Start typing to see products you are looking for.
  • Menu

Shopping cart

FREE SHIPPING For Orders Over $100
HOW TO FIND USMount Maunganui Location
Start typing to see products you are looking for.

Michelle Rivers and her partner Malcolme Flattery-Donohoe brought Awa Designs to life in 2018.

Michelle shares what makes Awa Designs, Awa Designs!

Inspired by Connections, Nature and Meaning

Our journey is inspired by connections, nature and meaning – and this combination of elements can be felt in every piece created, and our intention is, it’s felt in every piece owned as well.


Connections are a strong theme which runs through the backbone of who and what Awa Designs is. Connections for us come in all shapes and sizes; from the connection we have to creativity and the materials we work with, to the connections we have with all the people who are part of our journey including you our customer and the connections we have to the pieces themselves and in turn the connection you then place on the piece.

Personally, I’ve had a connection with creativity for as long as I can remember; I’ve always had a love for making things, always having to have something in my hands transforming it from one thing to another. I continued this creativity on and went to art school, majoring in jewellery design and learning the silversmith trade. My passion for jewellery and art has continued ever since.

The name Awa Designs has a deep connection for us too. The English translation of the Māori word ‘Awa’ means ‘river’ or ‘rivers’ – a nod to my surname as well as incorporating Malcolme’s heritage.


Reference to water particularly a river, is integral to Awa Designs. The symbolic representation it has, linked to life’s journey and the fact the river is constantly moving and changes its character where the tide ceases to ebb and flow.

As well as inspiration from the river, our creations are inspired from other aspects of nature too.

Gemstones in particular, are a passion of mine. I feel there’s a true sense of magic and uniqueness that comes with working with and wearing gemstones. A sense of connection with the environment

Awa Designs is not the place you come to for diamonds, in fact, diamonds are not this gal’s best friend! I prefer jewellery and art that has more colour and vibrancy!


Everything we do, everything we create and everything we have, tells its own story and has a meaning behind it, in te ao Māori we call this ‘kei a ia ano tikanga’.

When you receive a gift or when you purchase from us, we will share with you the meaning of the piece. Then you can add your own self to it and let it intertwine into your own life and the reason, occasion or milestone the piece represents. You can tell your own story and add your meaning – a true sense of collaboration. Our pieces are designed to be timeless, stylish and unique.

Scroll To Top