Handmade with love 2 – piece of Art by Gina S.
I’m back with the second Handmade with love interview, and this time you can read about piece of Art by Gina S. and her amazing, colorful and inspiring jewelries.
Please, tell us a few words about yourself and your shop?
I am the designer and creator behind piece of ART, the jewelry brand that I established in 2009. Prior to that I have been working in the corporate field as a media psychologist supporting companies in the public and private sector, as well as politicians. It was a job that allowed me to travel a lot, which is one of my biggest passions, yet was not as fulfilling as I would have liked it to be. I always had a restless artistic side that felt very neglected with a 24/7 stressful job. So I opened my online shop at Etsy, www.pieceofART.etsy.com, as a way to address that artistic need of mine. Soon I knew I had to go for it, take the risk and pursue that artistic path in life. This decision turned out to be the most sincere way to embrace my true needs, passions and dreams. At the same time it offered me flexibility, more time to do the things I truly love doing. One of them of course is to create more colorful, vibrant and stylish jewelry pieces to share with the world via my shop! I still have a long way to go business wise, but I enjoy every minute of this process. I am currently building my own website (www.pieceofartgs.com), as well as focusing more on expanding my wholesale accounts around the world.
When did you start making handmade jewelry?
I always loved creating things and I would jump from one craft to the other since I can remember myself. Making jewelry has always been my personal psychotherapy, a way to clear my mind and relax, a way to express myself and communicate my inner feelings and thoughts with the people around me though colors, shapes, textures, materials. It has been a passion that kept growing until I eventually dedicated myself to it.
How does your creative process look like?
Well…chaotic would be quite an accurate word to describe it! There is not a standard formula I follow when I create my jewelry pieces. It all starts from an idea that pops up into my head and that can happen anytime anywhere…Even when I sleep. I start thinking about materials to use, colors and shapes, techniques….It becomes obsession until I start acting on it, until it starts taking form and shape. Sometimes my hands seem to have a mind of their own and take me to different creative paths with the end result being quite different from the original idea. I manage to surprise myself quite often. I embrace experimentation and constantly teach myself through trial and error. Every single piece I create is a product of love, devotion and attention to detail. There is a piece of my heart in it.
What inspires you the most?
Every creation begins with my wonder, excitement and fascination of the world around us. The happiness that lies in the enjoyment of the moment. A lovely flower bouquet I come across at a busy market. A color painted sky during sunset or sunrise. Love. Joy. Friendship. Meeting new people. Making new friends. Trying the most delicious coffee in the least expected place. That is why I love traveling. I love meeting new places and people. I also adore the trip per se, the preparation, the whole process. I adore the feeling of belonging nowhere and everywhere, the sense of arriving and returning somewhere, the anticipation of all the above while reading a good book on the way. Sometimes I think of myself as a citizen of the world. Life after all is a trip isn’t it? We have to embrace every moment of it with passion. Sip it to the last drop. Be bold and brave. Experiment. Have fun. And that is what my jewelry brand stands for.
Tell us a bit about the place you live and what you love the most about your city?
I am originally from Greece, and I have grown up and spent most of my life in Glyfada, a South suburb of Athens. It is a very hip, vibrant and vivid beachfront town, full of wonderful coffee shops, stores and people. It has such a positive energy! What I love the most about it is the lovely weather, the sunshine, even during the colder winter days the sun will rise, dress the world in colors and warm up your soul.
Although I was born and raised there, most of my time the past few years is spent across the Atlantic, in the United States, and more particularly in Alaska, where the rest of my family also resides. Alaska is a very intense place, it offers a different type of excitement, as it allows you to connect with nature. And it is a place you rediscover every season, as it alternates and gives you new ways to explore and experience it.
If you should write a bucket list, what would be the first 3 things on it?
- Travel as much as I can, be to as many places as possible.
- Write a book or two. I am a dreamer, and since I was a little kid I used to have these stories in my head, stories that keep evolving with time, so I guess I should eventually put them down in paper!
- Learn at least three more foreign languages (and generally learn as much as I can about anything).
You create amazing jewelry pieces, which one is your favorite?
This is a tough one. I relate with every single one of them, as I devote time and love, a part of my soul goes into every single one of my creations. I adore my wide cuff bracelets, because they have a bohemian flair that matches my style and their hand stamped messages are very inspiring. Lately though I find myself very fond of my gemstone wrap bracelets as they are easy and comfortable to wear, can be dressed up or down, are very sparkly and give that layering effect I personally love. Currently I wear a triple row multi sapphire bracelet along with a double row black spinel one. What I never take off though is a dainty chain bracelet with my brother’s name hand stamped on it. All my pieces can be customized based on my clients’ desires and needs. They can add their hand stamped initials, their birthstones, an inspiring quote or even have me create a fully customized piece from scratch.
What’s the most beautiful / lovable /memorable place you have ever been to?
Every country, town, village or island I have visited so far has a unique beauty, a beauty that is best seen if you decide to adapt to an explorer’s rather than a tourist’s mentality, if you are brave enough to really mingle with the locals, hear their stories, visit the less frequent spots. And then of course it is a matter of having a good company and the right attitude! Probably the most vivid memory I have is that of Latvia. A few years ago a Greek friend of mine got married to a girl from Latvia and they performed their wedding in Riga. Such a beautiful town, especially the old city! Their after wedding ceremony took place in a beautiful old mansion dating back to the 1900’s that was converted into a hotel, buried deep in the clearing of a forest. It was an almost magical scenery, one taken straight off a fairy tale. I didn’t stay long enough to further explore Latvia but it is definitely into my soon to do list.
Do you have any Etsy shops and/or blogs you visit regularly and could recommend to our readers?
I can spent hours browsing the vintage section of Etsy. There are so many unique finds waiting to be discovered and given a new life. Leather fringe bags, long denim coats from the ‘70’s, Art Deco etched glass jewelry, Victorian buttons dating back to 1890’s, typewriter drawers that can be up-cycled into jewelry displays… There are a few blogs I visit regularly that offer amazing crafting, up-cycling and DIY ideas:
- http://ispydiy.com/ I love its colorful and modern layout!
- http://www.positivelysplendid.com/ is a beautiful array of projects and decorations, yummy recipes and seasonal ideas.
- http://www.abeautifulmess.com/ I totally embrace the motto of that lifestyle blog “ Life is better when it’s a little bit messy“.
- For all those who love to travel I recommend http://www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-blog/. It has great tips and advice on travelling.
- And if you like photography, http://www.stuckincustoms.com/ features amazing , jaw dropping, truly captivating, breathtaking photos from around the world, taken from the very talented photographer and explorer Trey Ratcliff.
Can you share any inspiring quotations with us that you find true?
- “Carpe Diem” is definitely the motto I try to implement daily.
- “An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle but it will never break”. I have met people who redefined my life, and I knew then that we were destined to meet, it couldn’t have happened otherwise.
- “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”. Sometimes all you need is a leap of faith.
- “Sometimes you find yourself in the middle of nowhere. And sometimes in the middle of nowhere you find yourself”.
The first time I saw her creations, I simply fell in love with her inspirational jewelries, the colors, the shiny Swarovski crystals… Magical!
Can not wait to have some spare money and surprise myself with one of her pieces!
And I’m all excited to introduce our third featured Etsy shop… Coming very soon!;)