As the co-founder of jewellery brand Naveya & Sloane, Rachel Sloane has been present for some of the most important moments of many people’s lives.
She created the company with her partner in life and business, Alex Bunnett, in 2010. They started out with a fine jewellery collection sold at stockists via wholesale, before evolving into made-to-order and bespoke designs – which include many engagement and wedding rings.
They opened the Fearon Hay-designed Naveya & Sloane showroom in 2013, a serene space in the heritage Imperial Buildings, three levels above Auckland’s Queen Street. Their in-house jewellery workshop opened soon after, allowing clients to watch their next heirloom being crafted through the glass door.
“Having our artisans close allowed us to specialise in this area,” Sloane tells Broadsheet about the company’s made-to-order service. “Crafting bespoke jewellery at a consistently high standard is no small feat; it takes a dedicated team and specialised technology. We're all about celebrating our clients' meaningful milestones and infusing their unique stories into each piece of jewellery.”
Sloane recently returned from maternity leave and says she has a newfound sense of purpose. “Returning to Naveya & Sloane has been an absolute joy. It's my passion and is my second home,” she says. “Being a mum is a monumental learning curve and over the past few years I have realised my creative side is a big part of who I am – and how important it is to me.”
Her influences have shifted, she says, and while timeless design has always been one of the company’s core principles, ready-to-wear collections that celebrate milestones have become even more of a passion.
This includes the 11-piece Romeo Flower collection, the Darling Knots pendant and the Lovers Knot ring – inspired by various aspects of motherhood, familial bonds or loving relationships, and designed to be passed down generations.
The Naveya & Sloane team wants anyone who visits the showroom to make themselves at home. “We want our clients to feel celebrated, empowered and authentic,” says Sloane. “Whether you're designing a bespoke piece from a blank piece of paper or choosing a design that speaks to your heart, it's a place to take some time and space for yourself.”
During your appointment, you can sip on New Zealand-made drinks from Cloudy Bay, Garage Project and Studio Red Wellness. Natural light streams in through the showroom’s windows, illuminating the art hanging on the walls – currently from Auckland painter Loren Marks – and furniture from local design house Simon James.
Having people come to them, the team can observe any general changes in how their customers approach important milestones.
“Around six years ago, we began to see more of a shift where couples started designing engagement rings as a team,” says Sloane. “It's such a wonderful experience, building something together that symbolises their love.” There are still loads of clients who keep it a surprise, and Sloane says she enjoys seeing people owning their unique take on tradition.
“My absolute favourite part is hearing our clients’ stories. Being a part of their unique journey, whether celebratory or poignant, fills me with joy. That's what truly inspires me and why I go to work every day.”
Naveya & Sloane
Level 3, Imperial Buildings, 44 Queen Street, Auckland
(09) 373 4370
Mon to Fri 9am–5pm