Summers are here and it’s time to unwind and put our problems aside! I will be a hypocrite if I say I haven’t been checking out ticket fares to Bali and Goa just like everyone else. Not only tickets, everyone is busy crafting their beach bodies, picking out the perfect bikinis and stocking up on sunscreen! But this summer, you can do something extra!
A few months back, I came across a jewelry brand which caters to beach jewelry, and I thought to myself that it is an incredible concept. I haven’t heard so much about beach jewelry in India as such and that’s when I decided to know more about POW Jewellery. I visited their website and also checked their Instagram feed, their products are undeniably beautiful and full of life!
The founder of POW Jewellery, Julia Filipowsky, is quite the traveler herself. This beach girl has been wandering around the world to explore herself and her passions. Bali being her favorite destination and also the hub for her jewelry designing and production area. They currently operate through their online store and have plans to expand their operations very soon to Australia, Ibiza and Barcelona!
POW Jewellery has come up with very unique and sophisticated designs ranging from body chains, bracelets, earrings, necklaces, etc. for women and very suave designs for men.
Few must have’s from POW Jewellery –
For women, I strongly recommend having The Alice Body chain, The Aquamarine Ring Rebecca, Sabrina Necklace with Quartz/Amethyst and The Emma Earrings.
For men, The David Men’s Bracelet and The Ring Richard.
I interviewed Julia and got to know so much about this inspiring leading lady!
Q: When and what attracted you to jewelry designing?
I studied fashion design, but realized already during my time in uni that I did not want to work in that field. I did not like the sewing and pattern making and the overall development of fashion these days. It has become so fast, always changing, it always has to be brand new. There used to be two collections per year, Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter. Now there is pre-Fall, pre-spring and many more for high street brands and fashion companies like Zara and H&M have new styles in shop every week. This evolution was not something I wanted to be part of or contribute. Mass production, child labor in third world countries to give the Western world the opportunity to purchase a ridiculous amount of clothes that they will never wear or throw away after one season is disturbing. Plus, when I applied at my design uni I had a totally different image of this job in my head. More on the creative side, less office and numbers. But when I did my internship in New York and also when I worked in Fashion after uni I realized it is a lot of computer work involved and sticking to sales numbers rather than being creative. I could not stand the fact that I had to go into an office every day and stay there all day. I am an outdoor person, very active and I also love to work at night. This all does not coincide with the typical 9-5 office job. But back then I had never thought of the idea to found an own company. In fact, I actually thought I would not want that.
But then I went on my around-the-world trip because I was stuck in Munich. I just knew that I don’t want, but had no idea what I wanted to do in life. So i figured it would be the best idea to get out into the world, see new things and change places, have great experiences and not think about what to do and plan anything out. And I hoped, that out of nowhere an idea would come up. And so it was. After already traveling in South East Asia for 3 months, I arrived in Bali and the 3rd day a Balinese guy came up to me at the beach and wanted to sell me silver rings. I started talking to him about the jewellery and where he got it from and then he told me, that many members of his family were silversmiths and that silver jewellery was produced a lot in Bali. Shortly after he had left this idea suddenly came up and wouldn’t leave my mind anymore. This is it! I will be doing jewellery! And since I fell in love in Bali the moment I arrived on the island, it was clear that I wanted to produce there and also stay for most of my time in that place. It has ever since been a great fountain of creativity. As soon as I step a foot on that island,
creativity starts flowing and won’t stop.
Now I have designed my work the way I want it, I can basically work from everywhere in the world, as long as I have an internet connection. I do produce in Bali, but it is also not necessary that I stay there all the time, even though I chose to do so in the past year.
