Sonia Therese Design Believe In Beauty Fri, 31 May 2019 22:02:53 +0000 en hourly 1 Sonia Therese Design 32 32 79814097 The Red Thread Fri, 31 May 2019 22:02:53 +0000 The post The Red Thread appeared first on Sonia Therese Design.



I know it’s contentious, but I really think that the USA is (one of) my spiritual home!  Since the very first time I visited there about 25 years ago, I have felt connected to it, and I have been back many times since.

Ironically, my very first jaunt into the USA was to Seattle in the Pacific Northwest.  I was staying with friends in Vancouver for Christmas, and we took a drive for 10 days south across the border taking in Seattle, Tacoma (a bunch of geologists, we HAD to go see the Tacoma Narrows and the sight of Galloping Gertie), the Olympic Peninsular (where I saw my first Bald Eagle – about 100 of them!) and onwards to Mt St Helens and Mt Ranier.  I was totally entranced with this part of the world… little did I know!

Fast forward to 2019 which saw me again travelling to the USA, this time for a different reason.  This time it was about jewellery – and a special collection call the Red Thread of Destiny.  You see, back in 1999 I met someone while travelling through Africa.  Long (20 years long) story short, we realised immediately that we had a soul connection.  Neither of us knew back then what that meant, and it certainly didn’t mean we lived a fairy tale romance!  But this Red Thread, an Asian legend of how destined souls are linked across time and space by a thin, sometimes invisible, red thread, kept coming up for us time and time again.  We tried many times to be in the same place and the same time, but it just never happened.  We never, however, lost touch with one another.

So finally the stars aligned, and on May 3 I travelled to the USA to see him.  What I can tell you is that the Red Thread is very real, and we were able to pick up this thread where we left it, 20 years earlier.  The story isn’t a simple one, and it’s not an easy one – he’s still in the USA and I am still in NZ.  But time is fluid, space is relative, and where there is a will there is a way!

I was gifted with travelling – Portland, Seattle, Vancouver and, of course, Tacoma while in the Pacific NW.  I got to check out galleries, artisan jewellers in their studios, boutique stores, markets – you name it.  I was able to totally immerse myself in the arts in this amazing part of the world.  And I got to connect with her – with Mother Earth – for my birthday.

A cabin in the woods, off-grid, solitude, sunshine, someone special and a bottle of whiskey.  Mamma Earth showed me swallows nesting, bats, elk and fallow deer.  She enveloped me in her korowai of compassion and love and let me see a different way.  She showed me the power of trusting my own heart, intuition and how to let my monkey-mind have a rest.  She showed me the power of beauty!  She showed me how the Red Thread connects us to HER…all of us, every single one.

So, here I am back in NZ with a squillion ideas, plans and proposals.  My intention is to be back in the USA in August – watch this space!  In the meantime, I have launched my mini-collection, The Red Thread of Destiny to celebrate love and connection.  To honour our intimate connection with Papatuanuku – Mother Earth.  I am sure you have felt this connection – maybe many times.  Because ultimately we are all connected to one another, and it is a few special souls who allow us to uncover the power of The Red Thread.

Remember, you can sign up as a VIP HERE and you can shop the collection HERE

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Summer Gift Guide 2018 Mon, 01 Oct 2018 21:05:44 +0000 The post Summer Gift Guide 2018 appeared first on Sonia Therese Design.


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Smell the Sea, Feel the Sky Mon, 01 Oct 2018 20:58:44 +0000 With just 12 weeks until SUMMER really kicks off in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s time to think about that little occasion...

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With just 12 weeks until SUMMER really kicks off in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s time to think about that little occasion of gift-giving that happens towards the end of December.  I think it’s called Christmas or something like that?

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I love Christmas!  But I don’t love the giving of useless, meaningless and thoughtless gifts!  It’s wasteful, disrespectful and ultimately doesn’t make anyone happy – giver or receiver!

So this year, I am offering my usual Christmas Sale for an extended period of time to all my subscribers, so that they can really plan for and deliver gifts that have a soul and that will be received with genuine joy.

To get the 35% discount* all you have to do is be part of my tribe by subscribing to my newsletter.  Boom.  Simply done!  This discount will not be available to the general public until November 1st.

As a subscriber you get first access to sales, discounts, new products and events!  I won’t spam you – I don’t have time for that kind of behaviour!

Sign up HERE to get your promo code and enjoy the shopping knowing that the general public won’t get this code for another 5 weeks – the beginning of November 2018!  Particularly important detail as I have some limited edition special pieces coming up before the end of October!

So check out my Gift Guide for Summer below and get your fill of eco-artisan jewellery goodness in my SHOP


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Studio Time – Star Maps #1 Sun, 15 Jul 2018 05:36:33 +0000 The post Studio Time – Star Maps #1 appeared first on Sonia Therese Design.


