With a passion for art, Rinn Boothby Willetts had put her creative streak to one side to focus on her children when they were younger. She launched ADRIFT with a desire to create jewellery pieces that balance natural beauty with vibrant colour and also remain beautiful and strong for years to come. When she makes jewellery, she creates something that is both simple and elegant, as well as easy to wear every day. Every piece is unique and made from high quality natural materials like fibre, wood, and gemstones.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
ADRIFT came from my own personal desire to have high quality, all-natural jewellery that I could confidently wear throughout my day to day. I found my morning routine didn’t really include accessorising, mainly because I didn’t have the time to fiddle around with clasps before doing the school or kindy run. I was also scared that my more delicate pieces of jewellery would get damaged by my lifestyle which was ultimately focused on child-wrangling and being outside. I like going in the ocean, spending time in the garden, and the kids and I make messes from time to time. ADRIFT was born from all of that – I wanted to create something that was minimal, beautiful, resilient, high quality and easy to put on in a rush. I also love the idea of wearing something around my wrist which can serve as a reminder to stay grounded in times of stress or sadness. Each stone has a story and empowering intention.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
Initially it was just about making something cool for myself. Throughout my life I have dabbled in just about everything from ceramics to textile design, but like so many women, art went on the backburner for a long time after I had children. As the kids got older, I started making bracelets for friends. Next, I got involved with a local collective of artists and makers, who together showcase their stuff in a pop-up style gallery and retail space in the middle of our local CBD. From there I expanded into other galleries and retail shops around New Zealand.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
Getting involved with a co-op style store/collective was a turning point for me – having that exposure and ultimately seeing that people really resonated with my designs gave me that push that I needed to take creativity to the next level. I think somewhere along the line I realised that I like troubleshooting, and that I’m ultimately a perfectionist. Tweaking the designs and seeking out the most beautiful and highest quality natural and ethically sourced materials to incorporate in my designs is at the heart and soul of the process for me. Once I established that focus, the creative process seemed to happen naturally.
The galleries that stock my pieces have been a pretty incredible platform. I also have a website where customers can order online. The materials that I use – raw gemstones, for example – are sourced in small amounts, so no two pieces are exactly the same, and I often only have enough materials to make a few of any given piece. I like it this way because it means that each piece really is unique and special. The website is normally stocked with a few batches of special pieces at a time, and I find that that works well.