In Conversation With Irena Chmura
What made you decide to start a brand?
It all happened almost organically. I couldn’t find jewellery that I really really liked, so I started designing it. I have always been very creative; I am a trained painter, I also had a go at creating a fashion collection in the past.
I took a few silversmithing courses, and I fell in love with it! I had people commenting on my jewellery in the street. It’s such a great feeling to know that you create something that people like!
Does your brand have a message?
I want to offer my customers beautiful, delicate and wearable jewellery of the highest quality; pieces that describe style rather than fashion and can be worn for years. I think that the jewellery we wear feels very personal, more than clothing; I even sleep in my jewellery! I would like the women who are investing in Irena Chmura creations to feel that personal connection with the piece they have chosen and have an opportunity to create their own, unique compositions.
The designs are chic but also quite understated; delicate yet edgy. Easy to wear for any occasion and with any outfit.
What or who are your influences?
There are so many! The biggest inspiration for me is nature with it’s shapes, lines and textures. My creative background is in Fine Arts so many of my influences will also come from there. Alexander Calder (who also created beautiful jewellery!), Constantin Brancusi, Jean Arp, Henry Matisse are the ones I would look at the most when searching for ideas. I love beauty of the simplified form that suggests rather than describes or portrays. From amongst the many jewelers out there I adore Yoshinobu Kataoka and Satomi Kawakita. I absolutely love the delicate, organic forms of their designs.
What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your brand?
The whole of this process has been a huge learning curve for me. I had to learn everything from scratch, about setting up a business, pricing, making a website, photographing jewellery, working with influencers, etc. The biggest lesson I have learned is that marketing is so important.
What advice/warnings would you give someone looking to start their own brand?
Be patient, persistent and believe in yourself! And go that extra mile.
What’s the most recent book you read? Did it feed into your creative process?
I am currently reading Napoleon’s Hill “Think and Grow Rich”. It is an inspirational and motivational book on how to achieve goals and succeed in business. For a new startup it’s a very interesting read!
Is there a brand out there that you wish you had started?
Realisation Par. I love the idea of making pieces that just fit into your wardrobe, that you really treasure; instead of clothes that you wear for one season only. I love their style; their dresses are so simple yet girly, sexy and can be worn for many occasions! Luxury fabrics, perfect cut and effortless, understated style. I also find it fascinating how the brand established itself while being available exclusively online.
What goals do you have as a designer?
So far I have been working exclusively with silver and gold. I love the beauty and simplicity of pure metal. For my new collection I am experimenting with wax which allows to achieve much softer forms. In the future I would also like to include stones in my designs.
What is the best part of your job? What is the worst part of your job?
The best AND the worst part is the creative process, I think. It’s an awesome feeling when you make something that you find interesting and people like! But there are so many days when I work on the ideas that look great in my head and in the sketch book but when I actually create a piece it’s not that great at all; then I need to remind myself that it’s normal and just to go back to work! It is a very emotional process.
What is your life motto?
Believe that you can and you’re half way there.