Hayley King aka Flox (left) and Cathy Pope (right) wearing the Amity necklace they’ve collaborated on. Image supplied.
Flox and Cathy Pope Jewellery have collaborated on a beautiful limited edition piece of jewellery that’s out today. The Amity Necklace is a clever combination of their talents as an artist (Flox aka Hayley King) and jeweller (Cathy Pope) and is a product of the twosome’s long-term friendship.
The necklace itself features Art Nouveau and New Zealand influences with stencil patterns of the native Harakeke Flax and Kowhai flower. It is embellished with the ‘Stone of Successful Love’, Emerald; Citrine, for manifestation; and clear quartz as an amplifying stone. The Amity Necklace was also inspired by 1930’s pendants and designed to be a keepsake treasure with timeless charm. The intention is to bring the wearer qualities that the word ‘amity’ and the gemstones represent, friendship, peace, harmony and abundance.
We caught up with Cathy and Hayley to find out more about their collaboration, their friendship and what their advice is for other small business owners?
How did this collaboration come about and what was the inspiration behind it?
Cathy: Hayley and I had been loosely talking about a collaboration for a few years but the timing just wasn’t right so we never forced it. Earlier this year we revisited the idea and agreed we’d start the process by creating some mood boards and spending a few months slowly working on it. We gave ourselves plenty of design time for a November pre-Christmas launch.
As friends and collaborators how do you find working together and what skills do you appreciate and admire in each other?
Cathy: We actually met on a small business course almost 20 years ago so right from the start we clicked as ambitious creatives starting our businesses from scratch. We’ve floated in and out of each others lives over the years but in 2015 Hayley suggested we do something in India together which is where our first major international (and very ambitious) collaboration began called The Painted Peacock Project. We worked with two other friends Ema Frost and Sacha Stejko and taught workshops to children in India, created a huge wall mural in Udaipur (which is now a tourist destination), created work back in NZ that we sold and then we donated our profits back to the school.
It was a mammoth heart project and incredibly rewarding but exhausting. Since then we’ve travelled around NZ to provincial towns doing pop ups which were a huge success and showed us there is a strong synergy we share with our customers. We’re both share a love of beauty, femininity and good design and we’re always pushing ourselves as individuals professionally and personally. We’re both also business driven, fast decision makers, fair and we can discuss things openly. Most importantly we’ve been through so much together that the trust is implicit and this is key for a successful collaboration.
What is something you were surprised or delighted to learn about each other in your friendship?
Cathy: Hayley has taught me to be less emotional in my business. By nature I get quite overwhelmed and overthink things and I’ve always admired how stoic she is, at least on the surface. It’s taught me to separate things and view situations more simply.
Hayley: Cathy has a very strong business sense and is really connected with her fanbase. Her ability to see things from a from a commercial perspective while being really personable has contributed to her thriving business.
Hayley (left) and Cathy (right) during the design process.
Both of you are passionate about women supporting women in life and in business, how do you carry that into each of your businesses?
We both regularly collaborate with other women on various projects and that was certainly evident when we did The Painted Peacock Project. Although that project was more about giving back to children who needed it more than us, so it was heart based rather than business. We try and stay in touch with like-minded women through networking and getting involved in projects that spin our wheels. We both believe that we grow through lifting others up.
Hayley: It’s always such a motivator to surround myself with business savvy women, and in general women who like to be in control of their own destiny. I wouldn’t call it a conscious decision but in terms of where I am now in business, most of the people I work with and around are actually women, and this in itself is really uplifting.
As small business owners yourselves what advice do you have for those who also want to have their own businesses?
Cathy: My advice would be to try everything when you’re starting out just so you get a gauge for what works and what doesn’t. My first few years were mainly about taking opportunities. I also believe its important to grow slowly and don’t take too many risks, especially financial that will cause you more stress. Most importantly always listen to your gut feelings and intuition because they’re usually right.
Hayley: Running your own business is challenging and rewarding all at the same time. My advice always to people looking at giving it go is to keep all your doors open, opportunities can sometimes come through unlikely avenues.
Looking to the future, how far ahead do you plan and what makes you excited about the future?
Cathy: I’m planning ahead for 2020 and have some exciting new lines of jewellery and growth on the cards for Cathy Pope Jewellery. We’ll be taking things up a notch next year. I’m in the process of sampling and working on new collections so I’ll have a better idea of where things are at when they’re finished. The end of the year is always my busiest with customer events and of course the launch of our Amity necklace is so exciting it makes me excited as we’re already talking about our next collaboration jewellery piece so watch this space…
Hayley: I have multiple mural and collaborative projects on the horizon, never a dull moment! My product lines are looking likely to take a huge shift this year, as we’ll be shifting most of our manufacturing to India, so I’m extremely excited to see what comes out of this transition… watch this space! Namasté.
The Amity Necklace in gold and silver.