This one is for the mums: Naveya & Sloane co-founder Rachel Sloane on the meaning behind their ‘Darling Knots’ collection

6 September 2023
By Fashion Quarterly

Designed for mothers to wear and treasure, Naveya & Sloane's new Darling Knots collection tells a meaningful story.

Photo: Naveya & Sloane, supplied.

Known for their considered designs and timeless bespoke pieces, local luxury jewellery brand Naveya & Sloane have launched a new collection this week: Darling Knots. Joining the brand as an iteration of their existing Knots range, the Darling Knots collection centres its focus on a singular pendant style, which is available in four unique variations.

Drawing its design inspiration from the profound bond between a mother and their child, the Darling Knots pendant has been crafted with thought down to the finest detail. Worn close to the heart, the pendant boasts a rounded gold knot setting which cradles a precious inner stone. With a solid bar adorning the clasp, wearers can personalise their piece with a special date or a set of initials. Designed for mothers to wear, cherish, and eventually bestow as treasured heirlooms, this collection holds a deeply personal significance for the brand’s co-founder Rachel Sloane, who recently returned to work after becoming a mother herself.

For every sale from the collection, the brand will also be donating $100 towards the Ronald McDonald House, a charity which helps support mothers and families across Aotearoa in their time of need.

Below, we speak with the co-founder about the story behind Darling Knots, its significance to the brand, and what motherhood means to her.

In conversation with Naveya & Sloane co-founder Rachel Sloane:

Can you tell us about the inspiration behind Darling Knots and the connection shared between mother and child? 

The connection between a mother and child is an otherworldly experience that truly comes alive when you experience it for yourself. From the miraculous journey of pregnancy to nurturing them as they take their first glimpse into the world, it’s an absolute privilege to be able to experience this as a woman. The Knots motif emerged as an organic design decision, symbolising the interweaving of two souls. We’ve carefully considered every facet of the design, crafting a soft, rounded aesthetic that wraps around you like a warm embrace—and is designed to become a part of you.

The decision to celebrate motherhood through the knots motif was quite natural. Our Knots collection pays homage to the connection between two souls, a theme intricately woven into Naveya & Sloane’s body of work. The motif draws me back to cherished past times, evoking a sense of nostalgia and elegance that transcends art forms—ranging from historical sculpture to the captivating beauty of sailing at sea.

What led you to explore this theme through your brand?

Growing up, I vividly remember the jewellery my mother wore — each piece held a story, a glimpse into her history. These adornments evoked a wave of nostalgia and comfort. Ensuring that our jewellery deeply resonates with our clients is important to me. The idea of crafting a piece that genuinely celebrates the bond between a mother and child, one that’s not only symbolic but also designed to be worn by a mother, got us thinking. The pendant hangs from a robust chain that has been tested in the trenches by mums. The settings are soft and smooth to ensure no catchy mishaps.


Rachel Sloane. Image: supplied.

Being a mother is an extraordinary rollercoaster ride, a journey of joy and monumental challenges. Parenting is, in many ways, an extreme sport!

I’m all about celebrating the things that make you feel alive and embracing one’s true self enhances the roles we play, whether as a wife, mother, or individual. I believe that motherhood deserves recognition and celebration at every turn. What better way to immortalise the joy and light our children bring into our lives than within the timeless confines of a precious piece of jewellery?

I also adore the notion of owning exquisite jewellery that encapsulates the unique experiences of motherhood. Like a tiny time capsule, a companion in every moment. Then these good vibrations ripple through time, to be gifted to your children in celebration of their significant milestones, from 21st birthdays to cherished wedding presents.

Photo: Naveya & Sloane, supplied.

Could you walk us through the design process for this collection? How did you translate such a deep and intricate relationship into tangible jewellery pieces?

The Darling Knots Pendant lives within our iconic Knots collection—which has had an important presence in the brand for about seven years now, featuring the golden knot motif. This knot, emblematic of two journeys, provided the perfect launchpad for Darling Knots. The knot showcased in the Darling Knot pieces has a slightly more pronounced, almost puffy, appearance compared to the rest of the collection. This intentional choice creates a nurturing cradle for the centre stone—a subtle, loving embrace.

When we embarked on crafting this piece, firstly, we aimed to design something representative of the mother-child bond. Secondly, we wanted a piece that mothers could effortlessly incorporate into their busy lives. 

While we played with ideas like rings, bracelets, and earrings, the necklace emerged as the perfect choice. Worn close to the heart, there is no need for resizing — no worries about shifting finger sizes after having precious little ones.

