Started as a hobby-turned-passion, Flash Jewellery creates original, luxe jewellery that resonates with modern, confident and independent girls. Nelson-born designer Nina ‘Flash’ Gordon stumbled into fashion while living in Wellington, when she used to scour op-shops, vintage stores and eBay estate sales, looking for things she could pull apart and turn into costume jewellery.

“I have always had an interest in how I dress and express myself,” Gordon said. “I definitely wouldn’t say I’m a fashionista, but I love being able to make others feel empowered and inspired.”

Her love of crafting is something she inherited from her father, who builds old cars and has taught her how to play with metal. “When I was 15, my dad brought home a shell of a Ford Cortina home, and we built it together, bolting in the seat belts and getting covered in grease.”

Apart from a few jewellery night courses taken at 16, she learnt a lot of her skills while working at a Wellington design firm, specialising in army apparel, police wallets and loads of props for Weta Workshop and the movie industry.

Even though manufacturing has been outsourced to India, that hands-on attitude hasn’t left her. “I find I go through phases of wanting to create with my hands, make a mess and begin new projects, to only wanting a tidy desk to design and sketch.”

The label has customers’ empowerment at its core. “I want to make them feel good, sassy and inspired, and having fantastic customer service and communication creates a culture and rapport,” Gordon said. “Having everything made ethically is also crucial. We have a great manufacturer and pay real prices for quality hand-made jewellery, which is made in small amounts.”

Flash small team, currently involving Gordon’s family and boyfriend, is dreaming big right now. “We have goals to expand our collections and make a wider range of jewellery, including a more premium range. We are designing our biggest collection yet, getting ready to hit the Australian market,” she said. While opening a flagship store is not in their immediate plans, Flash Jewellery can be found in 17 boutiques in New Zealand and Australia, as well as on www.flashculture.co.nz.