I am really pleased to bring you this bright light from the jewellery corner of our down under industry!
To me, Nina Gordon gleams with that kiwi girl, can-do attitude, which, I like to think sets us apart a little on the world stage. Her love of jewellery is founded in a love of working with her hands, something that was fostered by time spent with her Dad in his car wrecking yard….I’m not kidding. She is as gritty and cool as she sounds, and I think her shiny, strong aesthetic flows easily through every range she produces for her brand; FLASH .
As wearer of a FLASH ring myself, I can vouch for the everyday ease that comes with Nina’s style. My only problem is how long my wish list is!
I hope you all enjoy the interview below !
Nina, you share on your site that you began working with metal with your Dad at just 15.
What was it that appealed to you and what has been your path to end up designing for your own brand?
I’m really close with my family and they have had a massive influence on me being creative. I use to do metal work with my dad at a young age as he had a car wrecking yard. My after school job was pulling switches and gauges out of old cars on stacks – we have even built a car together (it’s my pride and joy #bogan). I wanted to become a mechanic like my Dad but my Mum got me into jewellery instead – she has the best collection and has always inspired me.
We both enrolled in jewellery night courses and my interest bloomed. Nelson is like a mecca for amazing jewellers and I have had many amazing teachers, I then became the regular at the studio enrolling in the course just to use the equipment. The thing I love about working with metal is you get instant results (lol It’s safe to say I have little patience!).
It wasn’t until I was in Wellington and was over my job as a coffee roaster, that I decided to follow my creative side and randomly applied for a job at a metal design firm. Working in the metal industry was interesting…hahaha.
I was the only female and all the men were 20 – 30 years my senior, the technology was all from the 70s (and the safety standards lol). I was just insanly lucky that the GM really liked me and I became his sidekick, he taight me so much about casting, plating and metal….. I don’t think I would ever do it again, but I’m so happy I did, as this is how Flash started.
Flash was a bit an accident, one day when on the factory floor I had brought along some of my silver rings as there were a few spaces available in a mould, so we casted them, plated them and Bam. Flash was born.
I gave these rings to all of my friends and word spread, so I decided to create a whole collection and the rest is history. It’s been a really organic, fun journey.
Given the chance to hang out with any of your design and style heroes – who would be on your list to invite to drinks?
Wow great question, I have a large verity of design /style heroes that I love. From the costume jewellery era Paloma Picasso and Yves Saint Laurent – I’m obsessed with the design from the 80s!
Style wise, Carmen Hamilton from Chronicles of Her and Yasmin Suteja are at the top of my list. Also, I would invite some of my Wellington and Melbourne girlfriends, they are all very independent about there style and fashion- I love that they give zero f*cks.
That’s the most inspiring thing to me.
You’ve recently relocated from Wellington to Byron Bay via Melbourne? What was behind your move and how is it all going?!
Yes that’s right – we’ve been moving around a bit, I left Wellington for Melbourne and spend a few years in the city and now we have relocated to Byron – It was just such a great opportunity as my partner Rich received a job transfer.
I am really enjoying it here, it reminds me of where I grew up and being beside the beach and outdoors is more ‘me’. I am more inspired, productive and just have more headspace which is amazing!
I personally know the exhilarating ride that is self employment – the unrivalled satisfaction in a WIN and the tired feeling of another wall being put up. What advice or wisdom could you share with us that you have learnt to be true on your own ride?
Hahah being self employed definitely has its highs and lows. (Especially when you are bank rolling it yourself lol).
I think the thing I could share, is to make decisions and take calculated risks. For a period I stalled because the ‘conditions’ were not right.. I was like waiting.. but for what, I was unsure. Making decisions is hard, But opportunities don’t wait – I’ve definitely learnt this the hard way.
Also, do things for yourself, it feels really good and people can see thought things that aren’t genuine.
What I learnt from Nina:
Perhaps it IS this simple?
That love of a material or process might actually
be the pathway to a career with passion.