Hunter Creative Network

Ana Saiao – Designer



My name is Ana Saiao. I am Portuguese and lived in the beautiful city of Lisbon until moving to Australia 5 years ago. I moved here to finish a PhD in Pharmacy and my intention was to go back to Portugal but my family, including my two young daughters and my husband Luis have fallen in love with the Newcastle coastal lifestyle and community and have decided to build a life here. Design has always been a passion of mine and I started making jewellery as a hobby and a creative release for me nine years ago. Since moving to Australia I have felt motivated to explore my love of design more and began studying at Hunter Design School while working at the Mater Hospital as a researcher. After finishing my studies in 2014 I have decided to start actively sourcing materials to create a series of pieces. Over a glass of wine with a friend of mine I decided to ‘just do it’ and hold a preview of my pieces for about 60 women. Committing to that gave me the push I needed to create a collection of pieces rather than dabbling in designs and I worked night and day to create about 30 pieces. Once I started sourcing the ideas started flowing and began noticing more and more possibilities for components of these pieces.

tuga was born!!!


WHY tuga?

tuga is slang for a Portuguese person so I felt this was a fun name that reflects who I am. It was born out of my deep appreciation for beautiful design and a strong desire for self-expression through creating unique pieces that bring joy to people.



I have such a passion for beautiful design that I take inspiration from the most unlikely things all the time, in every day life. Lisbon where I lived in Portugal is such a beautiful, vibrant city and I feel that a sense of that dynamic colour and light and movement comes through in what I create. Here in Newcastle it might be a texture I find at the beach or some delicate Japanese paper or a wild fabric that I can just imagine transformed into beautiful beads for a necklace. The human body itself is such a wonderful, sculptural canvas, each one unique that I imagine shaping individual pieces to!



At the moment I am selling tuga designs on my website and on my Etsy shop ( I am also selling in three local markets; Hunt & Gather markets in Newcastle, Kirribilli Art and Design Markets in Sydney and Bondy Markets in Sydney.  In the next 12 months I would like to take tuga further afield into the Melbourne market and national and by the end of the year I hope to preview tuga to Portugal back in my home city of Lisbon.  To enable me to do that, I have now added an office and workspace into the designs I drew up for my home renovation!  So tuga is rapidly becoming a big part of my life on all levels.

 Jewellery by Ana


  1. Caroline

    Hi Ana ….. where can I buy your beautiful necklaces

    1. Alyeesha

      Hi Caroline, Ana has a link to her etsy store in her bio if you follow the links provided you should find her shop or her social media links. Thank you for your question.

      Hunter Creative Admin


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