This week's (and our very first!) Woman Crush Wednesday is Amelia Diggle, founder and designer at HI Jewellery. Amelia is doing amazing things with jewellery - combining the technology we are quickly coming to know and love, with refined, sophisticated jewellery pieces that are truly unique and beautiful in their simplicity. We were lucky to catch up with Amelia and find out what makes her tick - and take some pretty cute photos of her too!
Hi Amelia! So, what's your back story?
I grew up on the North Shore, and loved art and design in high school. Moved to Wellington to study Architecture - but discovered Industrial design and loved the world of product design. After university, I started working as an office assistant in a UX (User Experience) agency, and learnt all about customer experience design. There wasn’t many junior design jobs in NZ at the time, so I moved to Melbourne for more job opportunities and worked in digital agencies and at a financial services software company over 3 years. Then I fell in love with a kiwi and moved back home to the North Shore. With Melbourne experience under my belt I was able to apply for some exciting design opportunities back in Auckland.
Why did you decide to start HI Jewellery?
When I moved back to NZ after 3 years in Melbourne, I got a UX design job at a company that made software to help solve crimes! It was my dream job - but 1.5 years later the company went under. I was made redundant. Totally gutting. But I got another job in corporate at a telco and got started with HI Jewellery, my own business.
I’d always want to do a metalsmith course. And finally gave it a go when the crime software company I was working at was going under (needed something positive to keep happy!). On the evening course I was attempting to design and make kinetic jewellery pieces. And during the day I was pushing pixels around in user interface designs - the penny dropped. Resulting in HIJ’s first range - bringing flattened computer interfaces out of the screen and into kinetic 3D forms.
What about being a business owner makes you feel empowered?
Getting to work with friends and investing in myself and my vision.
Tell us more about your work with jewellery!
3D printing is still very new - especially to consumer products. So I’m super excited to make it available to everyone. I think that 3D printing complements my tech-inspired designs perfectly.
Also, HI Jewellery pieces are all customer tested. The first set of computer icon stud earrings were actually chosen via a survey of with my online community. I gave everyone 20 computer icons (sketched as stud earrings) - and asked them to pick their favourite 5! Resulting in the 5 icons that you can purchase today! User testing is such an important part of software design - and I’m bringing it to jewellery design.
What adventures do you anticipate in the next few years?
There’s two roads that HI Jewellery could take. High-fashion jewellery with gems, precious stones and more gold! Or smart jewellery - utilising the internet of things (IoT) e.g. the toggle ring could connect to your phone and you could turn it into a button to do a specific function of your choice. I can’t wait to see where HI Jewellery goes.
Who is a boss babe that inspires you and why?
In all honesty, I’m inspired by all of the women in tech - the women working hard to make innovative, new experiences come to life. Coders, designers, project managers, team leads, engineers, researchers, testers, managers, interns etc. Tech is a male dominated industry e.g. only 21% of tech executives are women (ISACA 2016) and only 23% of ICT employees are women. (NZ 2013 census). I remember when I was first out of university and the tech industry did not look attractive, but the few brave female technology role-models I came across were incredibly inspiring.
Advice for any boss babe wanting to forge her own path?
Think of starting a business like choosing a boyfriend/partner - there’s 3 key factors.
1. Timing (are they ready for a relationship?)
2. Emotional availability (are they mentally available for a relationship?)
3. Having your sh** together (have they got money in the bank and not to many skeletons in the closet?)
Business it is quite similar.
1. Is the market ready for your idea - how new is it?
2. Are you and your team right for the job?
3. And have you got your sh** together?!
Seriously ask yourself these things before diving in and probably every month or so - be realistic and go all in. Just like a new partner - all or nothing.
Oh, and photography! Photos are magic and tell stories, plan your story and work with an expert - Genesis Photography!
You can see more of HI Jewellery here:
As an exclusive offer, HI Jewellery has a promo code for us #bossbabes! Simply enter the promo code HIgenesis at the checkout for 5% off!