The Founder Story

Sonia The founder story

Kia ora, my name is Sonia and I am the founder of Sonia Therese Design.

When I was a little girl, I was "that" child, always going through her grandmother's jewellery box, taking out all the pieces and trying them on, holding them up to the sun and watching them sparkle. I remember being particularly fascinated by my nanna Cis's beautiful crystal broach and earrings. I dreamed of a magical world full of colour, elegance and beauty. I distinctly remember how beautiful I thought she was when she wore them, and how beautiful I felt when I would sneakily wear them myself.

Over the years jewellery became deeply symbolic to me as well as profoundly beautiful. In my teens and 20's I would collect jewellery as I travelled; each piece told the story of a place and time and the people I was with. Whenever I wore that jewellery I was immediately transported back in time.

I never intended to be a jeweller. Although deeply passionate about creativity, I failed art exams at school and failed to gain entry to college to be an art teacher. I instead aligned myself with Mother Earth, specalised as an Engineering Geologist and spent several years working around the world. In 2001 I embarked upon a long pathway to gain my doctorate. I became a mother, and then the challenge of parenting alone - none of which left much time for creative endeavours.

Then, in 2010/2011 everything changed. Now living back in New Zealand, my city was rocked by a devastating series of deadly, devastating earthquakes. I lost my business, watched my friends leave and witnessed my whole community broken apart - physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. But in the years that followed the earthquakes I discovered a profound beauty in broken things! I began creating again. There was no plan or strategy. Just a deep need to create beautiful things; beautiful things happened to be jewellery!

The journey began, making beautiful and meaningful adornment from broken things - broken wood, recycled metals, bio-resins. I taught myself how to make what my mind imagined. I was blessed with many doubts, mistakes, cuts and bruises. And I discovered the gift of story telling, infusing powerful legends and wisdom of my ancestors into the pieces I made - specifically the stories of my Maori ancestors who have guided me on my pathway.

Now, I clearly see my purpose. The power of intention, the influence of story and meaning, and the impact of connection and beauty to change the whole world. My mantra of #believeinthebeauty guides me every single day. Pausing to see the beautiful imperfection of the world, in all it's glory, is a gift. Seeing that same imperfection in one-another allows us to value diversity, unique experiences and feel connected. Being present to that same one-of-a-kind beauty that WE bring to the world. When we belive in the beauty of ourselves, appreciating our "faults" as unique gifts, then the entire world begins to change - OUR world changes.

Learn More Below

The Brand Story
The Design Story
The New York Collection
The Brand Story The Design Story The New York Story