Be Like Nobody Else
There has been a shift towards personalisation and customisation in the fashion industry of late. Consumers are not wanting what others have anymore. They want to make things their own, to be unique.
US based luxury jewellery label The Artisan Row Accessories: TARA creates pieces for exactly that reason. Modular and linkable, TARA's buildable jewellery can be worn as fine pieces alone or interlinked to make different combinations. Made with opals, grey and black diamonds and 14-karat gold, TARA's pieces are modern heirlooms, special pieces to collect over time. They remove the need to toss away and buy new as you can recreate a look in an instant.
I had the opportunity to interview the founder Annette Lasala Spillane and see the beautiful TARA jewellery in the fresh when I was in New York this year.
Read my interview with Annette below...
What inspired you to start The Artisan Row Accessories?
A lot of soul searching led me to found TARA (The Artisan Row Accessories). I asked myself what job I’d be happy to do for free. I realised that it had to marry all the things I felt passionate about, namely: 1) socially good and ethical business 2) design/fashion/ style 3) the Philippines. I came up with a few ideas but then it’s the idea for TARA that really stuck with me.
Why did you choose to collaborate and create in the Philippines?
The Philippines is the country I was born and raised in. It’s one of my greatest loves.
Can you describe what your experience is like working with the artisans in the Philippines?
It’s been a learning experience. In my past life as a finance person, I was the expert on the topic. I was like fish out of water coming into jewellery design. I had to lean on the experts and trust them when they say ’this might be a better way to execute your idea’ or ‘physics won’t let you do that’. It's been very humbling.
What inspired the mix and match basis of your design concept?
I wanted to streamline my wardrobe and fill it only with pieces I really love to wear. Additionally, I travel all the time so I wondered how I could maximise my jewellery mileage with fewer pieces, while not sacrificing on style. It really started there.
What were some of the key components you considered when designing your jewellery?
Firstly, buildable jewellery can't be just a concept for me. It has to be something I will actually wear in real life, especially when I travel, and in every possible scenario. Then, it has to be light on the ears. Otherwise, I won't wear it.
What are the current trends you are seeing in the jewellery market?
Still the asymmetrical earring, the mismatched earrings, coin jewellery that looks vintage, and hoops!
What’s next for the brand?
We did custom jewellery and engagement rings this year. We’d love to do more because it’s such an intimate experience to make jewellery for someone.
Thank you Annette from TARA for taking the time to speak to us!
Photography by @theessentialistblog.