Needing to get a move on with her new store fit-out, Zoë Williams enlisted the help of the whole family.
When a 100-year-old heritage building came up for lease in the Auckland suburb of Newmarket, Zoe & Morgan’s Zoë Williams jumped at the chance to create a store for her jewellery brand that was dedicated to the customer. With just six weeks to complete the fit-out, she had to drop metal and stone and instead call on her creative skills to bring the space to life.
“Once my brain got around the fact that we had to design, install and open in such a short space of time, it became one of the most fun projects I’ve worked on,” says Zoë. “We’ve never approached business in a conventional way – or life for that matter. We mocked up our plan for the shop interior in the jewellery-design programme we use.”
Relationships are at the core of the Zoe & Morgan business, so it was important to Zoë that “people feel welcome when they come through the door, and leave feeling like they’ve just had a cup of tea with a friend – uplifted and heard. I wanted the space to be wide enough for a mum with a pram, and have somewhere for people to sit and children draw at the table.”
Wanting to honour its bones, Zoë stripped back the building to its original shell, devising a simple layout that leads people in a gentle circle and lets them discover the jewellery at their own pace. Her husband Teia is a cabinetmaker, so took on the construction and installation, from the plinths in Guatemalan verde marble used in the display area at the front of the store, to the rimu cabinetry in the salon at the back.
In fact, the project was a meeting of minds that involved the whole family. Zoë’s Bali-based brother and business partner Morgan Sibbald designed the plush olive-velvet sofa and had it made by an Italian craftsman whose bespoke pieces are shipped worldwide from Indonesia, and the Dulux Texan Pink paint on the walls was chosen by Zoë and Teia’s children Ace and Mia.
“It was really cool to work with my husband on this project, as we got to appreciate each other’s skills in a new way,” says Zoë. “I put everything down on paper, then we made decisions on the go as he was installing everything. I’m really happy with the space we’ve created. It’s a treat to work in.”