Riding high on the joy that comes from celebrating ten years in business and opening a beautiful new store and showroom, the team at Zoe & Morgan are as sparkly, warm and creative as their breathtaking jewellery.
We spoke to co-founder Zoe Williams for issue one of Together Journal, on working with family, travel, inspiration and of course, engagement rings…
Making jewellery runs in the family, was your father the first?
Yes, dad was from Argentina, but learnt the trade in Germany. He had a shop in Ibiza, England and France, but in the ‘70s decided to come to the peaceful Pacific. His shop, Moonbird, was in Devonport where we grew up, and we used to go to his shop every day after school. I hope my children visit me each day after school also, when they’re old enough to get there on their own!
And it’s still a family business?
Yes, Zoe & Morgan is run by my brother Morgan (who lives in Bali), sister Ruth (who lives in London and runs our store in Primrose Hill) and me in New Zealand with our Auckland shop. We all collaborate on the design process. Morgan sources our stones and hard-to-find materials and manages production, while Ruth and I manage our stores and stockists.
Your first store was a pop-up in Montenegro and now you have a stores in Auckland and London…
We grew up with the saying, ‘The world is your cottage, freedom your friend’, so I guess opening up all over the world seemed like a sensible idea! Morgan wants to open another shop in Ibiza next…
And you exhibit each year at Paris and London Fashion Weeks. Do your customers have noticeably different tastes in jewellery?
They certainly do. Our English Roses like our fine and gold collections, our Parisians like the more edgy styles and are not shy of a more unisex, tougher look, and our New Zealanders really like the items with meaning and a story.
Where do you draw inspiration?
From our travels, from the history of jewellery and from the stones themselves – if the stone is a one-off, unique cut or style then the design starts around that.
Tell us about your engagement collection?
This is our favourite collection! We’ve met so many amazing couples and feel honoured to be a part of their journey. I love hearing about their lives and making really personal rings. We have enquiries from all over the world.
You also offer a bespoke service…
Clients come in for an initial meeting and we gather all the information here. We follow this up with drawings, and work with our clients to get a perfect result. We also re-make family jewellery – this is a great way to wear something that’s been treasured by generations before you. We melt down the metal, pop out the stones and make something totally modern, yet with history and its own story.
Tell us about some of the special engagement/wedding rings you’ve worked on?
They all seem special to be honest, as each person we’ve made rings for has their own story that makes them unique. Some people want really special stones, so there’s a hunt that happens to fit the bill. Geology and diamond grading is fascinating, so we get to strengthen these skills through our everyday work, which is a treat.
What’s most popular in these rings right now?
Round brilliant diamond engagement rings are still the world’s most popular shape and best-selling style, so yes, we do sell these, but our customers seek us out for something different also. Our customers are savvy, well-travelled, open-minded types and they come to us with curious minds looking to get something made that’s classic enough for it to remain a loved ring always, yet a little different. Our Freya ring is the most popular off-the-shelf ring.
What are some things about Zoe & Morgan that people might not know?
That we started the business 10 years ago in London, making jewellery on our kitchen table, and Claudia Schiffer was one of our first celebrities to call up and order some jewellery. She sent a cheque in the post and Morgan thought I was mad for banking it and not keeping the cheque as a souvenir of the time!
Interview by Josie Steenhart
Photos by Delena Nathuran