?
As a brand, we are currently really focused on wedding and engagement jewellery and we want to do that really really well. Offering our customers a premium experience and service. We are always innovating and improving and now we are also wanting to expand into other areas. For example ready to wear and celebration pieces, so we are getting that creative journey underway and started. Our other focus is setting up the business to be sustainable and scalable.
Want to see more of Naveya & Sloane?
Visit Naveya & Sloane HERE
Follow Naveya & Sloane HERE
PHOTOGRAPHY By the wonderful Hannah Roche