Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Interview with Rita Tesolin

A couple weeks ago I got an email telling me about Rita Tesolin’s inventory sale. I had a look at her pieces and liked what I saw. I also like to highlight local designers and merchants, so, I asked if could interview her. Of course she obliged. You can find her designs on page 17 in throughout the April issue of Flare (she wanted me to tell you) and connect with Rita on Twitter. (It looks like she’s new so be patient.)

Who is Rita Tesolin?
An adventurer.

Why did you become a jewellery designer?
Jewellery has always been a passion of mine. It started as a hobby in my teens. In my twenties I went to law school, but after practicing for a few years I was, in a way, forced back onto the path of jewellery design when I re-evaluated my life. I looked at my goals and quality of life I wanted and realized that life is too short not to be happy and not to enjoy what you do. I’ve been back at jewellery design for almost six years now, and still happy!

Which materials are your favorite to work with and why?
Semi-precious stones, especially turquoise, are my favourite because I find them healing. I am open to the energy of the stones I work with. The stones choose me; I don’t choose them.

How do you gain inspiration for your collection?
I sometimes get my inspiration in dreams, but mostly it comes from nature and from the changes that I experience in life. For example, when I’m feeling on the weaker side I turn to the stone turquoise which symbolizes strength in the native culture. I get a deep satisfaction working with turquoise. It’s my favourite. I am also inspired by native North American art, culture and symbolism.

What type of customer do you have in mind when designing a new collection?
When I create my one-of-a-kind pieces, I think of someone who is confident and fashion conscious and who wants to purchase something that can be enjoyed forever because that's what I like in my jewellery. I want something that will last a long time. I think about how the jewellery will be enjoyed not only by the person who's wearing it, but the next generation. Often my customers are not only drawn by the beauty of the piece, but they are drawn towards the stones they require. For example, I notice that people with anxiety and sleeplessness are often drawn smoky quartz because quartz calms them down. They put it on and they feel calm right away.

Any hints as to what we can expect from your Spring/Summer 2009 collection?
It’s a fun, light collection I call “rock candy”. I thought about when I was younger, putting together sugar, water and food colouring to create candy – that’s where the name came from. You can see my work on Coco Rocha on the cover of March 2009 Elle Canada, and the March and April 2009 issues of Flare.

If a woman could only buy one accessory this spring, what should it be?
A bold necklace. A lot of people these days aren’t buying new clothing, but a rock candy necklace has a lot of versatility. It can be worn high on the neck or worn long by lengthening the ribbon. When you're wearing a big necklace you don't need to focus as much on earrings and bracelets.
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