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Tatiana Ilia

Jewelry & Accessory Designer

Hellotittie: When did you first realize you wanted to pursue a career as a jewelry designer? 

Tatiana Ilia: I first realized that I wanted to pursue a career as a jewelry designer back in 2011. I was still in college studying Media & Communications and American Studies, but I knew that I wanted to also do something that was my own so that I could really channel that creative side of me. After experimenting with different jewelry making materials and teaching myself different techniques I made my first collection of pieces and launched my online shop. 

HT: How do you decide what you want to create?

TL: When I am creating new pieces it’s a natural process where I end up utilizing different materials, colors, or stones that I gravitate to most and then I channel that inspiration into making a piece of jewelry or an accessory that I can see being worn on myself or on somebody else. 

HT: What kinds of materials work well together, and which ones do not? 

TL: For me I use a lot of gold, mainly because I love the way metallic gold tones can stand out on their own, or be used as an accent for other vibrant colors like red and turquoise, or more basic colors like black and white. So in my pieces you will see a lot of gold plated and 14kt gold chains, along with other beaded necklaces or bracelets with subtle gold accents incorporated in the piece. I also love to incorporate gemstones in my jewelry because I love the raw beauty and color waves of many natural stones. 

HT: What is your favorite part about being a designer?

TL: My favorite part about being a designer is being able to create and having creative freedom when it comes to what I’m making. It’s also an amazing feeling when you see other people wearing your creations!

HT: How do you want women to feel when wearing your jewelry?

TL: When wearing my jewelry I want women to feel beautiful, empowered, and stylish!

HT: What woman inspires you and why?
TL: Many women inspire me but the woman that inspires me the most is my mom, so cliche right (laughs). But for real, her resilience and perseverance is something to truly admire, and I am proud to say that I have inherited many of those same traits. Knowing that she was born in Haiti and came to the US with nothing and 2 kids (I came later on), but still always worked hard and made a way for herself and her family members is something to truly admire.  It has definitely shown me what true strength and perseverance is but ultimately it has taught me about life. You must conquer it before it conquers you. 

HT: How do you find strength when you are going through hardship?
TI: When I am going through hardships or adversities, I find strength in myself by remembering where I came from and where I am going. Early on I had to learn that hardships in life are inevitable but the truest test is how you handle them. I would be lying to you if I said that I am able to perfectly handle every hardship that I encounter. There are some hardships that we can encounter that knock us down for days, weeks, or even months, but you always have to remember to pick yourself back up and learn from those experiences. Also, having a great support system of friends and/or family helps tremendously! Sometimes we just need someone to talk to to help us go through the motions of everything so that we can push through. 

HT: What is the one word that perfectly explains who you are?
Me. I find it hard to compare myself to anyone or any one thing, I look at myself as a complex masterpiece that is still learning, living and growing. Uniquely me, just like you are uniquely you. 

HT: What advice do you have for women aiming for a leadership positions.
TI: GO FOR IT!!! Firstly, we need more women in leadership positions, paving the way for other women everywhere and showing the naysayers that a woman can do anything that she puts her mind to, and sometimes it may even be done better than a man. Personally, I think that is something that should be embraced and emphasized especially in a time when women are still being looked at as inferior or unfit for positions in leadership. 

Secondly, if you truly believe that this is something that you want to do put your everything into it and do not loose focus. In time all of your hard work and dedication will bring your aspirations into fruition.