#BEYOUROWN MEETS VALERI CHRISTINA
Established in December 2014 by the jewellery designer and creative director Valeri Christina, Valeri Christina Collection is a selection of timeless, elegant, and highly directional jewellery. Each piece is beautiful yet light-hearted – the designs are made for lovers of bold and modern pieces that play with traditional notions of gender conformity. Each piece perfectly blends African traditions with European modernity, producing stunning jewellery that anyone can wear.
Designer Valeri Christina juxtaposes high-quality materials with her unique technical skills and ongoing collaborations with artisans to consistently bring a fresh perspective and new energy to each collection. The main sources of inspiration behind every collection are drawn from Valeri Christina’s travels and the various cultures she experiences, her Cameroonian and Greek heritage, the global textile market, and history. The collection uses a lot of traditional African materials like gold, shell, and colourful rope.
Valeri Christina started her jewellery collection in Paris after working in an unsatisfying marketing job. It was a new adventure that led her to fulfil a lifelong creative dream and attaining a rebirth of the soul. Her jewellery collection reflects the positive changes in her life and inspires wearers to feel the same. Throughout the collection, you can see eye-catching materials and vibrant colours in African-inspired shapes. The jewellery looks just as much at home on a Greek island or African beach as it does at the office.
Thank you for joining us Valeri can you tell us a little bit about your background story the creator and face of the Valeri Christina brand?
I have always wanted to express my creativity through Art. As a child, I loved drawing, painting, creating ready-to-wear collections, singing, dancing and doing theatre. What happened along this journey I could have never imagined.
I’m Valeri Christina, the Owner and Creative Director of the Valeri Christina brand. My background is of Greek and Cameroonian descent. I moved to London five years ago. I love London for its energy. I launched the brand in December 2014 in Paris. Before starting my entrepreneurial journey, I was working in a Market Research company as a Project Manager, and I was not enjoying anymore the daily tasks as well as the negative environment I was in.
At the same time, I had to deal with a romantic break-up. I experienced depression for the first time of my life. This event marked the beginning of my self-love journey and I started to practice mindfulness every day. I discovered through this experience that I didn’t love myself and I had to make a radical change. Since a very young age, I have always known that I wanted to have my company. I didn’t want to limit working in the corporate world. I love exploring all possibilities and taking risks.
To find my calling, I tried different activities and one day after doing some market research, I discovered rope-based jewellery. I fell in love. So, I started without experience, simply with the desire to have fun and to create unique and original jewellery pieces. Not knowing what could come of it, I posted my first model on social media and little did I know, people started personally messaging me for more product information. This is how my journey started.
Can you tell us about the Valeri Christina brand DNA, and your personal motivations behind creating unique, timeless and elegant pieces?
I believe we all have the strength inside of us to surpass ourselves if we dare to believe in ourselves. I started this journey with a mission, to encourage and motivate women and men to use their full potential to create the life of their dreams. I had a wakeup call following my brutal breakup. I lost myself in a romantic relationship. Since this experience, I’ve learned to trust myself, and my destiny.
My art tells a story “you can do it.” We all have the possibility to reset our mindset and start over. We can create a new story every day, the power is in our hands.
I believe confidence opens doors and provides infinite possibilities. I’m sharing my journey through my art, my voice, my creativity and my imagination. The value of the brand is Authenticity, Generosity, and Bravery.
How are you bringing a fresh perspective and new energy to each collection? What do you use for inspiration and what does your mood/vision board look like?
I love mixing different materials and textures like gold, silver, rose gold, plexiglass, pearls, seashells and ribbons to create outstanding pieces and bring innovative designs. I’ve always been attracted by Greek mythology and Egyptian mythology. I love combining modernity with past myths.
Each piece of my collection has a soul, a story to tell and provides joy and boldness. In addition, I love testing different colour combinations to bring an original touch to each piece I create. Harmony is key.
My vision board helps me to create amazing looks and I am constantly saving images online and in magazines for colour inspiration. I love combining colours in unusual ways. It’s a playful moment, a fun activity to express myself. Inspiration, truly, is everywhere.
