How did Jasmin Sparrow come about?
I started out playing around and making pieces of jewellery by hand, I’d make pieces for myself and had more and more people asking to buy them. I completed a Diploma in Jewellery Design in 2011 and have built the brand very slowly since then. After finishing the diploma I continued perfecting my skill in my studio and began running jewellery workshops. I launched a website and as demand grew I took manufacturing offshore to Bali. It has been a slow and steady process that has evolved in a very natural and organic way.
This is one of our favourite questions to ask our international labels. You’re based in New Zealand, would you say that there is a definitive ‘Kiwi’ style. If so how would you describe it?
I wouldn’t say there is a ‘Kiwi style’ as such. I think there are some amazing brands coming out of New Zealand at the moment, and all of these brands have a very international feel. It’s a small and supportive industry which I feel lucky to be a part of, we’re all friends and support each other, it’s a nice community, I’m not sure you’d find that in other countries.
We love that you have an ethical approach to sourcing and crafting your jewellery. Can you give our readers a simple way they can be more ethically minded/ sustainable when purchasing jewellery?
Being mindful when purchasing and understanding the value of an item. Jewellery making is a very time-consuming craft, hours of work will go into a single piece. I think it’s important we all consider where items come from and what has gone on behind the scenes to bring that piece to life. When shopping at fast fashion stores it’s impossible that anyone behind a $10 pair of earrings has been looked after or paid fairly. Also shopping with longevity in mind, you want to buy pieces you’ll treasure for life, trends come and go, buy timeless pieces you know you’ll love forever.
What’s the best piece of professional advice you’ve ever been given?
Trust your instinct.
We’re fascinated by the gold plating process is conducted in-house to create a perfect gold colouring. What made you start to do your own gold plating. What does this process look like?
I used to do the gold plating in Bali but the colouring was inconsistent, they love bright gold in Indonesia and could never understand me wanting to tone it down. I worked with a local goldsmith who has run a gold plating business for years. We came up with the perfect colour and he now does all of our plating.
How would you like women to feel when wearing your jewellery?
Elegant and empowered.
What sets Jasmin Sparrow apart from other jewellery brands?
JS offers a catalogue of classic adornments in modern, sculptural forms. I think we have a unique offering, we are explorative with how we design and the pieces we offer, but always design with the same values.
Do you have a favourite piece from your latest range?
The new collection is one of my favourite collections to date, it’s difficult to pick a favourite! The Mermaid Earrings are really special, the process of bringing these to life was different to any of our other styles, we sourced the beautiful pearls first and I worked closely with one of our in-house jewellers to come up with a style that best suited the pearls. I love that they are made in NZ using all locally sourced materials, it’s nice being able to support the jewellery industry here. I wear the gold sparkle bracelet with smokey quartz every single day, it’s a unique piece that really pops when layered with my other gold bracelets. I love the long sparkle earrings too, it’s impossible to pick a favourite!
How would you describe your style?
I love classic, timeless pieces. My style is quite minimal most of the time, occasionally I’ll splash out and wear something different. I need my clothing to be comfortable and versatile while still looking chic. My favourite brands are (Old) Celine, Toteme, Jil Sander, Lemaire, Simone Rocha and Georgia Alice is my go to NZ brand.
Lastly, What advice would you give to a young designer wanting to start their own brand?
Stay focused, work hard, and don’t expect success to come over night. Surround yourself with people who support and inspire you and keep learning and educating yourself wherever you can. It’s a journey, you need to be passionate and committed.