Join me for Studio Time making Star Maps #1

It’s an oldie, but a goodie, this little tutorial from may 2017 offering a little bit of insight into how my Star Map jewellery is made.  Some of the styles have changed, and new pieces are coming very shortly, but this will give you a good idea of the details of the process!

Check out my short grey hair….they say change is as good as a holiday!!! 😉

Be sure to check out my gorgeous pieces HERE

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Studio Time – Oil Diffuser Jewellery Thu, 24 May 2018 07:15:09 +0000 Join me for Studio Time! Today I am working on a brand new collection of Oil Diffuser Jewellery due for launch...

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Join me for Studio Time!

Today I am working on a brand new collection of Oil Diffuser Jewellery due for launch in Early June.  And also a quick tutorial on making silver ear-wires.

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Studio Time – Making Meditation Rings Thu, 24 May 2018 06:55:59 +0000 The post Studio Time – Making Meditation Rings appeared first on Sonia Therese Design.


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The Story of Us: Pirarurau White Thu, 11 Jan 2018 00:15:22 +0000 The post The Story of Us: Pirarurau White appeared first on Sonia Therese Design.


The Story of Us.

You and me.

Our families, our ancestors. Our whanau, our kin.

For me, this is what shapes my past, and what provides a platform from which to build, craft, CREATE, my very own story.

And like my ancestor, Piraurau – mighty Wahine Toa/Warrior Woman – it is about honouring the spirit and wisdom of my ancestors, and yet allowing myself to choose my own pathway.  I have talked at length about the legend of Piraurau and her deeds (…read more here) and she has inspired so much of my creativity in the past few years.

Her courage in the face of adversity

Her dedication to her family

Her tenacity and grit

I am proud to call her “grandmother”.

Earlier this week I took my son out to visit her resting place, high above the beautiful Pigeon Bay on Banks Peninsular which was her home and where her children grew up.  She lived there with her husband Thomas White, originally an orphan and whaler from Boston, MT.  They lie together now, forever overlooking her chosen place.

It was an emotional trip for me actually.  In a way it was a trip to let her go.  Not to turn my back to her, but I have felt recently that I am being called to tell other stories.  And in order to do this, I must allow her to rest and turn my attention to some of my other ancestors.  I took her a Toki – fitting I think because she has inspired hundreds of these precious taonga (treasures).  But it’s not goodbye – quite the opposite really.  It’s more about taking all that she stands for into my heart and understanding the gift she offers.  Maori have a saying;

“Ko to ngakau ki nga taonga a o tupuna”

In your heart lies the treasures of your ancestors

So thank you Grandmother…I will come back and tell the story of your father, your children and grandchildren.  But for now, I gratefully accept your treasures into my heart and I turn to tell another story.


Watch the video introducing the next ancestor that I will be introducing below


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The Art of a Great Story Sun, 30 Jul 2017 22:01:54 +0000 The Art of a Great Story 10 Things You Don’t Know About Me A few months ago, while attending the World...

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The Art of a Great Story

10 Things You Don’t Know About Me

A few months ago, while attending the World Women gathering in Auckland, I faced that crazy conundrum of what to tell people when they ask “so, what is it that YOU do?”  Back then I hadn’t really completely stepped into my Artist self, so didn’t feel justified or confident in saying that was what I did.  And saying that I made jewellery just confused people.  So I started saying that I was a story teller – and that I happened to tell my stories through jewellery.

Well, that changed things!  Nothing like the surprise in their eyes at an answer so unexpected!  Ooh, this was a bit intoxicating – so I told more people that I was a story teller.  More surprised reactions.

But do you know what, I didn’t fully understand what it is to be a story teller.  For a long, long time I have not fully owned my own story – preferring instead to tell the stories of my ancestors, my heritage – rediscovering forgotten stories and telling these.

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to lunch with 3 women that I didn’t know.  The introverted side of me initially screamed “Argh…run a mile” but the daredevil side of me said “Pfffft, why not”.  I said yes and what unfolded was, for me, quite a turning point.  I began to understand what it is to tell a story AND what it is to have a story to tell!  Through the eyes of these amazing women (who are now sisters to me!) I began to see my own journey differently.  I realised that I have purposefully discarded parts of my own story because I didn’t think that they had relevance to my current incarnation as an artist…oh, how I love when the Universe smacks you in the side of the head and says “Wake Up”!!!