I’ve learned that when I am feeling uncreative and blocked, I need to accept this as a time to read and research and connect to nature. I have also learned that I’m very productive when I don’t care about the outcome. I believe creativity requires a willingness to play with the raw materials, whether those materials are words, paint, fabric, etc.
Do you have any current mentors? Either professionally or personally….
Personally, I will say my Mother. She inspires me every day. She went through heart surgery two years ago, but she remained very positive. The right mindset can change everything. she is feeling better than she ever has in the past two years. She is back to work and provides daily assistance to the elderly. She is passionate and she is dedicated to helping them regain their dignity. Her passion and drive really give me strength.
I love listening to Podcasts. It’s an integral part of my daily routine. I’m a big fan of Rachel Hollis, Marie Forleo, Brendon Burchard, Jody Shield, Marisa Peer and Tony Robbins. They inspire me every day.
What platforms are you using as marketing tools to promote Valeri Christina?
I’m using Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin and Pinterest. Instagram helps me to build a strong community and interact with my audience. It’s also a beautiful platform to showcase my Art. I’m using Facebook mainly to share information about upcoming events, collaboration and collection. I share my values and my entrepreneurial journey on Linkedin, and finally, Pinterest is just fantastic to drive traffic to my websites.
Do you currently use any apps or tools to help the functionality of Valeri Christina?
I love using Google Calendar to plan events. This tool increases my productivity and gives me direction.
Planoly is amazing to schedule in advance my posts on Instagram and create a cohesive Instagram feed. It helps me to gain a significant amount of time and disconnect from time to time to social media.
I’m using Mailchimp to manage my email marketing to grow my business. I can design a beautiful campaign and track my data in real-time. Befunky and PicMonkey are great to edit your pictures and create stunning layouts. Finally, I use Zoho Expenses to report my expenses online and create reports. You can upload easily receipts, categorise expenses and select the mode of payment. It’s easy to use.
What 3 solid tips would you give someone looking to launch a jewellery brand?
- I would say stay true to yourself, be inspired by other artists but don’t copy and don’t feel afraid to expose your own Art. Remember, you are Unique. There is an audience for you.
- Know your market and listen to your customers. You must find the right balance between what you desire to create and what your clients want. It’s important to stay open-minded and think outside the box.
- Keep learning new skills to provide value to your clients and create rich content. You will feel more confident and you will attract new opportunities and collaborations. Challenge yourself.
What has been one of the most valuable lessons so far throughout your business building?
Patience is key. Sometimes we want to speed up the process and we feel frustrated when our business is not expanding at the pace we want. With hindsight, I realised that in fact, life offers us the perfect opportunity to reflect and plan quietly our next move. We need to trust the process and trust ourselves.
Don’t criticise yourself, instead try to practice self-love daily. Blockers will stop you from achieving your goals. When you take the time to honour yourself, you will be more productive, and your energy level will increase. You will attract the right tribe and the right opportunities around you.
Never stop learning. Dedicate at least a few minutes to a few hours every day towards learning a new skill. Staying informed about market trends and refreshing our skills is part of the job.
As entrepreneurs, we must be prepared to face the challenges of the future and build a solid foundation. Falling behind can happen quickly. A business or individual well equipped with the latest tools necessary to survive in our current fast-moving environment will thrive.
It’s important to take time to relax. Don’t feel guilty of it. It’s necessary. As entrepreneurs, it’s sometimes hard for us to switch off and recharge our batteries.
What does #BEYOUROWN mean to you?
Dare following your dreams and your own path. Trust your inner guidance and don’t be afraid to take risks. Stay committed and true to yourself and remember that you are Enough! #BEYOUROWN gives us the opportunity to share our story and empower each other. What a wonderful mission of leading women with a vision!
I would like to expand the brand in the UK as I have already a good establishment in France. I will organise more events this year, to expand the brand and connect more through networking, this is very important. I can’t wait to reveal my new Summer Collection coming soon.
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