Going bespoke is a lovely tribute to a special relationship.
It’s inherently romantic to seek out your own symbolic sparkle mixed with gorgeous gold, silver or platinum. In fact, deciding on an engagement ring, wedding rings, or other special occasion jewellery is one of life’s most delightful times.
A family-owned Christchurch business since 1996, Via Sollertia of New Regent Street is a family of young inspired designers who welcome client input. For those who want to buy on the spot, a tempting display of hand-crafted beauties – both vintage and modern – awaits.
It’s not necessarily more expensive, but definitely more exciting to help in the initial design, stone selection and perfect-fit of your own rings. Via Sollertia Manager Joel says some clients opt to bring them old or inherited pieces for a remodel into something intimate and exclusive, to love now.
Kagi is a Kiwi brand that tickles the fancy of the magpies amongst us. Metropol talks to founder Kat Gee about her passion for jewellery and how she balances motherhood and business.
You were quite young when you established Kagi, where did your passion for jewellery come from?
I have always had a passion for jewellery from a young girl fossicking through my grandma’s bead drawers to selling jewellery to classmates aged 7; a career in jewellery seemed inevitable.
Looking back, I was very young to start up a business but I guess that was the beauty of it; I didn’t know what I didn’t know and literally felt like I had nothing to lose…
You’ve been incredibly successful. Why do you think people have connected with your designs?
For me the measure of success is more about doing what I love and feeling fulfilled by my work – I am lucky enough to do my passion for a living so in that respect, I am blessed.
I love creating beautiful unique jewellery that makes women feel fabulous and special. The women who wear our Kagi brand are always who we design for first and foremost and there is nothing more rewarding than seeing them enjoying our designs. I think women connect with our brand as we listen to them and design what they want – we don’t tell women what to wear, we listen to what they tell us.
How would you define the Kagi brand?
Kagi is about letting your own unique style shine. We are a brand that allows women to feel fabulous everyday.
Along with your firstborn (the business), you have a small human in your charge. How do you balance motherhood and a successful business?
It’s a constant juggle and some days I feel as if I’m not winning and then other days are high fives all round! At the end of the day though we all do the best we can as working mums and need to cut ourselves some slack. The whole concept of ‘you can have it all!’ needs a wee subtitle added ‘but not at the same time…’ as we put so much pressure on ourselves to have every plate spinning perfectly at all times.“I was very young to start up a business, but I guess that was the beauty of it.”
What exciting plans do you have in the works for the next 12 months?
Hahaha a break from having children! It will be nice to move out of nappies that’s for sure and recover two years’ worth of sleep! In terms of Kagi we are contining our Kat Gee collaboration and we have some very exciting new colourful and sparkly designs in the mix – it’s by far our best range yet and comes out early July. I still run my business remotely, so I’d say there will be some more travel in there and we have a couple of trips planned to Raro with the kids for some relaxation and recharging.
Designing has always been what floats Clare’s boat. Training initially as an architect, the Manager of Via Sollertia knew that jewellery design was actually where her heart lay. It still does.
Which is kind of great for someone who collaborates with couples over rings; the symbols of their enduring love.
Clare custom-designs for both locals and clients across the globe, from Via Sollertia’s New Regent Street boutique. Increasingly she’s asked for peachy, pinky, champagne-coloured diamonds in oval, marquise and pear-shaped engagement rings.
The stones and metallics at Clare’s atelier are spectacular. She lights up when talking about cuts of diamond and how a jewel will sit on a hand; matters of size, proportion and reflective qualities… all brilliant designer elements of every bespoke gift.
At Via Sollertia on New Regent Street, Clare and the team are adding sophisticated sparkle – and colour – to their clients’ lives.
Ever-evolving styles are ushering in a new era of striking coloured stones and Via Sollertia is at the forefront, with an exceptional and exquisite selection. “We’re noticing a strong trend of people choosing something with colour versus the traditional white diamond,” Clare explains.
“Sapphires and diamonds are the most common stones used in engagement rings, but I’m not sure everyone would know that sapphires are available in not just blue.”
They also come in green, yellow, orange and pink. Even rarer sapphire colours include the padparadscha sapphire – a deep peachy pink. “Diamonds don’t just come in white either; they come in champagne, chocolate, yellow, pink and even grey/silver!”
Tourmaline is also winning affections as an affordable stone that comes in a range of colours. “They come in varying shades of green, pink/red and blue. The designs you can create around a coloured stone are fun and interesting and you can hand-select a particular stone yourself. We have a large range in store as well as fab suppliers who can send us particular stones for clients to view.”
Having an array of beautiful jewellery to choose from is a joy and, for Petersens Jewellers in the Bush Inn Centre, offering it is a privilege.
