Featured Exhibitor: Najo

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“Do what you love, follow what you think is right, trust your intuition” – that’s what Jo Tory of NAJO believes in as she creates collections that are always a favourite in the retail industry. Jewellery carefully crafted with a unique approach having begun from a humble Mexican influence into guaranteed individual pieces of self expression – catch them at Life Instyle Sydney!

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What path bought you to Life Instyle?
I love the boutique atmosphere of Life Instyle, and wanted to be part of it. The exhibitors and visiting retailers are of a high calibre and the product mix is unique and of great quality

A typical day at work involves…
Looking at designs, researching trends and techniques, finding materials,

My style is best described as…
Relaxed.

I live my Life Instyle by…
Doing things that I love – looking at art and design, cooking, making things

Favourite piece of advice…
Do what you love, follow what you think is right, trust your intuition

If I wasn’t doing this I’d probably…
Be travelling.

Brands I admire include…
Bottega Veneta, Il Bisonte, Ally Capellino, Aesop, Zambesi

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My workspace is…
Messy.

I get my best business ideas by…
Listening to people and looking at products

The biggest influence in my business life is…
Consideration of work/life balance

My dream business mentor would be…
Wanny di Filippo from Il Bisonte

Right now I’m working on
A new collection that is very personal, very symbolic and versatile.  It is an idea that has been gestating for a long time, so I am excited!

My biggest goal for the next 12 months is…
To perfect this new collection!

In five year’s time I’ll…
Still be making more collections. There is no end to design and how it is applied. A new collection always seems so fresh and exciting, it can be addictive

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Our story:
Najo started some 25 years ago in  Mexico. I have always loved jewellery, particularly handmade silver jewellery and the idea of expressing yourself through adornment. I discovered there was nothing more stunning than the way Mexico plays out in its jewellery. Gifted with some of the finest silver reserves in the world, Mexico’s rich mosaic of life, culture, arts, fashion and history was reflected in the divine jewellery pieces that wove their way into my consciousness and altered my path forever.

So it was there that an idea grew and blossomed into the creative expressions that have become synonymous with the NAJO brand. Every design, every piece of jewellery has been informed by the brand’s essence: Self Expression by Design.

We love to bring a sense of joy to a growing band of individuals who use our jewellery to express themselves. But like the lives of the individuals who adorn themselves with our jewellery, we never stand still. Travelling through many continents – from vibrant India to exotic Africa, we gather inspiration and then combine our artisan silversmithing with the contemporary reflection of these cultures, bringing you two new unique collections every year. While every collection says something about who we are, it is how you interpret each piece in your life that truly inspires us. What you wear it with, what life-meaning you ascribe to it and how each piece makes you feel. Indeed, it may have started in Mexico 25 years ago, but what excites us most is that we are on a journey of endless possibilities.

Trend Watch:
In jewellery the trend of rose gold is still huge. Cross pendants and allusions to religious motifs, 2 tone, mixed metals

What is your background?
My background has always been in art and design and I have loved jewellery for as long as I can remember. After art school, travel became my biggest influence. Living in Mexico introduced me to the traditions and heritage of handmade silver jewellery. I knew then that I wanted to be involved in that.

What or who inspires you?
I draw inspiration from so many eclectic sources, but in my heart Mexico inspires me and I love the craftsmanship and silversmithing  there. Handmade jewellery, ethnic designs, jewellery made from different materials – these all will spark ideas for design.

What are your favourite trends at the moment?
I have always loved big chunky cross pendants so it’s great to see them back. But I am also loving really fine chain bracelets with little motifs attached.

What’s the best thing about what you do?
I am privileged to be working with jewellery and design, and particularly at the source with the silversmiths.

Why do you exhibit at Life Instyle?
I know that the retailers and designers visiting Life Instyle are looking for something different, finer, perhaps quirkier, and of high standard. I want to meet those retailers who have an eye for quality products.

What exciting things can readers expect to see at the upcoming show?
Rapture is our leather bracelet and attachable silver charm range that has been so popular. We will launch some very different new charms to this collection at Life Instyle

Best piece of advice you’ve been given…
Don’t worry about anything until it happens

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Visit NAJO  in Sydney at Stand 1239  and see their profile in the exhibitor directory or also pop over to their website to get your fill of NAJO! 

Don’t forget to register now for Life Instyle Sydney 13 – 16 February 2014

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