Moving to the United States transformed me from being a clothing designer into a jewelry artist in a very short period of time. America’s opportunity, diversity and risk-taking attitude inspired me to follow a dream I’ve wanted to pursue for years.
Despite having previous creative and business experience in the fashion industry I’ve always stayed more on the business-side of jewelry. For several years I ran my own store in my hometown of Bacolod, but had been reluctant to join the creative side of things due to uncertainty that my designs would be up-to-par.
Then, on a much-needed trip back to the Philippines a few years ago I basked for a month in the warmth of friends, family and an always supportive husband. The time I spent there reignited my creative juices and helped me cross that mental hurdle. I felt it was finally time to start my own line of jewelry.
Tantalized by garments and jewelry of the past - particularly Elizabethan times, the Middle Ages and the ancient Chinese dynasties - I feel inspired and transported back to those ages when attention to detail and craftsmanship were so important. I felt these eras could be a starting point for my creations.
I’m also reminded of my grandparents as children during the great depression. Resources were scarce, but their creativity was not.
We're all reminded on occasion the sacrifices our grandparents (and great-grandparents) had to make during those times. Still, their ingenuity was inspiring when looking back at the art created during that era. This has inspired me to try and do more with less when the need arises.
“In order to be irreplaceable one must be different” is a favorite quote of mine from Coco Chanel. Her words help remind me to always be unique and think outside the ordinary.
I often start my creative journey by sketching out the piece of jewelry I’m envisioning in my head. Using photos of past travels, inspiring memories or the creations of a by-gone era, I try to make my inspiration a reality. I determine which pearls, semi-precious stones or metals should be used - and I always think of what design is needed to make my pieces look priceless while taking one's breath away.
When I travel, whether it's overseas, to the beach or simply the local preserve - I always take a memento back with me (even if just a memory) from that trip.
Later on, when inspiration calls, these memories will manifest themselves and become a part of my creations. This is part of what makes every piece very personal and special to me.
These days, the world of knights, samurais and ancient legends are areas I’ve been exploring as an outlet for my creativity. These worlds are rich with history, originality and fine detail and I have many pieces in the works inspired by these worlds. I look forward to sharing these new creations with you in the very near future. •