The Alchemist of Jewelry

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Interview with Mariangela Paravalou co-owner of Angelo di Spirito Rosa

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 You have a very unique brand name! What is the story behind it?

My husband chose the name as a kind of gift to me.  It is made up of my name, the address of a family home in Florence, that not only gave me many great childhood memories but is a source of inspiration, and lastly a reference to my favorite color which is pink.

Back necklaces

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 What was the piece of jewelry that gave birth to the brand?

It was the fist rosario necklace that Vassili, my husband, made for me.  I had always wanted to make a rosario but I couldn’t find the perfect stones and metals to make it.  As a surprise Vassili decided to make me one. A romantic and almost magical thing about that day, was that as it was raining so much something happened to the electricity and so we had to light many candles around the house.  He worked on that necklace with only candles and then later gave it to me.  There was still no lighting except from the candles so it just felt more special like that.   

Your best selling piece so far?

I’m happy to say that there is more than one.  These are also the ones that represent our brand the most and the ones that are leaving the fastest which are the ring bracelets, hair wreaths and the the ear cuffs.

ASR head wreath

ASR ring bracelets

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From your job title which is Witch of Design and your husband’s Chief Alchemist, it is evident that alchemy plays some type of  role into your concept. What is alchemy to you and what does it mean in your business entity?

In the international markets we are also known as “The Alchemist of Jewelry”.  Our branding message, products and packaging are a mixture of magical elements, dreams and beliefs. The glass bottles and test tube packaging and our display, resembling an old style inventory case in our showroom, all reference scientific discoveries and personal enlightenment.  It is through dreaming and believing in what you are creating that is the source of human desires.  In Paolo Coelho’s book, The Alchemist, he says

“Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.”

bottle packaging

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This company is our treasure!  We would love even more if in creating these pieces we have given you some of our treasure.  We want to capture the magic which exists in that moment for this person.  For us magic is happy times, a perfect gift, being with people you love, knowing what others think before they say a word, and many other of life moments like this.  Our concept revolves around this.  Our motto is

“The Joy of a Gift is Medicine to the Soul” 

So we try to create the perfect gift not only for yourself but for those you want to give it to.  The bottles are a container of all of these things along with the energy and meaning of the  gemstones. 

A cherished award that we received last May was  the Clio Image Award-Honoring Creative Excellence Worldwide for “Jewellery Packaging (Bottles & Test Tubes)”.  We were in a category with other very well known International brands that have been in this industry for many years and that is what made this an even bigger honor for us!  

CLIO4-2_medium

bottle for jewelry

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Where do you get your inspiration from?

I like to observe everything!  But many times I get my inspiration from the stylish women around me.  I’m also influenced by older periods of time such as the Renaissance and in finding ways to create a newer modern rebirth of that period. My goal is to design jewelry that will bring out the femininity of the woman combined with fashion and trends.  All of what we do is to create a decoration that enhances this feminine appeal.

angelo_di_spirito_rosa necklaces

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 Any suggestions or helpful tips for those young Greek entrepreneurs just starting out?

What we are doing has all come about because it is a great love.  This brand is like a second child to us.  As businesses, especially start ups, need a lot of work entrepreneurs must love what they are doing and have even more patience.  It is not easy just starting out and there will be many times that are extremely challenging.  If you can find a balance between patience and truly believing in what you are doing you can make it happen.  The economic times of course influence the speed to which success will come and that is why you need to have patience and not quit.  Most importantly though, you need to be realistic in the beginning to see if you have a good product.  Understanding your product and the market as well as how people around you are receiving it should encourage your actions to move forward or not.  Don’t be blinded by your vision though if those around you and anyone else that you have reached out to show lack of interest.  We must love what we are doing in order to put in all of the time that is needed but we must also be knowledgeable enough to see if there will be demand.

 Do you have any future plans that you’d like to reveal?

We are in the process of collaborating and expanding with many other stores.  Also we are very happy to announce that we will be opening our first shop-in- shop in The Golden Hall at Attica very soon.

What have you learned in having to deal with other nationalities?  Is it the same thing to handle a business transaction with a Greek, American, or Italian for example?

As an international company you need to be aware most importantly of the country’s culture.   Issues from the way business transactions occur to types of packaging or colors can all be seen differently by cultures.  The way you talk, hand gestures to eating etiquette can all play a role.

Your thoughts on the jewelry industry?  Is it more powerful than ever or suffering with the economy?  

The industry is definitely affected by the the economy.  It also changes the market.  The very expensive jewelry has a harder time to pave its way to success but people will always buy jewelry. 

What makes jewelry a great gift compared to some other product? 

As a gift we believe that our brand showcases jewelry as a fashion accessory and investment.  It compliments the whole outfit and can make it look newer even if it isn’t.  An ear cuff is a statement but it is also real jewelry.  You can update your look by that one piece but also keep it for it’s value. 

Tonia Sotiropoulou

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Greek women and jewelry…

The Greek woman has really excelled with the way she now wears jewelry.  They have always loved it but it had more of a classical look in the past.  They dare to wear less classical pieces now.  Some of our pieces are very forward and I wondered how the Greeks would accept it and happily they have!  The young Greeks especially are wearing, experimenting with styles and enjoying jewelry!

Thigh bracelets

1 Comment

  1. Ann

    March 21, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    Beautiful jewelry!

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