7 February 2014
I like all things that are unique. There is something special about owning an item that is exclusively yours. Something different, individual and personal. It adds value to that item, well for me anyway, that can’t be replaced by anything else. So imagine my delight when I was walking through Msida the other day and I came across Yana’s Jewellery. Intrigued by her beautiful and unique statement pieces in the store, I asked Yana if she would meet me for a coffee and a chat about herself and her business so I could find out more. Fortunately she said yes!
Yana has the ability to light up a room when she walks in. Grinning from ear to ear she took a seat and we started chatting. Bold, Attractive and Vibrant. That is how Yana explained her jewellery to me. Originally a social worker by profession, Yana is 27, dances flamenco and plays piano. She stopped working full time just over 8 weeks ago to focus all of her attention on her store and her business.
It all began in 2010 when Yana felt an urge to start designing. With no history or flair for art, Yana turned her hand to jewellery design. Inspired by her grandfather, who used to be a gold and silversmith and owned his own jewellery store, Yana was presented with a couple of jewellery making books and started experimenting with beads and materials at home, teaching herself everything, step by step. Elastic quickly became thread, which in turn evolved into wire and wire wrapping. Very quickly Yana was creating bespoke and statement pieces that she was very proud of.
In 2011, a friend contacted Yana, and asked if she would like to display her jewellery in an exhibition at Brick Lane in London. Yana packed up all her favourite pieces and flew to London to take part. Her stall was very popular with many compliments and positive feedback for her unique collections and on her return to Malta immediately went about making her products available to the public. Within two months she had set up a complete Facebook page and started selling jewellery to her friends and family. Quickly and quite unexpectedly orders started coming through as word of mouth spread and Yana also found herself setting up stalls in market places and becoming even more popular.
A year on an opportunity arose for Yana to set up her first retail store, driven by pure passion and supportive friends and family, she bought her very first shop while holding down a full time job as a social worker. The store opened in April 2013 and her other hobbies were placed on a permanent hold as she would head to the shop at 5pm until 8pm every day, although some nights would see her there until 11pm as she caught up with everything that needed to be done.
Circumstances have changed now slightly and her day involves running the shop during regular shop hours, both in the morning and in the afternoon allowing more time to pursue her hobbies as well as making and selling jewellery.
Colour is Yana’s main inspiration. What can typically start with a simple design can quickly become a complicated bespoke piece. She is currently creating bohemian style jewellery using items such as silver, stones and feathers to create her unique pieces.
The true feature that makes Yana’s Jewellery unique though is that a visit to Yana’s Jewellery is not like visiting any shop or store. It is an experience. Anybody can come to the store and customize or design their own piece of jewellery and can embrace the moment of creating something potentially beautiful from scratch.
Yana’s jewellery appeals to all ages, located near one of the most popular colleges in Malta she caters to the student market with very reasonable prices as well as professionals. Yana also plays a major role in weddings, customising jewellery for brides, bridesmaids and guests alike. People of all ages also enjoy bringing in their existing jewellery and adding their own personalised touches to it.
I asked Yana about the fashion scene in general in Malta, “The fashion scene in Malta is growing, there are a lot of independent designers using all types of materials to create wonderful fashion pieces and clothing and I hope that Malta will start putting on some more events to showcase these talents and creations.”
Look out for Yana’s Facebook page and Instagram account as she loves putting on competitions and special offers for her customers on a regular basis. On Saturday 15th March 2014, Yana is going to join a close friend, who is a nail technician, where for just €10, customers can have their nails manicured while a custom ring is designed while they wait. Make sure you book an appointment with her to avoid disappointment though! A truly unique twist on having your nails done.
With Valentine’s day around the corner, and a wide choice of necklaces, rings, earrings, bracelets, anklets and headpieces available Yana’s Jewellery is the perfect place to get that someone special something they will treasure forever. Not only am I having a very nice new ring made for myself, I feel as if I have made a new friend.
2point 3 (Design)
Jeremy Debattista (Video)