We chat with Victoria James, the founder of Multiverse Designs, a company turning timber trash into treasure.
Meet Victoria James, the owner of Multiverse Designs, a company turning timber trash into treasure.
Behind each piece of beautiful jewellery is a talented pair of hands and, in terms of Multiverse Designs, these hands belong to Victoria James. A youth spent in the depths of a New Zealand forest caused Victoria to see firsthand just how much timber gets sent to landfill, and this inspired her to create a company that puts these scraps to good use. To discover the vision behind this brand and why it is what it is, read on:
What made you start Multiverse Designs?
We started our jewellery business as a bit of an experiment after discovering the amazing power of a laser cutter through a university assignment! Once we discovered people liked our designs, Multiverse Designs was born from our love of the natural environment and a wish to protect it.
Do you have a morning routine? If so, what is it you do to set yourself up for the day ahead?
One word: coffee. I just bought myself a beautiful wooden burr grinder and Japanese ceramic drip, so I can't wait to turn it into a meditative experience!
What’s the biggest barrier you’ve found to succeeding as a socially conscious business?
It's tough work trying to find sustainable and ethical suppliers for all parts of our products. We wanted to source from other New Zealand businesses to support our homeland but also to reduce carbon emissions, and being such a small country, the economy for sustainable production is small. We put a lot of hard work (and hours of Google-ing!) into it, and now we're really happy that everything from our beeswax to our packaging is made in New Zealand.
Within the ethical fashion community, there's a big question that we ask which is 'who made my clothes?' In the scope of Multiverse Designs, who made your jewellery? Can you tell us a bit about them?
I did! Every piece in the Multiverse Designs collection is made with my two hands in my home studio in Auckland.
Why did you pick the fabrics or materials that you have chosen to work with?
We chose to use reclaimed wood as we both grew up in a small forest town, surrounded by beautiful nature. Thousands of tonnes of construction waste timber is sent to landfill every year, and we decided if we could repurpose even just a small amount of that it would be worth it. We also help protect the environment further by donating 10% of every sale to Forest & Bird.
Best piece of advice you have ever received?
"Find your people."
What’s next for you and Multiverse Designs?
We recently went on a trip to Morocco, and it created huge inspiration for a new collection that may be coming soon…
One book everyone should read? Why?
Rise & Resist by Claire Press—wise words from an ethical fashion queen!
One documentary everyone should watch? Why?
Blackfish. It's a really hard watch, and will likely leave you feeling incredibly angry, but it's important.
Are there any other Movers & Shakers out there in your world that you think people should know about?
One of my favourite ethical brands is Bohome and Roam. The founder has incredible style and picks such beautiful ethical pieces from around the globe.