MAEVE WOODHOUSE HERA SAABI
The daughter of a novelist and a documentary film editor, Hera Saabi designer Maeve Woodhouse grew up immersed in the arts. An “obsession with making things” was the natural consequence. After moving from Auckland to Melbourne aged 19 to study shoemaking, the now-27-year-old says she “accidentally stumbled” across the practice of goldsmithing, which led to her designing two capsule collections of jewellery for Kiwi fashion institution Zambesi. Working part-time on the Zambesi shop floor upon her return to Auckland in 2015, Maeve and her fellow sales assistant Margie Cooney (now her creative director) were closing shop one night when they decided to combine their complementary creative and practical skills and launch Hera Saabi. The brand stands for feminine strength, considered design and supporting local creative communities, with pieces inspired by the contrast of imperfect nature and geometrically constructed environments. “The human figure is a motif that runs through our collections,” says Maeve. “The soft curvature of the body cast in hard metal is a juxtaposition we love to play with.” Based out of a studio space at the closed-down Queen Victoria School in Parnell, Auckland, Maeve — formally trained in precious-metal engineering — hand makes every piece with a view to its becoming someone’s family heirloom, to be passed on through generations. Quality of materials is paramount, but equally important is a sense of humour. “The jewellery industry can be quite serious due to the fragile, rare and luxurious materials used. With this in mind, I try to bring a lightness to everything I make,” says Maeve.
Jasmin Sparrow’s classic pieces are designed to be passed on from one generation to the next.