Dana Zavidei 29, is a young designer and has a favor for certain materials, specifically one that no one would think about when it comes to jewelry design – Ropes. Not only knowing how to tie the perfect knot but also having a strong vision is what makes her jewelry line stand out of the mass. The creative mind talks about her inspiration and gives us an insight into the creative process of her jewelry line APreciouZ.
1. How did you start your label?
The best things in life come unexpected. I was working on a dress, I really love to sew, and tried to make a belt out of ropes. The knot on the belt just caught my eye and I decided to make a necklace out of the same material. That’s how my idea of jewelry based on ropes was born. I did the first designs for myself but didn’t expect to receive any requests at that time or positive feedback. After having discussed that with my partner, I decided to give it a try and started to put up a online shop.
2. Tell us more about the name APreciouZ: What is the message?
APreciouZ stands for ‘Atelier’ ‘PreciouZ’. ‘Atelier’ represents the uniqueness and detailed handcrafting, while ‘precious’ defines the rareness and valuableness of each piece that I create. The funny ‘Z twist’ comes from the initials of my last name, Zavidei.
3. How do you approach a collection and what inspires you?
I’m inspired in many ways especially by people and places that surround me every day. I am not the person who rushes into a new collection and creates it immediately. Brainstorming and writing down my first thoughts on it, can happen everywhere and I turn them into new jewelry as soon as I arrive at my atelier. Window shopping in Vienna’s different shops, where they sell beads and other jewelry, helps me a lot with finding inspiration.
4. Describe your creative process.
I like to work with different materials, from various shops and let them ‘speak’ to me. Back in my atelier, I take out the ropes and all the other inventories and simply start ‚playing’ with them on the couch table. I set my creativity free and let my hands do all the handcrafted work. Most of the time I end up with something totally different than I started in the beginning.
5. When it comes to your designs: Are you a realist or fantasist?
I’m more a fantasist, but I try to bring out the realistic side in me when I create the final pieces, for which I want to end up for sale. Although I follow my creative streak and visions, I always try to achieve a more realistic business sense. I seek to create pieces that are wearable, easy in design and that don’t afford much supplements when it comes to handcrafting.
6. What were your aspirations as a young girl?
At the age of five I wanted to be a doctor, but after my first experience with a needle I changed my mind quite quickly! When I was seven years old I felt the need to do something creative, where hands and imagination had to function together. I also spent most of my summer holidays with my grandmother who taught me how to sew, neat, and to handcraft. I still love doing that!
7. Your jewelry line and especially the bracelets are different. What where your thoughts on creating this remarkable design?
I wanted to create something different apart from the jewelry designs that were on already on the market. I noticed the similar and repeating designs that people were wearing and wanted to create something different.
8. How would you describe your design style? -OR- Describe your design process.
I would describe my designs as ‘chaotic’ because I enjoy to ‘play’ with the materials. I am not the kind of person who can follow a design and instructions. I like to see what comes up in my creative process.
9. What materials and techniques do you favor?
Of course my absolute favourite material are ropes, but I also use a lot of golden accessories. There is no specific technique I prefer, I just learn with every collection.
10. What was your most engaging project/collaboration?
The first time when I was invited to Vienna Fashion Week in 2013 by the lovely blogger Vicky from ‚Bikinis and Passports’, as she selected us for the category of the 2013 ‘Young Austrian Designer’. This was a great chance to showcase our jewelry line in the pop-up store on-site. It was a great experience for me and my brand and I had the chance to see how much my work and creations were appreciated by visitors.
11. Can you give me an example of a project you had where you disagreed with the client’s direction? How did you handle it?
Luckily I can say that this has never occurred so far. We are highly looking to meet customer wishes at it’s best and are always willing to to cooperate with them.
12. Instagram becomes more and more important everyday, especially for brands in the fashion industry. Do you use Instagram for your company?
Yes, Instagram is a must for APreciouZ! Our designs are shared regularly on our Instagram profile and l and the lovely APreciouZ ladies who wear them. For us, it is a very useful tool to engage with our clients and followers and to build up these one-on-one relationships. If they have something in mind or come up with suggestions, we’re always free for discussions.
13. Your most used #hashtag?
14. Do you have any future plans for APreciouZ?
Yes! We are currently working on different projects to bring ApreciouZ to the next level! We want as many ladies to enjoy our pieces as possible, but we want to stay authentic and close to our customers. One day, we would like to have an own shop, where people can enter and have their own customized pieces made for them and leave with a smile.