As for jewellery and what attracts me to it: I love beautiful things and it has always been like
that, already as a child. It can be art, fashion, jewellery, furniture, photography, food or
architecture, etc., I am naturally drawn to aesthetic things, almost like magic. I’ve always
possessed jewellery, but never wore much and I always loved silver and platinum a lot more than gold. I am not very much of a gold person I have to admit. What I love the most about it is the emotional aspect to it. People rarely buy jewellery just to buy something. To me it is a lot different than the development of the fast paced fashion industry. Of
course, there are also trends in jewellery, but it is not changing that fast. But the emotional aspect to me is amazing. When you ask people about the jewellery that they are wearing, they can always answer you who gave it to them or where they got it. It’s mostly presents from loved ones or they inherited it and if they bought themselves it often was a present for them when they accomplished something, like a reward or on a special occasion, on holidays, in a beautiful spot in the world where they wanted to bring something with them to always be reminded of that time. Nobody wears jewellery that reminds her or him of somebody they don’t like or something terrible that happened. It is connected to beautiful holidays and times and to people they love. I was overwhelmed with feelings past Christmas, when people bought jewellery from me for their
girlfriends or boyfriends, husbands, wives, sisters, daughters…I was in Bali on Christmas eve and thought about all the people who were unwrapping their Christmas presents and who would received something from POW jewellery. People were even sending me photos of it. It was one of the most beautiful feelings ever and still gives me goosebumps when I think about it. And also thinking that these people will wear this jewellery in the future and it will be with them whatever they are doing and where they go. This is something you don’t have with clothes. Nobody wears the same shirt every day and has a personal relationship to it. But I have certain rings I wear daily and other jewellery as well that I wear a lot and take with me on travels. I love the thought that my jewellery will be spread out around the world, in fact I know people are wearing it in Sweden, Norway, Germany, USA, Australia and many other countries. And I love the fact that it is a product that will last for a long time and won’t be thrown away like a used pair of jeans with holes in it.
Q: What made you come up with the concept of “Beach Jewelry”?
I am a beach and ocean person and am naturally drawn to the sea. If it is over water or
underwater (diving is a great passion of mine and I love surfing as well), I love being close to it and most of the time when I am in Bali or also anywhere else in the world where I have traveled, I always try to stay as close to the beach as possible, preferably that I can even hear the waves at night when falling asleep and wake up with the view of the ocean. I also came naturally when I decided to produce in Bali and started designing the pieces there as well. But the jewellery is not necessarily designed for wearing it only at the beach, it can be wherever and for whatever occasion. Some pieces are more for dressing up, most of it can be worn daily, at whatever time. I have one body chain, that looks good with beach wear, but I also wear it over dresses for example or with shorts and it also works perfectly. A lot of the time when I work I have seaview, so I would say it is definitely influenced and inspired by it. Or let’s say, the energy of the waves and the feeling I get when I am close to the ocean is definitely inside every piece of jewellery.
I just did a new shoot with all the jewellery for the website, lookbook etc and it has been shot on the beach and in beach wear. That way I just want to create and show the image of the brand being easy going, beach and island living and influenced by Bali. But I want to transport this feeling with my jewellery into the life of the person who wears POW jewellery, no matter if they live in Sweden or Russia, in the mountains or close to the sea or wherever in the world.
Q: Do you have any outlets or is POW Jewellery an e-commerce project?
I do sell mainly online or people contact me personally and want to buy something and I did a few designer markets in Munich in the past months. Now I am working on contacting retailers and placing my products in shops worldwide.
Q: How do you describe your brand?
Ageless, open minded, easy going, unique, focusing on quality products and fabrication,
handmade, exclusive, timeless, spiritual, ethical…only a few words that come into my mind. A true story for the better understanding and explanation:
I once bought a necklace of a couple from Italy, that was traveling the world, buying stones, threads, pearls etc. wherever they went and made jewellery out of it. Then, they would sell their jewellery, wherever they were and financed their living and travels with it. It was a couple of years ago in Ibiza. They could tell me about every piece the offered where the parts came from and they told me about the necklace that I was interested in, that the crystal was from Brazil ( the crystals I use are also from Brazil and funny enough this necklace is the reason I started designing a lot of my jewellery with crystals), the brass pearls were from Burkina Faso and the coconut shell from somewhere in Asia. This was fascinating and reason enough for me to buy it. Imagine my label being created with this experience in mind, representing the same idea in a way, only that you don’t have to run into me on some beach, but you can purchase the jewellery from wherever you are. But still you get some of the Balinese spirit with it and the influences I got and will get from my past and future travels. That is also why the ‚collection‘ is built up the way it is. There are pieces that will always be available and in larger numbers. But of some designs I will only produce one or two to give it the same feeling I got when I bought that necklace on the beach.
