Our handbags work as hard as you do. Inspired by the women who wear them, it is about designing pieces that make our wearers feel like they’ve got their act together without trying too hard. In our latest interview of the series, we profile boss-babe, product stylist and photographer Sophia Spahn to talk about how travel encouraged her move to freelance work, how she manages her time and the Vanitas collection imagery she created for us.
Photographer, product stylist, fitness enthusiast, landscaper (what am I missing here?)… Sounds like a few hats – have you got a favourite? What does a week in your diary look like?
I don’t think I have a favourite because I like doing something different everyday – it keeps it really interesting and exciting. I like being busy and managing my own hours so quitting the 9-5 grind and living this lifestyle makes me the happiest I’ve ever been and really no week is ever the same which is just how I like it.
How do you manage your time, so that you are able to meet deadlines and easily switch from one project to the next? Is there a recipe for that?
I make lists of my To-Do’s, prioritise everything from there and then transfer it into my diary which is truly my best friend and goes wherever I go – from desk to shoots to meetings and lives in my Matilda.
Let’s back it up one step, can you give us a quick low down on your back ground?
I have tried a few things since leaving school a decade ago (ahhh a whole decade ago) I was cabin Crew for Air NZ for a few years, then worked as Brand Manager for a fashion import/distribution company and finally as a Visual Merchandiser for an interior company. I gained so much knowledge and experience which gave me the confidence I needed for running GGC.
Talk us through those initial steps starting Golden Gild Collective
My partner and I travelled for 6 months in 2016. We travelled through Europe and spent our last month in Bali where I made the call that I wasn’t going back to the 9-5 life. I had set up an Instagram account for GGC in 2014 and had been tinkering with the idea for a while so while in Bali I built my website and got my portfolio looking sharp. When we got home I started targeting clients and kept working on my portfolio and have been building from there since.
Was it easy/difficult to go out on your own? What, if any, challenges did you face along the way?
Initially no it wasn’t difficult because I was so over the 9-5 thing and so relaxed after travel that I felt like I could tackle anything and that was a great boost for the starting stages. As I got further down track I realised that working on your own and motivating yourself can be really hard and the work isn’t consistent but then when I am busy creating beautiful images for clients I am on such a high because I get such a kick out of being able to do what I love for a living.
Perks of the job?
Working with freaking amazing clients, I have worked with so many amazing people. I think we are so lucky in NZ because everyone is so understanding and supportive of each other and I have gotten a lot of amazing goodies for myself as well.
What has been your favourite project to date?
Saben Winter 2018 Vanitas lookbook images. I can’t give away too much but that was such an arty, creative project. Eeek so excited for everyone to see!
What is your ‘OMG I might actually pee a little in my pants” dream project?
I would love to work on a film set or big magazine spread, something that’s really huge and scary but no doubt heaps of fun and super rewarding.
You have a really varied client list…In your experience, is there a difference between working with big clients and small ones? Which do you enjoy more? Why?
Both. Every client I work with is so different and that makes my work so exciting. The big clients usually really push my boundaries and challenge me which is scary at the start but when I complete those projects it’s something I am so proud of. The little ones usually let me run wild with my creativity and it’s always so rewarding when they love what I have done with it.
Thank you for sharing your home with us!!Do you spend as much time styling your own space as you do your client projects?
I do! I love living in a beautiful space - it inspires me. I have built a collection of beautiful interiors over the years and it’s finally coming together. I finally feel a little bit grown up living in my home that I get to style myself. In saying that when I’m in the middle of a project the house is chaos and you usually can’t see the floors.
Do you have a key feature or element which your projects would never be complete without?
Probably foliage. If I’m creating images and something isn’t right then majority of the time it’s because I’m missing that soft touch that flowers or foliage add.
Can you share a styling secret for amateurs at home wanting to create a beautiful image?
Maybe the above but also don’t overthink it. Often if I am working on something the ideas that come quickly and naturally work best. If I start thinking about it too much it can look really forced and I need to walk away from it for a bit.
