Exclusive Interview with Cathy Pope

With such an amazing response to the first few pieces from Cathy Pope that came into Tessuti, we thought it would be nice to meet the lady behind these eye catching creations Cathy Pope. Both subtle, yet distinct, these beautifully simple and precious jewellery pieces are made by a woman who put style before fashion, is inspired by natural light and spends her Sunday's relaxing by the pool…  


- When did you start making jewellery and what was the motivation for doing so?

I started making necklaces about a year ago because I couldn’t find anything that I liked in the shops. I wanted a shorter style necklace that wouldn’t swing around and I wanted it to be a simple statement piece that was made of quality materials. I’ve always loved gemstones and I knew they would last. I came across these 14K gold-fill chains and loved the chunkiness of them and the way they felt like real quality, looked just like real gold but at a fraction of the price. For a good few months I wore mine every day and tested it’s durability by spraying perfume on it and it never really changed. However I don’t recommend people do this. Over the past year I experimented with different chains and stones and my friends loved them and literally bought them off my neck. That’s how it all started and at the end of last year I decided that I might be onto something so took it a bit further and launched the business.

- Tell us about your current collections that are in store at Tessuti. What were some of the inspirations for these pieces?

My current collection at Tessuti is exciting because it includes two new stones that I recently found when I was in Bali before Christmas. Ali emailed me to say she’s sold both on the first day she’d displayed them which was very encouraging! I’d never seen green amethyst before and I loved the subtle colour and the interesting facet cuts on this particular stone. I’ve always loved purple amethyst and the green is a heat treated version. Both coloured gemstones are great guarders against negativity in life. I was attracted to the tiger eye because of it’s beautiful satin shimmer and the threads of gold and dark brown. It looks great on the gold chain.

- What kind of girl/woman is the 'Cathy Pope' jewellery wearer?

She’s an individual and she is more interested in style than fashion. She wear classic basics and spices up her look with simple accessories and flair - a colourful scarf, fun shoes or statement jewellery. She likes buying her jewellery from boutique shops because she knows it’s unique and not everyone will be wearing the same thing.

- Tell us a bit about your workshop space.

When we bought our first home three years ago a detached studio was at the top of the list. It was important that I felt a sense of space from the house. Being a dressmaker I needed a large room to fit my industrial machines and cutting tables and I also needed it to be light and inspiring. My studio is all of these things and more. It’s a completely self contained space with kitchen and bathroom and I created a zen garden that my desk looks out to. I’ve set up a space for my jewellery so it's separate from my dressmaking. When I’m not working on T.V. commercials as a Wardrobe Stylist I enjoy spending my days there. Friends and clients pop in, the dog and cats keep me company and I bounce between making wedding dresses and bespoke garments and my necklaces. Having a great studio has made all the difference to my creativity and I’m constantly feeling inspired.

- Any artists/designers who work you admire? Where do you draw your inspiration for ideas from?

I love the designs of a San Francisco jewellery designer called Friedosophie. She uses gemstones and has a similar aesthetic to mine but her designs are more delicate. Surprisingly I've never been much of a jewellery person until recently and most pieces I have are sentimental. The only rings I wear are my fathers onyx signet ring together with my grandmothers wedding band and most recently my own wedding ring. I inherited a pair of beautiful earrings about 10 years ago and they are my signature piece. They have been the main inspiration behind a new range of earrings I’m currently designing.

- You work with different precious stones. Do you have a favourite, and why?

I think my favourite would be the onyx. I find it works with anything and when I go out I like to add other coloured gemstones and pile them up. If I wear black clothing near my face I like to wear the amethyst, green agate or golden calcite to brighten me up a bit. If I’m wearing a coloured or patterned top I find the black necklace simplifies things and brings it all together. Maybe it’s the protective qualities of the onyx that I like too - it’s a stone that is known for shielding the wearer from negativity and it makes them feel strong.

- Best place to eat out?

Weekend brunches at Fiesta in Pt Chev. It’s my local and the owners always make me feel so welcome, plus their coffee is superb.

- Favourite dish to cook friends at home?

My husband tells me that it used to be fish pie but as it's summer I’ve become partial to tasty salads and simple food while he cooks meat on the BBQ.

- Where might we find you on a Sunday?

Any of the following - walking the dog at Kakamatua beach, drinking coffee at The Waterview Coffee Project or on my lilo in the pool.


You can find Cathy Pope's jewellery in store now at Tessuti or online here: http://shop.tessuti.co.nz/products/ametrinechokerbycathypope

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