MEET THE MAKER | Sharon Tsao of SHAZOEY
When I was about 14 years old, my nan bought me a beautiful, intricate silver ring with a pale amethyst stone in the centre. Since then, I have been (much like my nan!) obsessed with stunning jewellery pieces, especially those that have been crafted with care and love by hand. And Sharon Tsao’s handmade delicate pieces are no exception to that obsession!
Inspired by her architectural background and by the world around her, Sharon’s pieces are finely crafted, beautifully simplistic and mesmerising to look at.
Tell me a bit about your business.
Previously an architect, and now a jewellery designer, I am the creative behind SHAZOEY jewellery label where each piece is lovingly designed and handcrafted by me in my little Sydney studio. Since its launch in Autumn 2013, SHAZOEY has released several micro-collections that aim to combine the timelessness of precious metals with the radiance of semi-precious gemstones. All of my pieces are influenced by geometry, clean lines and the detailed intricacy which comes from studying Architecture, which brings a little something different to jewellery making.
How did you get started?
The SHAZOEY brand was born from my love for minimalist design and the raw beauty of gemstones. I experimented with making jewellery after I gave birth to my first daughter. As a stay at home mum, I found myself wanting to create and so that’s how my journey began, from my dining table!
What drew you to this form of creativity?
To be entirely honest, I was making jewellery purely for myself. I wanted to create pieces that I would wear, and this became a time of relaxation and way for me to express myself, through the pieces I made. I studied Architecture, but found that it was so different to be able to have the materials in front of me, and being able to create and have results straight away.
What does a usual day look like to you?
Every day is different!
Apart from doing school runs, I try to squeeze in two or three sessions of gym a week while making sure all the house is in order. I tend to work on my business during the day when the girls are at school or at night after dinner when they are in bed. It could be a day of just fulfilling orders at my little home studio, or a day of styling and taking photos and updating my social media. And if I’m lucky and feeling the creativity flowing, there would be some designing too!
What do you enjoy most about making?
I love the actual making part; it brings so much pleasure seeing a piece come to life. I also love making custom and commissioned keepsakes, and hearing the stories behind these pieces. It is such a privilege to be able to be part of something so special.
How do you start a piece? What is your process?
Every piece is different. Sometimes I find inspiration from what is around me - architecture, nature, things I see. Other times I start designing around the gemstone, or a colour palette that I am interested in at that time. I think that is what makes designing so captivating and interesting, it changes every time.
Handmade is so personal, it is made for you, just for you - from one person to another. The love, thought and dedication put in to create something by hand is so special and this makes each piece entirely unique and one of a kind.
What are your goals for the future?
I have an interest in and future direction to showcase more Australian gemstones in my shop, and I’m also working on some new designs that I’m hoping to get out early next year. My main goal for the coming year though is to have a more balanced family/work/social life, to cherish each day as it comes and enjoy the journey and just to have more fun with it all!
What is something that you couldn't live without?
My family! They are the reason that keeps me going when times gets tough and busy, and a huge support and source of inspiration for what I do.