The Najo contest, which was announced yesterday, invites jewellery design students and apprentices across Australia to submit a hand drawn sterling silver jewellery design that could become part of the brand’s upcoming range.
Najo founder and managing director Jo Tory said she had wanted to conduct a competition of this nature for the past few years, adding that the business’ 30th anniversary presented an ideal opportunity to do so.
“[I want to] encourage and support local designers that do not always have a broad profile,” Tory explained. “I think that this is a way to shed light on those designers and I feel very privileged to be in the position to do that.”
Tory said that after seeing so many international jewellery suppliers experience success in the local market, she hoped to see more Australian jewellery designs attain commercial appeal.
“I know there is talent in this country,” she commented. “I would like to see more creativity and originality in the industry.”
The competition comprises two categories, with five finalists to be selected for each.
The winner of the Commercial Appeal category will have their piece produced and included in Najo’s 2017 collection. The designer will also receive a percentage of all sales from the piece.
The winner of the Design Merit category will be awarded a $2,000 cash prize.
Tory noted, however, that the category winners weren’t the only ones that would benefit from the competition.
“The finalists will all get broad spectrum critical advice about their designs from five sectors of the jewellery industry,” she said. “In this way I want it to be an educational and useful outcome for them.”
Tory explained that the competition’s five-person judging panel would be composed of a Najo representative and a member from each of the manufacturing, design, marketing and retail areas of the industry.
“Both winning designs and those of the finalists will be profiled on the Najo website and Facebook page, and also displayed at the Najo stand at the [Sydney International] Jewellery Fair in August,” she added.
The competition closes on 31 May, with the winners to be announced after Sydney International Jewellery Fair.