Jewellery designer Zoë Porter. Image supplied.
Zoë Porter designs her eponymous jewellery label from her hometown of Wellington and the jewellery designer is driven by her desire to create beautiful things. Her business has a focus on sustainable and ethical principles and uses traditional tools and methods in her workshop. Zoë attended the London Jewellery School and graduated with an Advanced Diploma in Silversmithing in 2015, she’s been selling her elegant designs ever since.
We caught up with Zoë to find out more about her brand, what inspires her and what you would never catch her wearing!
Tell us about your latest collection?
I mostly make commissioned pieces so over the summer it has consisted of a lot of bridal jewellery; matching earrings and necklaces for bridesmaids, cufflinks and tie or lapel pins for groomsmen. When the wedding season quietens down, I’ll be launching some of my more organic pieces. Melted silver and gooey gold set with diamonds and rubies.
What made you become a designer?
Simply, my love for making things. I’d describe myself as more of a maker than a designer. I remember, I designed and made the world’s most hideous letterbox at primary school, I blame the fact that we had to design it first before getting to play around with the hammer. I’m a problem-solver, I think it all started off with me watching my dad fix things. I love having an idea in my head and working out the best way to make it; which materials to use, which tools, which techniques.
What inspires you?
Anyone exploring new creative ways to reduce our impact on the environment. There are so many great small Kiwi businesses who are driven by ethical and environmental visions. Check out Indigo & Iris – they’ve launched an organic mascara with 50% of their profits paying for restorative eyesight operations in the Pacific – a truly inspiring initiative.
Jewellery pieces by Zoë Porter.
Describe your personal style and how it influences your designs?
I’m the queen of casual, so anything comfortable! I guess that shows through the way all my jewellery can be worn every day. If you try on my Molten rings, the metal sits so comfortably on your finger. They’re all one of a kind, so they become homely, personal and familiar.
What is your all-time favourite purchase?
At the moment, my black Miss Crabb Atomic dress, you can wear it to a black-tie dinner one day and over a stripy-longsleeve to Book Club the next.
What wardrobe item should everyone invest in?
Everybody needs a white tee.
Do you have a style rule you always obey?
I don’t know if its a style rule as such but I try to practice what I preach and buy NZ designed or made when it’s available. A huge part of my brand is making sure I know where everything comes from. I use recycled silver and gold, only buying eco-silver and Fair Trade Gold, making sure stones are ethically mined and using environmentally friendly processes whenever possible. We have such a great range of Kiwi designers it makes it easy to support them, so I guess my style rule is – try keep it local!
Necklace by Zoë Porter.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Making two of my very best friends engagement rings. It was so special to be approached by both of their partners and asked to do it. I was making both at the start of last year and it really tested my secret keeping. I actually hand delivered one to Greece, as my friend and her partner were traveling at the time – any excuse for a holiday!
What can’t you live without?
Monopoly Deal – the very best card game.
Finish this sentence – You would never catch me wearing…
High-heels. But I’m trying to change!