Q: What makes your work different as compared to your peers?
I designed my company that way that I can work from everywhere in the world. There are some who do the same, but I think most have a base. Well, my base is actually Bali with my
silversmith who lives there, but I am moving around wherever I like. Furthermore, I chose to work together with one Balinese silversmith and support him and his family. I have a very strong focus on ethical production, there is no and never will be any mass production with POW jewellery, it is all handmade by my silversmith in between rice fields and mountains in central Bali. In the future I will also support local foundations with various causes to give back to the island that gives so much to me.
Q: Is there a particular designer from whom you draw inspiration?
My idol is Patrik Muff, a jewellery designer from Munich, Germany, which is my hometown. I came across his designs many years ago and loved it ever since. And I do love every single piece I own from him. I would not say that our style is similar though. He also works mainly with silver, that’s probably the most similar thing when you compare our designs. But the spirit behind the brand, the designs etc, that is what I love the most. And he makes the jewellery himself, he is a silversmith. He has his workspace in the back of his beautiful shop in Munich and you can see him sometimes working there. I just admire what he does and the development of his brand over the past few years. I love his designs but maybe I am more inspired by the spirit of his company and how he worked it all out.
But I do draw inspiration for the designs from friends and family. You won’t believe how many people approached me when they learned I was starting my own company, designing jewellery. Many friends told me about something they were always looking for but never managed to find anything similar. Then I start drawing and we started working something out. A couple of these pieces are now part of the collection. I like the idea of my friends and family creating jewellery together with me and also being a part of the process. And they like it, too.
Q: What goes into creating your designs?
It comes naturally. I definitely don’t want to compare myself with Karl Lagerfeld, that would be ridiculous, but I once read in an interview that he dreams of clothes and designs and always has paper and pen next to the bed that he can immediately draw what he dreamed when he wakes up. That is a perfect example how creativity works. You cannot force it and often when you think about it the least all of a sudden something comes up. I have ideas when I’m on the beach, in the water, on planes, in restaurants, with friends…and I always find a piece of paper to draw it and often immediately after take a photo and send that to my silversmith, asking if it is possible that way and if he could try to make it for me.
Q: What is the toughest thing you had to do in your job?
Communication. I don’t speak Bahasa (Indonesian) or Balinese and my silversmith is born and raised in Bali. He and his wife do speak English, but wee had misunderstandings when placing orders, designing etc and I know there will be misunderstandings in the future. But we always worked it out and there is nothing that cannot be changed or arranged and they always tell me they are my Balinese family and I stayed in their house many times when we were working together on designs and this is what matters the most. In the end everything always works out and some misunderstandings better in the end then what I had in mind!
Q: Is there a designer technique that you use in a different or unusual way?
No, but it is all hand made and requires a lot of time and knowledge. I have one bracelet in my collection (Fiona), that takes almost 3 days to produce and finish. I took photos during the production process and post them on my social media every now and then and there are a few pictures that I added to my website in the blog. It is not a modern production process, but the way he learned it and we stick to it, because this works for POW jewellery.
Q: Where would you rate your products price wise?
They start at 25 Euros for a silver ring and go up to 550 Euros for the bracelet I was talking
about before. There are many products in between that range. It was important to me to keep it affordable and not skyrocket with the prices. I want it to be exclusive, but still affordable.
Q: What are your plans for next 5 years?
Right now there is a lot going on and it is super exciting.