Our stories are amazing, they are intoxicating, they are inspiring.  But we don’t tell them…

…and I think I know why.  When you experience your own story, it is something that you don’t see.  It takes the experience of seeing your story in the eyes of others that makes you begin to realise how amazing your story really could be to others.  You begin to understand that what you thought was unimportant, irrelevant or even downright embarrassing can be that one piece of information that transforms someone else’s life.  This isn’t about ego either.  This is actually about owning your own journey – not necessarily getting caught in your own history, but understanding that the things you have learned, experienced and even suffered through have profound value.

So I thought I would challenge myself, and you, by sharing 10 things about me and my story that you most likely don’t know.  Alrighty then – here goes!

Dr Sonia McManus

Dr Sonia McManus

  1. I am a nerdy nerd…and a highly educated one (I say that proudly).  I have a BA in Linguistics, a MSc Hons in Engineering Geology and a PhD in Civil Engineering specialising in Risk and Resilience – yep, I am a Doctor!  I regularly contemplate going back to learn something else…top on my list is learning Te Reo Maori.
  2. I grew up on a farm pretty much smack bang in the middle of the South Island of New Zealand. It was isolated and I had complete freedom to roam as I wanted to.  I used to ride my horse and pretend that I was in vast foreign lands galloping through deserts, forests and mountains.
  3. I often create fantasy languages in my head and when I am by myself I speak them out loud. I have never ever written these down.
  4. I can draw with my left and right hands, and although I consider myself as right handed, I play sport left handed. Actually, if I play tennis I will often swap hands in the middle of a rally….very confusing for the opposition (note:  this does not usually contribute to me winning and I have no conscious control over when I swap hands!)
  5. I follow a Ketogenic Lifestyle and control my eating with intermittent fasting. It’s been a game changer for me and for my family.  I am truly passionate about learning everything I can about our bodies, our minds and nutritional influences to keep us healthy.
  6. I am a single mum and have been on my own for about 13 years now. I live in a household of 3 generations with my mother and my son.  This place is a stopping point for various family who come to stay (sometimes for months which is awesome!!).  I believe in family.
    Family trip to the Grand Canyon

    Family trip to the Grand Canyon

  7. I am addicted to travelling and spontaneous adventures. I often dream about being whisked away on a surprise adventure into mountains or on islands or horse-riding in deserts, then get pissed off because no-one does and I then create my own adventure!!
  8. Sunrise and sunset make me cry. I often watch them and talk/connect to my ancestors and family on the other side.  My dad died suddenly when I was 28 and I often have big conversations with him.
  9. I think that one day I may enter into politics because I get so pissed off at the current system and feel that you need to participate to make changes. This concept frightens the poo out of me, which is possibly an indication that it’s a direction I will take….eeeeeeek!
  10. I was horribly bullied at school and spent most of my youth trying to be invisible. When I was 12 years old I was the only girl at my tiny country school who wore a bra.  After swimming one day I was so embarrassed that I didn’t put it back on and stuffed it into my bag.  Back in class, one of the boys a year older than me grabbed it out of my bag and passed it around everyone at school.  I was so humiliated that I hid behind the coal fire and cried my heart out.  No-one came to help me.  That fueled a body shame that lasted well into adult-hood and which I have only recently (in the past couple of years) addressed.
    Sunrise makes me cry - or go crazy

    Sunrise makes me cry – or go crazy

Wow, OK, there we go….and the amazing thing is that I could easily write another 10 things that I could share about my story.  So here is the challenge…can you tell me one thing about your story that you haven’t shared.  Hey, I don’t mean something life-shattering (unless you feel you want to).  It may be that you absolutely love the Backstreet Boys (oops….there is number 11 for me….*blush*).  I don’t really mind.

The point is that we all have something to share that will help someone else in the world, somewhere, some time.

Celebrate YOUR story….

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Week 1 Challenges for Plastic Free July Wed, 05 Jul 2017 10:35:03 +0000 The post Week 1 Challenges for Plastic Free July appeared first on Sonia Therese Design.



Alrighty then, we are half way through week one of #plasticfreejuly.

Honestly, it’s not going as well as I had hoped.  Sigh…..

But, what I have discovered is that saving the planet doesn’t have to all be done in one go, by one person, or with one humongous effort.  Nope, it gets done by doing your very best, setting an example to others and understanding that we need to do this together.

So, in light of all that, here is my latest video with 4 challenges for you (well, for ME actually!!) to get the ball rolling.  Check it out and let me know how you get on.

Oh, and this month I am also guest editor over at iTreadLightly – an eco-ethical and planet focused community on Facebook.  Check it out.

Challenge #1:  Takeaway coffee cups

Challenge #2:  Product packaging

Challenge #3:  Plastic Bags

Challenge #4:  Plastic coated paper receipts

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What A Load of Rubbish Mon, 03 Jul 2017 02:10:21 +0000 The post What A Load of Rubbish appeared first on Sonia Therese Design.