If you are wanting to purchase Tax Free and are departing from Auckland International Airport, please call the Saben Ponsonby store on 09 376 1007 with your flight and passport details. Please note that we need four business days to get your order delivered to the airport in time.
Pick up will be from THE COLLECTION POINT Kiosk located after customs in the departures lounge. You will need your passport, boarding pass, and the order confirmation email you receive after purchase to collect your purchase.
We are sorry but at this time we can only process tax-free shopping for flights departing Auckland Airport.
To purchase tax free, you will need your Passport number, Flight number, date and time your international flight departs.
Please ensure your flight date are correct. If your flight details are incorrect, then we may not be able to deliver to you at the correct date and time for you to pick-up your tax free order.
Please make sure you have read and understood the regulations and are confident you can take this tax free purchase to your final destination, and you understand the tax free allowances for the county you are traveling to and accept full responsibility for any breach of these allowances which your purchase may cause. Your purchase will contribute to your carry on allowance. Any order not collected from the airport on departure will need to be refunded as we cannot hold or post out orders from the ‘after security’ operation.
Note that we need four business days to get your order delivered to the airport in time.Pick up will be from THE COLLECTION POINT Kiosk located after customs in the departures lounge. You will need your passport, boarding pass and emailed order confirmation to collect your order.
We are sorry but at this time we can only process Tax-Free shopping for flights departing Auckland Airport.
To purchase tax free, you will need your Passport number, Flight number, date and time your international flight departs. Please enter flight times in 24 Hour Time as they appear on your itinerary.
You must agree with these Terms and Conditions to purchase.
All prices are shown in NZ dollars. Your shopping cart displays the goods you have purchased.Discount codes & any shipping costs are calculated during checkout, before payment. Tax Free orders may be subject to local taxes or duties depending on the Tax Free allowance of the country you are entering.
We accept Visa and Mastercard credit card payments via Shopify Payments and via Paypal. Shopify and Paypal are both secure and encrypted and your credit card number will not be stored. You do not need a PayPal account to pay by credit card using Paypal.
All orders are processed pending availability and credit verification.
For Tax-free purchases we deliver your purchase to Auckland Airport within 3 business days of receipt of payment and will phone you if there are any delays. Your confirmation email will have instructions on the pick up location at Auckland Airport.
We take no responsibility for charges or delays incurred at receiver’s end as this can vary depending on the rules of customs in each country.
We do not accept returns for items outside of New Zealand, we are unable to support exchanges through our online store
Zip allows us to offer you an 'Own it now, pay later' option for online and in store purchases through installment payments. Pay in 4. Interest free. No fees.
All Terms & Conditions relating to Zip are within the above links. To pay via Zip select Zip as the payment option instead of Paypal in the checkout process. Saben is not liable for any late payment fees collected by Zip. By using Zip you enter into an agreement with Zip New Zealand.
**CHRISTMAS SHIPPING UPDATE** Due to increased volume of orders and courier packages please allow 3 - 5 working days for your package to arrive. Thank you for your patience at this hectic time of year.
FREE EXPRESS SHIPPING ON ALL NZ ORDERS - Offer valid only for customers shipping to a New Zealand address.
Orders placed on weekdays before 10AM New Zealand Standard Time Monday - Friday will begin processing straight away and can be guaranteed delivery between 1 - 3 business days* unless otherwise stated, however those that fall after 10AM New Zealand Standard Time Monday - Friday will begin processing straight away but cannot be guaranteed for the overnight delivery.
Orders placed on Friday after 2 PM NZST will begin processing on the following Monday.
Saben will contact via email if the merchandise you have selected is not currently in stock or if we require additional information for credit verification. Please note that estimated delivery time does not include Sundays or Public Holidays.
You may be required to pay further shipping charges where a change in delivery date or delivery address is requested by you.
*These are estimated delivery times only, and unfortunately we are not able to guarantee them. Saben will not be liable for any reasonable or unavoidable delay in delivery. Orders placed during Sale or Promotional periods may be subject to delay
Possible delays: Please note, that we are unable to deliver to PO boxes as we require a signature upon delivery.
