This month's issue (Dec 2022) Fashion Quarterly interviews our founder Rachel about Cadman Rock's vision behind the brand. (article feature below).
Break the ice: A lesson in wearing maximalist jewellery for conversation-starting style
With stones dating back thousands of years, choosing your daily jewellery pieces should be an intuitive decision according to Cadman Rock founder Rachel Winder.
Whether you’re looking to make a statement or attract a specific energy, Cadman
Rock has created collections of jewellery that combine artisanal design with metaphysical stones to produce unique pieces that exude confidence. Built on connections, the brand’s name comes from Rachel’s paternal grandmother connecting the brand to strong women while the organic and celestial nature of the stones grounds the pieces to the earth.
The end result?
From a career in commercial property and raising two teenage sons to launching a jewellery business post-pandemic, we speak with Auckland-based Cadman Rock founder Rachel Winder on how her not-so-straightforward path led her to an unapologetically un-ordinary jewellery business.
In conversation with Cadman Rock
So Rachel, tell us about yourself…
Home for me is on the North Shore of Auckland. We live in Birkenhead Point, a sleepy coastal village that has lots of trees and birdsong that’s also close to the CBD. I am married to Nick, and we have two teenage boys which keep us busy! My professional craft is commercial property however I have always loved jewellery and am a bit of a magpie.
Over the years travelling to different countries and experiencing incredible cultures, jewellery has always been a fascination and provides a creative outlet which makes me happy. Spare time is really about family and friends and creating great memories with each other!
How did you transition from your career to launching a jewellery brand?
My pathway has always been organic, and I have never had a “life plan”. A great inspiration was my maternal grandmother who was equally passionate about beautiful jewellery pieces and how they can transform your look and confidence. The name Cadman originates from my paternal grandmother and the connection to these wonderful, strong women is very special to me.
Your ethos centres around: ‘there is no ordinary’. Can you please explain what inspired this?
Who wants ordinary? We are all unique and special individuals with a powerful voice. There are a lot of generic products out there and I wanted to create pieces with a bold perspective that are a little “rock and roll!” I love the history and tradition of things, so evolving that concept with a confident twist is what inspired me with “there is no ordinary.”
Tell us about your design process and what inspires your collections?
My process evolves from an idea that I am inspired by. The inspiration is created from something I have heard, seen or experienced. The semi-precious stone selections are inspired by nature as there are many rich colours when you think about the earth, sky, ocean, and forests.
I collaborate with specialised artisan jewellery makers, who have a long history in this craft that have been passed from one generation to the next. This is built upon a personal 20+ year relationship and together we look to work in harmony, along with our passion about the environment and social causes, so it’s a great alignment to the values we hold at Cadman Rock.
Were there any specific challenges and opportunities of launching your business in 2022?
There will always be a million reasons not to do something and I have always felt that if you are passionate about something and can make it a business then you should leap, no matter where you are on life’s journey. Of course, in a world of uncertainty and challenges, launching a new brand is definitely daunting! The opportunity here was to do something a little different and hope people relate to it. I don’t want to create collections based on fads, but conscious that they need to be enduring, relevant, handmade, quality and at a reasonable price point.
In what ways did you seek to do business differently when you began Cadman Rock?
I have always wanted to launch a jewellery business that utilised an artisan approach. In terms of manufacturing my supplier, and friend, is one of the few female-owned jewellery manufacturers in Bali. Through this work we are creating sustainable and skilled jobs for local people. This is having a real impact as opportunities in the local workforce are largely dominated by domestic or tourist work.
What are some of your personal favourite gemstones to work with and why?
Each gemstone has a voice and history that goes back thousands of years. I find it incredible that gems that were forged in the earth for thousands of years are now items of beauty that give us a connection to the very star dust of the beginning of the universe. Depending on my mood and feelings I find that a gemstone might speak to me on a Monday when going to a meeting and another may speak to me on a Saturday when going to a rock concert.
Which Cadman Rock piece would you reach for on special occasions and why?
That’s a hard one! Depending on my mood and colour I’m wearing I would reach for the stone colour I’m attracted to on the day. If I am after something more understated green amethyst goes with everything as its light in colour. My current go-to is the coral ring in green amethyst and it brings a lot of positive comments and is a statement piece.
Which piece would you recommend for the person who has it all? I would recommend the solid silver bracelets and cuffs, they are stunning and can be dressed up or down and go with absolutely everything, from a cocktail frock to a bikini or nothing at all!