What a Load of Rubbish

Rubbish – Plastic Rubbish.  It’s everywhere and if you haven’t heard about the debate raging as to it’s negative impact on the environment, you must be living with your head in a plastic bag!

This month is #plasticfreejuly and it is a global initiative to help people to reduce their reliance on single use plastic products, moving towards more ecologically friendly and sustainable alternatives.

What’s the problem, I hear you say?  We recycle our plastic.  It goes in that super easy black (plastic) rubbish bin with the yellow lid and I put it out for collection every fortnight.  Don’t tell me that I’m not doing my bit…every piece of plastic recycled is a piece of plastic not in the environment, right?!?  Well, sadly no…

Even though your actions to recycle the plastic that you use are well-intentioned, unfortunately the fact is that much of the plastic produced does NOT end up being recycled.  Let’s take plastic bags and just ONE example.

Just today in the New Zealand media are reports that 1/3 of turtles found dead on our beaches have ingested plastic – white, translucent plastic that looks all the world like a jellyfish to a turtle – which blocks up their intestinal tract and causes them to suffer a slow and agonising death.  Worse still, in parts of South America 100% of turtles found dead on the beach have plastic waste in their guts (read the article HERE).

On top of that, according to a recent article by Greenpeace, “The global production of plastic waste has increased dramatically over recent years. It is estimated that plastic constitutes 60-80% of all marine litter and is increasing at an alarming rate. The highest proportion of plastic demand is used for packaging (eg 39.9% in Europe) much of it for single-use products. “An estimated 4.8 to 12.7 million metric tonnes of plastic enter the ocean globally each year from 192 coastal countries across the world. ”

Oh, and then there are plastic bottles!  In this startling article by The Guardian just last month they offer some truly horrifying facts:

  • The amount of plastic produced in a year is roughly the same as the entire weight of humanity
  • In 2015, consumers in China purchased 68.4bn bottles of water and in 2016 this increased to 73.8bn bottles, up 5.4bn.
  • Plastic production is set to double in the next 20 years and quadruple by 2050
  • Humans produce almost 20,000 plastic bottles every second
  • by 2050 the ocean will contain more plastic by weight than fish
  • people who eat seafood ingest up to 11,000 tiny pieces of plastic every year

Scared yet?

The numbers and the impacts are staggering.  So staggering in-fact that it is completely understandable that you may feel absolutely powerless to make any difference at all.

Well, let’s think about this for a minute.  True, you may not have the power on your own to change government policy, alter the actions of manufacturers or marketers, or even influence your family and neighbours.  But you are not alone, and you have more power than you realise – much more!

It may seem very noble (and you pat yourself on the back regularly at how wonderful your actions are) to recycle plastic that comes your way.  But imagine how different things would be if you stopped using plastic at all.  What would be the impact of THAT kind of action?

All well and good – we can wax lyrical about what we should or shouldn’t do.  But at the end of the day words are just words and the only power comes with action.  This month I want to arm you with information, encouragement, tips and tricks for how you can reduce your plastic footprint on the planet.  And I am not talking about putting everything you purchase into glass jars (although that’s not a bad thing to aim for at all!!!).  I am talking about how you can make mini-actions every single day that add up and send a message to the world about what you are prepared to tolerate.  Actions that you CAN do every time you go out/stay in/make purchases.  Actions that you can easily show others and that they can follow.

As I say, you are not alone in this fight.  And make no mistake – this IS a fight.  It is a fight for the future of our planet, our people, our flora and fauna.  It is a fight for our very survival.  If you watched all those sci-fi movies about how we destroyed our planet and how we have to flee to space to survive, and thought ‘what a load of rubbish’…well you were right!  It is a load of rubbish – plastic rubbish and it is VERY real.

 Follow me on Facebook for daily challenges, tips and tricks as well as information to help you make REAL changes this #plasticfreejuly.  And let’s make changes that last well beyond this month…it’s time we all stood up and choose to be counted…you can also join the charge over at Plastic Free July so check it out.

I will also be guest contributor at iTreadLightly this month – an amazing new community of planet positive people who choose to work together to make lasting contributions to our shared humanity – and who focus on care for the environment as a platform for doing just that.  I would love you to join us there



plastic bottle beach
Plastic Bottles are everywhere (The Guardian)
plastic bottle sorting
sorting plastic bottles in China (The Guardian)
Turtles NZ plastic
Dan Godey, Massey University, with a turtle that died from plastic ingestion (
Turtles NZ plastic stomach
Some of the plastic recovered from dead turtles found on NZ beaches (
plastic free action chart
Where to start? Start here with easy actions to reduce plastic in your life (

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