AUSTRALIA - $30NZ
Australian deliveries will arrive 3 to 10 days working using NZ Post, International Air. Tracked Australian deliveries will arrive 2 to 7 working days using NZ Post, International Economy Courier.
REST OF WORLD- $45NZ
Deliveries to all other destinations will arrive 3 to 10 days working using NZ Post, International Air. Tracked deliveries will arrive 2 to 7 working days using NZ Post, International Economy Courier.
All international orders please note, that once your order has left New Zealand it may be subject to customs clearance procedures which can cause delays beyond original delivery estimates. Inside of New Zealand you will not incur any duties or taxes however for orders travelling outside of New Zealand, please note that Saben will not be responsible for any customs or duties taxes that occur once your item has left us.
Please feel free to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions regarding a shipment
Immune your bag!
Using a protective spray should be the very first thing you do when you receive your bag: All bags, whether they are suede or leather, need to be protected with a water proofer before use (stay away from the oil based versions). Saben recommends Wrens Total Protector Spray, this is an invisible waterproofing spray for all smooth, suede and nubuck leathers. It can be purchased from your nearest Saben retailer, online or at any shoe repair store.
Reapply protector every 3-4 weeks to keep the leather soft and resilient.
NEVER overfill your handbag or evening bag, as this can put stress on seams, fastenings and straps and spoil the shape. Please try hard to keep the load reasonable.
Light leathers should be treated with extreme care – denim and dye can (and probably will) rub off on to the leather with no easy way of removing. Ensure your denim is colour fast.
White Handbags are extremely sensitive to light, and the leather will turn yellow if it is exposed for too long to spotlights, fluorescent lamps, etc.
Avoid handling your bag after applying foundation, perfume, body or hand creams, this will stain the leather.
Do not place your Saben bag on the floor, use a handbag hook. Any tough surfaces will possibly scratch the leather.
Wearing a bag often will inevitably result in rub marks, where the leather brushes against clothing etc. Saben recommends you swap your bags often to avoid constant rubbing and wear on one bag.
For stronger leathers (nappa or pull-up), moisturise your bag with a product like Wrens Delicate Gel. A mild yet effective cleaning gel, it cleans and nourishes all kinds of leather such as smooth, patent and metallic and gives a natural shine after buffing. Be sure to test any care products on a spot of the leather not easily visible e.g. Inside seam or pocket.
Always apply cleaning and protective product to a soft cloth, not directly on the bag.
If you find you have stains that need removing Wrens Ultimate Cleanser is tough on stains and gentle on leather and its fibres, perfect for removing dirt and water stains.
Suede leather handbags should be regularly brushed with a soft suede brush. Minor stains and marks may be removed with a suede eraser. The leather should retain its colour and appearance if it is regularly treated with a water proofer. These preparations make the leather water repellent, and in particular, impart grease and dust repellence.
Suede that has been rain-marked should be allowed to dry naturally and then brushed up with a suede brush. For serious stains, it is best to see a professional. When storing suede, wrap leather handles or straps in cloth so they do not rest against the suede and leave blotches.
Leather does not like water. Wipe off a wet leather handbag immediately and let air dry. Never use a blow dryer to dry a bag.
If your bag has a chain handle, dirt may accumulate in the chain links causing it to come off on your shoulder. You can avoid this by cleaning the chain with a small tooth brush or the corner of a soft cloth. Always store the chain inside the bag to avoid any scratching or indentations on the leather.
Brass or silverware cleaner will keep your fittings looking shiny. Take care not to get any on the bag!
Keep fasteners and zips running smoothly by running pencil lead over the open teeth.
Do not hang bags in storage; they are best kept in the packing bag supplied with, lying flat or standing upright and stuffed.
To help your bag keep its shape, it is best to stuff your bag with cloth or bubble wrap to keep it safe in storage. When not in use, store your bag out of direct sunlight and do not place light colours next to dark colours as this can cause colour migration, which is irreversible.