The tender lullaby “You are my sunshine” played a pivotal role in our journey. A melody cherished by many, it encapsulates the moments of serene togetherness between mother and child. Adorning the reverse side of the pendant is an intricate sun engraving in gold—a whimsical touch that bathes the centre stone in sunlight when held up to the sun. This delicate detail ensures the pendant shines from every angle. We also wanted personalisation to be at the forefront. Thus, a solid gold bar adorns the clasp, offering the perfect canvas for engraving special dates or initials.

You’ve just returned to work following maternity leave. How has your personal experience of becoming a mother impacted the way you approach your work as a jewellery designer and brand founder?

Motherhood, as we all know, throws a lot of balls into the air, which I’ve found has increased my intentionality and purpose within my work. Returning to work, I also have a newfound gratitude for the moments I spend with my team and clients. Since my daughters were born, I have been immersed in a lot more colour and in many ways I find this coming out in my work. I’ve always been captivated by the impact of colour on our emotions, and this fascination has deepened. I see an exquisite gemstone like a beautiful perfume or an immersive song, although small in size, they inject inspiration and joy into our daily lives and that’s really inspiring to me.

Makaira Lee captured by Apela Bell.
Makaira Lee captured by Apela Bell.

The materials and gemstones used in your collection are stunning. Can you tell us about why specific elements were chosen for their symbolic significance?

Designed to be an heirloom passed from mother to child, The Darling Knots pendant needed gemstones that embody both enduring strength and design. The Diamonds, Rubies, and Sapphires were each chosen to do this. Imagine gifting a blue sapphire pendant to your child on their wedding day as their ‘something blue’? It’s a sentiment that transcends time. Every pendant is lovingly crafted to order and we seek out unique stones for each client. We’re meticulous about our colour choices—& our rubies offer a regal red hue while the sapphires showcase an electric royal blue.

What can you share with us on the creative direction and how your muses fit into that?

It’s been an incredibly special campaign and we’ve been unbelievably lucky to work with such a beautiful group of women who have allowed us to capture the intimate bonds with their little ones.
We wanted the campaign to feel warm and sunny, to celebrate the closeness and intimacy of the mother/child relationship and to reflect the special meaning behind the design. We were lucky to work with award-winning New Zealand artist Bailey Wiley, who has recorded an acapella version of “You are my Sunshine” to help us launch the pieces. The video of her with her two little girls basking in the sun is so divine and captures the feeling of those precious moments which, as parents, we truly treasure.

As a founder and a mother, you must have a busy schedule. How do you find a balance between your personal life, your role as a mother, and your responsibilities for the brand?

A delicate dance indeed—finding a balance between motherhood and work is a constant work in progress for me at the moment. My girls are still very little, so I’m always on the lookout for ways to find balance. It’s a dynamic journey that keeps me on my toes, for sure.
I find that focusing on the basics, like movement, nourishment, connection, and rest is really helpful and sets me up with a healthy foundation. My design philosophy consists of balance, simplicity, and flow and guides my family life as much as it does my work. I find myself thinking about these concepts a lot and am always trying to bring my attention back to them to create a sense of stability. I also constantly remind myself to have patience.

Photo: Amber Jones.

Naveya & Sloane are also generously donating $100 from every Darling Knots purchase to help support families at Ronald McDonald House. Tell us why this was important for you to do?

Family is everything to me and our children and our team embody the very essence of creativity, joy, and magic of what family means to me. When we considered creating a piece designed for mums, we agreed that we wanted to use this opportunity to help mums help other mums. There is a bit of a sisterhood when it comes to the motherly role, and naturally we have the urge to rally around parents going through a hard time, especially when it comes to children who are unwell and in need of care. That’s where Ronald McDonald House comes in. They are remarkable. The work they do to support mothers and families in a time of need is beyond words. For us to be able to support these remarkable children who exhibit astounding courage is so special. Contributing to Ronald McDonald House is a privilege, and a responsibility we hold dear. Playing a role in nurturing these brave, awe-inspiring Kiwi kids is an endeavour we hold incredibly close to our hearts.

Lastly, could you share any particular jewellery pieces that hold a special place in your heart, ones you’re most fond of or would reach for often?

My go-to pieces are the Darling Knots Pendant and the timeless Sloane Pendant. Rings hold a special place for me; my favourites include the iconic Sloane Setting, the Bold Band, the Knots Engraving Band, and our charming Young at Heart Round Bezel Set. I adore our Rhythm & Light eternity ring and the Tonight Tonight cocktail ring for a true feast for the eyes!


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