I just had a shoot with the whole jewellery collection and the website is being completely
revamped and redone from scratch with an easier user experience and more professional. I did the current website myself and since I’ve never done anything like that it was a great challenge, but also very interesting and once I got it how it works, I had great fun making it. But now it is time to give it a more professional look. Furthermore, there will be a lookbook soon and as I mentioned before I will look for shops to place it in. I am traveling a lot and therefore can go to many shops personally and show them my work and I also want to pick out that way shops that I like and have a more personal relationship with them. Working on the collection is going to be a never-ending process. There will always be new designs coming up in the online shop, so it is definitely worth checking back every now and then. And I will not follow a calendar with that or have some rules when a new collection is going to be available. I also want to offer more custom making in the future. That also people who are not (yet) my friends, but found my website or social media can approach me with their ideas and wishes and we can work something out together. I do love the idea of creating unique pieces for people and special occasions. So this is definitely something that will be available in the future. I am going to intensify working together with magazines, bloggers, work on my social media appearance and try to make it happen that you can find POW jewellery in shops scattered all over the world.
And I hope within those 5 years I can also bring out a line with precious stones and white gold or Platinum in a higher price range. You see, everything is still work in progress and I feel it will always be. But the company still is very young and I am trying my best, but I don’t rush anything. There is no need to rush, I’d rather make it good. There is always a new country to concentrate on, a new project to do. I just started to work with women, who sell bracelets and sarongs on the beach. They will make bracelets for me and knot silver pendants into them. It is just as exciting for them as it is for me and I am looking forward to see the first results when I get back to Bali.
Q: Which city/country would you like to expand to next?
I am just starting off with my company, so the world is like a blank canvas that I can draw on, wherever I want. This is how I feel right now. But Australia is currently top of my list. Maybe because I meet so many Australians in Bali and I feel they love jewellery and I love their open mindedness and also because I am right now on a plane to Melbourne answering all your questions. After that I will go to Byron Bay and check everything out there and try to make connections with locals, shops etc. Bali of course aswell, since POW jewellery is born there. And I am planning to spend the European summer there, going to many places, Ibiza, Barcelona, London etc. All on my list. The good thing is as I said I can work from anywhere and now I can travel and combine pleasure with work. And of course Munich as well since it is the place where I grew up.
Q: What kind of jewelry would you personally wear?
Well, now with my own jewellery brand I am mostly wearing my own designs. People always ask me about it and this is a good way to show my work and represent my company.
The only other brand I am wearing is jewellery by Patrik Muff, I am constantly wearing a ring with a beautiful Citrin from his collection on my right ring finger. I am wearing rings on my left hand ring finger as long as I can remember, never taking it off and right not it is actually two rings. The Kate and Nena rings from POW jewellery. It is decent and
simple. And I do love the Dana bracelet and almost wear it all the time. Also I do love either a 90cm chain necklace with 3 pendants by Patrik Muff (a feather, an anchor and a Buddha) since I also connect beautiful memories with it or my POW jewellery 90 cm ball chain with a crystal pendant. Quartz crystals are the most powerful of all crystals and have a very strong effect on your body and mind. I love to keep my crystal pendant with me at all times. I would only wear silver, white gold or Platinum since I am not a yellow gold person. And when it comes to semi precious stones, my favorites are clear Quartz crystals and Amethyst, with precious stones I love Diamonds.
But what I wear is always dependent on my current mood and feelings and when I put something of my collection on it is spontaneous and based on that. But I would wear every piece of my collection, because if I wouldn’t want to do that it would not be part of my collection.
After getting to know Julia and her story, it is safe to say that she has successfully made a name for her brand in the Fashion world and we wish her all the very best for her future endeavors!
Post By: Sakshi Deswal / Appy Bistro
Picture Courtesy: Julia Filipowsky / POW Jewellery
Follow POW Jewellery –
Instagram – @powjewellery
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/jewellerypow
Website – http://www.pow-jewellery.com/
Categories: Fashion Street