Take your bags out regularly and let them ‘breathe’ to prevent any dust and mildew forming.
We will repair your handbag at no charge for the first 90 days after purchase.
If you purchased a bag from us on-line that requires repair, please contact us on 09 376 1007 or send an email to email@example.com.
If you purchased your bag from a retailer, please first try to contact them regarding your repair.
If there is a fault or issue with a bag we must first assess the repair either by photos or in person. As each individual bag is made by hand, from time to time faults occur in the manufacturing process. Saben bags are built for longevity and in an effort to make sustainable fashion – we always opt to repair first.
Our repair process follows a 3-step procedure:
1. If we can REPAIR the fault/damage we reserve the right to first REPAIR the bag.
2. If we can’t repair, the bag and we believe it is fault of manufacture we will REPLACEwith the same or similar bag.
3. If we can’t replace the item, we will REFUND.Repairs are free for 90 days after the purchase date. Thereafter, we charge a repair fee which is based on the type of repair. To have a bag repaired you must first obtain a proof of purchase. Bags will not be accepted without a receipt.
We hope that you are completely satisfied with your order. If for any reason you wish to return your order or a portion of it, please notify us within 7 days of receiving your order.We are happy to refund the full purchase price minus the cost of shipping of any item returned in its original condition after such notification.
Sale items are not eligible for returns or exchanges for any reason.
Returns not sent in their original condition, without a proof of purchase, or past 7 days will be accepted at our discretion only.
We do not accept returns for items shipped outside of New Zealand, we are unable to support exchanges through our online store.
If a package does not arrive, or it arrives damaged, please contact us within fourteen days from confirmation of dispatch to claim insurance on the item. We will require your details, the details of the item that was lost, and the tracking number we sent you with confirmation of dispatch. If a damaged item has arrived we require it to be returned to the postal authority in your country as near as possible in the same condition as when it was delivered.
We will then replace your item free of charge.
• the item is seized by Customs or any other government agency.
• the item is sent to a country where no postal or courier service exists.
• the loss or damage is the result of an event beyond our reasonable control.
• the loss or damage occurs after delivery.
• the item was authorized to be sent without tracking or without insurance.
SECTION 1 - WHAT DO WE DO WITH YOUR INFORMATION?
When you purchase something from our store, as part of the buying and selling process, we collect the personal information you give us such as your name, address and email address.
When you browse our store, we also automatically receive your computer’s internet protocol (IP) address in order to provide us with information that helps us learn about your browser and operating system.
Email marketing: With your permission, we may send you emails about our store, new products and other updates. We will not send unsolicited emails and you can unsubscribe at any time.
SECTION 2 – CONSENT
When you provide us with personal information to complete a transaction, place an order, arrange for a delivery or return a purchase, we imply that you consent to our collecting it and using it for that specific reason only. If we ask for your personal information for a secondary reason, like marketing, we will either ask you directly for your expressed consent, or provide you with an opportunity to say no. We may disclose your personal information if we are required by law to do so or if you violate our Terms of Service.
SECTION 3 – SHOPIFY
Our store is hosted on Shopify Inc. They provide us with the online e-commerce platform and payment processing that allows us to sell our products and services to you. Your data is stored through Shopify’s data storage, databases and the general Shopify application. They store your data on a secure server behind a firewall. When you click on links on our store, they may direct you away from our site. We are not responsible for the privacy practices of other sites and encourage you to read their privacy statements.
SECTION 4 – PAYMENT
Shopify Payments and the other third-party provider used by us (Paypal) will only collect, use and disclose your information to the extent necessary to allow them to perform the payment services they provide to us. They do not store your credit card details unless you choose to do that.
You do not need an account with them to pay by credit card – you can pay as a guest.
SECTION 5 – SECURITY
To protect your personal information, we take reasonable precautions and follow industry best practices to make sure it is not inappropriately lost, misused, accessed, disclosed, altered or destroyed.
Shopify & Saben will not see your credit card details.
SECTION 6 – COOKIES
If you have any queries please email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Sabenettes xx