Some people start off young, like Katerina Perez, who started of at the tender age of 3. Her toys were replaced with family heirloom jewellery as it was a source of fascination to her. This deep rooted love, led her to establish benchmarks that is an inspiration for aspiring jewellery professionals. Today, many a global jewellery brands look up to Katerina Perez, seeking guidance for their social media and brand building.
In conversation with Katerina Perez, she speaks of her achievements and offers words of wisdom to jewellery professionals and brands to a direction that’s best suited to their growth story.
Your website says your love affair with Jewellery started really early, when you were around 3? Tell us more about this love story?
When I was little, my favorite pastime was taking out my grandmother’s jewellery, studying it and trying it on. I think what fascinated me is different shapes, colours and types of finish… actually these are the things that I pay the most attention even now when I look at jewellery.
You’re a trained Gemologist, write about jewellery, market it, judged jewellery competitions, guide established jewellers and even mentor young designers; which role do you enjoy the most?
Everything related to jewellery fascinates me and gives me a lot of joy in its own way. One more activity that I love is consulting designers and brands as guiding them and giving them answers they need makes me feel happy, especially when I see positive results of my work!
What led you to start ‘Jewellery Insight by Katerina Perez?’
It all started in my retail days when I used to deal with clients whose only question was ‘How many carats is this stone and how much this jewel costs?’. Through my writing, I wanted to educate people that there is so much more to jewellery than just its investment value.
What is the difference in style you see between aspiring and established designers?
Often I notice that aspiring designers listen to their hearts more and create jewellery of their personal style (with their own DNA). Those are true artists! With established brands, the choice of collections is mostly dictated by best-sellers and financial reports.
Who are some of the new age jewelers that you personally admire and why?
Emmanuel Tarpin (France), Liza Borzaya (Russia), WITR Jewelry (Qatar), Feng J (China) – these are just a few names that I admire for their unique and audacious designs as well as dedication to the highest quality.
What is your take on the jewellery scene of India, where do you think India stands globally in terms of a business?
Those Indian brands who inject a bit of western aesthetics in their designs (Farah Khan), come up with new jewellery aesthetics (miniature pearls of Moksh) and are advanced in their approach to branding and communication (Amrapali) are bound to be well perceived by a variety of markets.
What are your views on Indian jewellery designs aesthetics?
I love it that Indian jewellers use a wealth of techniques and materials when creating their pieces: enamel, various gold finishes, a wide variety of gemstones and their different cuts. When all of these are used in one piece of jewellery a traditional embellishment for a special occasion is born. However, more and more jewellers offer not just luxurious sets, but also some everyday pieces and it is a pleasure for me to see jewellers in India taking this direction.
How was your experience mentoring the first Jewellery Intensive?
For me, it is a pleasure to share my knowledge with students, inspire them and give them guidance for the future.
How important is travel for a jewellery designer?
I believe that travelling is essential for a designer as it broadens one’s mind, inspires and helps to generate new ideas.
Any words of wisdom, for aspiring jewellery professionals from the Indian subcontinent?
The most intriguing jewellery designs are a result of blending different forms of art, so do not get influenced by other jewellers’ work instead seek inspiration in their journey. One should be hungry for knowledge- go to museums, travel and spend time outside close to nature to let the ideas just flow through you.
You have all those ideas multiplying in your head, but eventually what do you do with the inspiration that’s brewing in your mind? You have to find a way to channelize all that into your version of art and trace a journey for its fruition. Katerina Perez is a storehouse of knowledge, having mentored creators of the first Jewellery Intensive, with our curator Preeta Agarwal, she is back to enlightening the lives of many more jewellery professionals, by mentoring the Jewellery Intensive 2019. Stay tuned for more updates…