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Bestselling bling

10 July 2022
cos

Alongside its edgy yet wearable clothing collections, Dunedin-based brand Company of Strangers have been dabbling in a side of fine jewellery more for than a decade, with several of the original designs still bestsellers.

Founder and creative director Sara Munro talks us through some of the clever and captivating pieces. Interview Josie Steenhart

How long have you been making these pieces and why do you think they are still among your biggest sellers?

The Pawnshop ring and the Till Death Ring we have been producing for around 12 years. They are so unique yet familiar as most customers have a family ring that looked similar so they are quite nostalgic to people.

What was the original inspiration, and how are they designed and made?

The Till Death ring was the first ring we made. I had my paternal and maternal grandmother’s rings and wanted to fuse them together with one of my own small pearl rings. The two grandmother’s rings are on either side of mine – being the middle pearl ring. We used the actual rings to wax and then mould into a new cast form.

And everything is handmade in New Zealand right?

Yes, we always make everything here, except our nail polish range, which is made in Australia. We are very passionate that we remain New Zealand-made, for us it’s about keeping our industry alive. We have fantastic makers who are all from small family businesses. They put so much love and pride into their work.

Do you think living in Dunedin has played a part in the inspiration of the jewellery designs?

I’m not sure about that, although Dunedin people don’t take themselves too seriously and have a great sense of humour and also a love for the unique.

For those more familiar with C.O.S as a clothing brand – how many pieces of jewellery are currently in the collection, and how often do you add new designs?

We currently have around 30 styles, and rather than doing a new collection every six months we add to it when we feel like it’s ready. Mostly when I want something new to add to my own rotation!

I kinda love the name of the Divorce ring, what’s the idea behind that?

The Divorce ring is simply the Till Death ring cut right down the middle. Having divorced parents and my husband and I having a nuclear family of our own I have a very realist view on divorce and think that time should still be remembered with fondness and not bitterness. Why not have a laugh about it and remember the good times!

Do you have a personal favourite piece?

My favourite is the Living End necklace for sure, it’s two pieces that link together and is the perfect accompaniment to any wardrobe. You can wear them separately as a bracelet and a choker necklace or link them together to make one longer necklace with two textures. I wear mine most days, I’m obsessed with it.

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