Synonymous with high quality brands hailing from as far as Germany, Petersens’ clients benefit from the adventurous and trained eye of owner/operator Brent Morrison who handpicks not only the world-class diamonds on offer, but every range that graces the walls of his sophisticated store.
Brent travels to Antwerp twice a year to personally select his diamonds to ensure every diamond is high quality. Petersens has a range of cuts and carats to suit every budget and is a specialist in bespoke pieces of jewellery.
Brand new to the jeweller – and the only collection currently in Christchurch – is Couer De Lion. Timeless and season-transcending, the brand new pieces are based on geometrics. Titled ‘geocubes’, the collection has stunning necklaces featuring a combination of stones including Onyx and Swarovski crystal. There are beautiful and different textures created by these stones and striking colours that create a different looking accent with every different outfit you pair them with.
From soft teal blues inspired by the ocean to pretty pastals like quartz rose through to bold purples, reds and forest greens, Couer De Lion has a colour palette for every preference.
Colour is having its moment across the other collections featuring at Petersens, with the recently released ‘Tropical’ pieces by Thomas Sabo, who has also played with astronomy symbols like stars and taken inspiration from the nautical aesthetic with quirky features like starfish and anchors. Hearts and clovers add a romantic touch.
To discover the truly unique, modern diamonds and precious every day pieces, visit Petersens at Bush Inn Centre, Corner of Waimari Road and Riccarton Road or www.petersensjewellerschristchurch.co.nz.
Whether it’s an engagement ring or wedding bands, creating a symbol of everlasting love is a special responsibility.
Via Sollertia Jewellery also treats it as an incredible privilege. Designing and making beautiful handcrafted creations, as unique as the couple that buys them, Clare and the team approach each and every ring with impeccable attention to detail.
With coloured diamonds and gemstones gaining in popularity and less conventional designs taking centre stage, Via Sollertia is embracing this new direction and offers a stunning range of diamonds and gems to suit every preference.
Its Nu Proposal is another inspiring innovation providing the opportunity for proposals to be centered around the gem only – a process that can be undertaken by the proposal maker, or the couple, through a collaboration of ideas. The couple can then design a setting together.
Ready to make the commitment of a lifetime? Via Sollertia would be honoured to join you on the journey. Visit 11 New Regent Street and www.viasollertia.co.nz.
Silver linings have been known to take many forms and the latest is a rather fashionable one.
Somewhere between the fluorescent headbands, shoulder-pads and roll-neck skivvies of the 80s, metallics got a bad rap. But now they’re emerging with a glamourous new look and, although head to toe may take the luster off this hot new trend, we’re here to help you find the shiny middle ground.
Accessories are the safe bet when you want to shine bright but not overwhelm. Dip your toes in the metallic waters in the more literal sense by starting with footwear, after all, a silver shoe is a pretty safe bet when it comes to putting your best foot forward.
A sweet silver clutch can take you from day to night and, and although they say diamonds are a girl’s best friend, silver has been winning some pretty illustrious affections in the jewellery department.
The future is certainly looking bright – and shiny.
Autumn brings both sunshine and showers and, to celebrate the season, stunning on-trend jewellery, scarves, gloves and sunnies are all at Token in Avonhead Shopping Centre.
Jewellery is going bold, says owner Eliza Rattray. Stella & Gemma earrings stun with feathers or heavy-chorded tassels in soft blush, blues, pinks and greys. It’s a refined twist on boho.
An exciting new jewellery range in Token is Wanderlust & Co, with its quixotic touch of the interstellar. Fine metals, in intricate detail and bold shapes, also include a charming astrology range.
Eliza has bought in lots of scarves – in autumnal hues of turmeric, olive, burgundy and navy. Snoods, faux-fur collars, chunky cable-knits, and fine patterned florals for warmer days, finish any outfit.
Stella & Gemma’s great-priced gloves are adorned with fur, pom poms and tassels, while its sunglasses range sees slightly smaller frames this season – with a retro edge. And the new Quay Sunglasses are oh so the latest thing.
It feels like a relaxed art gallery space – a place to browse, chat and fall in love with something precious. Via Sollertia Jewellers on New Regent Street sparkles a little differently.
“Many think handmade means out of reach,” says Manager Clare. “In reality, it isn’t.”
The 28-year-old has already been in the industry for 11 years. She’s fun, incredibly inspiring and her craft is her world. Treating every client equally, Via Sollertia creates affordable simplicity through to exquisite high-end.
Clare pushes boundaries by adapting up-to-the-minute trends from America, Asia and Europe – from period styles to contemporary simplicity. She hand-draws all her designs, encouraging client involvement, which are then handcrafted in-house. Display pieces are unique hand makes too.
“We also recreate old into new. Recently, a lady had her grandmother, aunt and mother’s jewels redesigned into a new ring. “There were hugs, tears of joy, laughter and sentiment. It automatically became special. That’s what this is about.”