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Our Story continues with Jo Tory
Friday, 2 March 2018 7:59:04 AM Australia/Sydney
A story of women, by women
Introducing NAJO’s most personal campaign yet.
From Hollywood to politics, women telling their own story has become a worldwide theme recently. Yet at NAJO, it’s an age-old idea that began more than 30 years ago.
We always look to match our jewellery campaigns to strong women with important stories, such as Ollie Henderson. This season, for the first time, NAJO founder Jo Tory has stepped in front of the lens with her daughters Elena and Nina.
Jo embodies the NAJO brand. At its heart, the NAJO story is her story. We sat down with Jo to find out more about what she endeavours to express through NAJO, and why now it’s become more important than ever to share it.
“Good design and quality is an essential part of life,” says Jo. “I want to impart an enduring aesthetic, authenticity, creativity, confidence.”
Is true that NAJO jewellery reflects your personal aesthetic? What pieces in particular?
“I love all NAJO designs and would wear any of them. However, the closest to my personal aesthetic is the Signature NAJO. It is a culmination of designs that I have developed over the years. I love quality that lasts, timeless designs, simplicity and harmonious lines.”
What have been your greatest influences in developing your own aesthetic?
“Scandinavian design has influenced my personal style since I was a child. Names like Marimekko, Iittala, Georg Jensen and Kosta Boda.”
When you think of admirable women, who comes to mind?
“Joni Mitchell: the ultimate creative soul, who always followed her own tune.
Georgia O’Keeffe: an adventuresome spirit, a deeply spiritual painter.
Vivianna Torun Bülow-Hübe: an inspired jewellery designer.
Gail Kelly: a woman with great perspective, a fabulous manager who understands business culture.
Patti Smith: a devoted soul.”
Do you have any style rules you live by personally?
“Two words: quality and comfort. I love the simplicity of line, quality fabric, neutral colour, good cut. It must be comfortable. Oh, and I wear loads of black. Always have and always will!”
How does the NAJO brand represent your personal journey?
“NAJO developed organically around my lifestyle. I was brought up in a creative household, and so were my two daughters. NAJO is entwined in travelling, family and a close creative group that is the NAJO team. The NAJO family is about collaboration, and the sharing of talent. I have always believed in that type of partnership.”
As a mother, what kind of role model have you hoped to be to your daughters, Nina and Elena?
“Independent. Thoughtful. Critical. Honest.”
Elena, what kind of role model was your mum?
“We were always encouraged to pursue our interests and passions in our own way, and taught the importance of art, design and creativity, which I value so much as an adult. I think one of the greatest things I have learnt from her is that self-doubt can be a source of drive rather than a limitation.
“Mum showed me that motherhood is something that becomes a part of one’s identity rather than over taking or replacing it; that independence, work, and passions can still be pursued and enjoyed.”
Nina, what did Jo teach you about womanhood?
“Mum always made running a business and raising us look effortless – I didn't think about it much at the time because it was just what she did and who she was. In hindsight it made us extremely independent and gave us a strong sense of self. I never shied away from doing things I wanted to, because I saw that determination in her and she gave us the space to find what we loved and who we were.
“It taught me that being a woman means anything I want it to be, that we each create our own womanhood in any way we choose.”
NAJO is a story of women, by women.
Every woman’s legacy is unique, precious and enduring.
Ours is jewellery artisan-crafted to last, designed to adorn.