We thought we would take you behind the scenes into the production of our earrings!
Let's go back right to the beginning of the year not long after we had decided which species we were going to highlight in our line of earrings. We initially decided on two different earring designs: one plant and one animal… First, the Wood Rose was picked, and we knew as soon as we heard of it that we wanted it to be a part of our collection. Then it was a process of narrowing down our huge list of New Zealand animals till we eventually came to the Yellow-Eyed Penguin and the Fairy Tern. We couldn’t decide… so we kept both.
Then it was a matter of coming up with the actual earring designs. Our CEO, Olivia got a whiff that there might be some software on some of our school's computers and went searching. Sure enough, there were a handful of computers that had Adobe Illustrator on them. Neither of us had any experience using the software but Olivia sat down and spent the next two weeks learning to use it and by the end had produced three amazing designs as well as our logo.
We then went to Abstract Designs, a local laser cutting business in Petone, Wellington, to get them to cut our earrings. Chris Baxter, the owner, was amazing at helping us make sure the designs were perfect.
Now we had to figure out what kind of wood we were going to use for our earrings. At first, we desperately wanted recycled native wood, but quickly found out that it is near impossible and a very long process to get the wood to a standard that looks good laser cut. So we then decided to use the same wood that Chris uses for all of his designs. He sources it from a local Nelson business and all the wood is sustainably sourced. But Chris doesn’t just produce plain coloured designs, he also gets tons of different colours and patterns screen printed onto the wood. So we had to decide which colours we wanted. We ended up picking out the natural wood, a dark down screen printed colour and a pale cream. Now we were finally able to print out our prototypes, which looked amazing! But… we realised we didn’t absolutely love the cream so decided to drop the colour.
While all of this was going on we were also sorting out our packaging. We knew that our packing had to be as Eco friendly as possible. So we reached out to Apex Print, another local business in Petone, Wellington, to see if they could help. There we found out that we could print our design on recycled earring cards that could be further recycled.
As soon as we finalised the design we sent them through to Apex Print and put in our order, at the same time we put in an order with Chris from Abstract Designs. The next morning Chris gave us a call and said our earrings were ready to pick up. A couple of days later Apex Print let us know all the cards had been printed and looked amazing.
So now we had the earrings and the earring cards…. But as we had ordered our earring hooks from overseas it wasn’t for another two weeks until they arrived. A bit of a funny story actually, the company said they were meant to arrive within two weeks but after over a month they still hadn’t arrived. So we sent them a message and it turns out there had been a translation mistake… Our earrings which were meant to arrive in Auckland, New Zealand before coming down to Wellington had only just arrived in Oakland, San Francisco, USA!! Oakland? Auckland? They kinda sound the same I guess.
While we were waiting for the hooks to arrive we had to remove the protective paper covering from all of our earrings. We split all the earrings and one night just sat down with our hot pink scrapers and the little moulds that Chris had made for us and scrapped all the earrings that night.
Eventually, our hooks did arrive and it was time to start assembling. Our CFO, Eli, took charge of this side of the production process and assembled every single pair of earrings by hand. But on top of that, they punched two holes in every single card with a needle so that the earrings could be attached.
A week or so passed and then the next thing we knew our earrings were up for sale and our shop went live!
So much effort and work went into creating our earrings and we are so glad to share them with the world. We hope you liked this little sneak peek into what happens behind the scenes.