jewellery designer nga waiata

One of my favourite interviews from Kate Bezar's last issue of Dumbo feather as editor was with jewellery designer Nga Waiata. Not only did I fall in love with her designs, but her positivity and outlook on life. After many years living the high fashion life she returned to New Zealand and became an artist, as well as the creator behind her amazing ring collection, which are made from crystals and recycled hardwood. And regularly when she wears the citrine design lucky things happen to her.

Which five words best describe you? Drifty, complicated, luminous, transforming, absolute.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? It has been an extremely long road of wrong but okay jobs until recently (just about to turn 49!). Sorted out my self-esteem and became the confident-in-my-own-talent woman I am today. Starting my two businesses in 2009 coincidentally right in the recession has shown me what I make I can sell successfully!

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? If I visualise it I can make it happen, and if I don’t know something - get the experts in quick! Also, to be patient and build good relationships.

What’s your proudest career achievement? Selling my work in Barneys Stores: Madison Ave, Soho and Beverly Hills! Also in Zambesi, Zimmermann, Eg.Etal, Safari Living, and being in some super cool mags and blogs. Also making money from what I love to do are all very proud achievements.

What’s been your best decision? Five years ago I decided to stop alcohol and cigs, etc. Hangovers are yuk and impossible to being creative. Looking after my health in every way is key to my success.

Who inspires you? Agnes Martin grid painter art star, Robert Ryman and others from the 1960s American Abstract Expressionist Movement. Georgian artisans from the 4th century.. and in this decade: Leanne and Brian Culy, Nikki Gabriel, Liz from Zambesi, Peter Baker, David Moreland, Marni designer Consuelo Castiglioni, Dries Van Noten and Emily Kame Kngwarreye.

What are you passionate about? Creating my ideas, new mags, fave blogs, beautiful packaging and graphics, morning meditative walks, dreaming, wearing the best clothes! Watching fun TV and stylish movies... having honest conversations, being in native forests, self-development, having a laugh with my friends and going to luxury spas, which I haven’t done yet!

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Agnes Martin; she’d probably be grumpy and dismissive but I’d love to have a cup of tea with her in her New Mexican studio, and whilst I am imagining if she wanted to, I’d be honoured if Emily Kngwarreye was there with us - now that would be the ultimate.

What dream do you still want to fulfil? My work to be featured in Vogue magazine, to earn huge amounts of money so I can giveaway half of it. To create a contemporary and luxurious healing centre. Oh, and I am also developing a TV show - watch this space!

What are you reading? Reality transurfing: The future to the past - a fascinating, mind-expanding, energy-enhancing familiar read. Also a huge pile of mags, especially Fantastic Man andThe Gentlewoman, the best mags ever. And “Why are Aboriginal people being so badly treated and misunderstood in their own country - still?” - this book doesn’t exist yet but someone seriously needs to write it.

images courtesy of brian culy