Samantha Tea, and her Starry Night Style
Jewelry designer, Samantha Tea, draws inspiration from her combined of astronomy, philanthropy, and nature. Each design has a unique story, meaningful for the wearer. Elegant and out of this world, her pieces are ethereal. Here, we interviewed Samantha Tea to learn more about her work and process.
Tell us a bit about your story. How did you get into the jewelry industry?
I had a few different career paths, from modelling to being a Pilates teacher, but I always felt a need to fulfill my creative side. Jewelry had always been a passion of mine and something I wished to explore a little deeper. I attended classes in LCF and Central St. Martins in London to develop my knowledge and skills of the jewelry industry.Then when I embarked on a trip to Thailand, I visited a stone market at the border of Burma which kickstarted my incredible journey as a jewelry designer. I landed in the mystical world of gemstones and it all seemed to fall into place, so I decided to focus my energy on bringing this passion into my (professional) life.
We can clearly see your passion for Astronomy through your pieces, where does this fascination come from?
How can I not be fascinated by what’s above us! The magic of a starry night or a full moon. I find the mystery of our universe endlessly inspiring.
A lot of your designs have different colors and gems, creating a joyful and unique look. Do you have a favorite color combination, or a favorite gemstone?
Colors gives me a feeling of joy. Whenever I meet my sapphire supplier, I have a sense of excitement in sourcing new color combinations and creating new movement of colors, like my beloved rainbow that I use across my collections. I love stones that play with light and color, for example mother of pearl has an amazing ability to catch the light and gives us a rainbow-like sheen thanks to its iridescent sheen. Star sapphires again catch the light and produce a 5-pointed star. What I love most, is being able to look at a gemstone and then visualize in my head how to enhance its individual beauty… it is impossible for me to choose a favorite gemstone, sorry!
We see that you incorporate Persian Turquoise into some of your pieces. Does this gemstone have a special meaning to you?
The unique blue of Persian turquoise truly gives a sense of tranquillity, it reminds me of both the sea and the sky at the same time. Both areas that inspire my designs. Persian turquoise is also a healing gemstone that carries protection dispelling negative energy.
How do you want people to feel when they wear your jewelry? How do you want it to speak to them?
I wish for them to feel one with their new jewels, to have the emotional connection with these little objects of adornment that often represent a memory, a person or even a feeling (of protection for example).
Out of all of your pieces, is there one that you feel most connected to? Tell us the story behind it.
The Laluna ring, she was my first design, and I designed several variations with different gemstone combinations. I encountered a fascinating stone that appeared magical, a black star sapphire (a star appears when you shine a light as I mentioned previously), and combined it with my favorite shape, a crescent.
The Aura earrings have gotten a lot of attention from the press. What inspired you to create them?
I discovered inlay and wanted to create a piece incorporating this beautiful method. I really pushed the limits with this experimental design in terms of production, as to how thin each triangle is! It is also one of my early designs and wanted to continue stars throughout my initial collection.
What has been your most challenging experience in the jewelry industry, or as an entrepreneur?
The journey of building a brand within a saturated world of design is certainly not for the faint hearted. It starts with extremely cloudy surroundings that eventually dissipate through endless hard work coupled with relentless enthusiasm. Looking back, I could have pushed more to find someone to do my PR; I eventually did engage with someone amazing and once this started it gave me more confidence in myself and in my brand. Working solo in the beginning requires a lot of self-discipline as well as having to deal with insecurities solo, without being able to bounce ideas and questions. I am always learning on this journey- on the business side but also on the creative side and I love every minute of it!
What are some personal and professional goals that you want to accomplish in the near future? What about 10 years from now, where do you see yourself and your business ideally?
I want to be able to continue my passion, keep learning, keep exploring and create timeless jewels that are meaningful for my customers… I’m opened to receive whatever the universe has in store for me!