lesliecamille / Staying FLYY

Staying FLYY: A Profile of…Stella Simona of Haati Chai

1. What inspired you to begin your own jewelry line?

I come from an extremely rich culture, I grew up studying jewelry without even realizing how much I knew about it as far as it being an art form and way of expression. I’ve been a Fashion Photographer for the last 5 years. I’ve always had issues with having the right accessories/jewelry in my shoots. My partner and fiancé, Caleb Wilson, had been telling me forever to just design everything on my own. Finally I gave in. This past March I happened to be at a store for jewelry making and picked up a few things. Later I went home and designed a few things. Little did I know what this would grow into. I did think I could use them for shoots but also immediately the business side of me turned on. I realized the sort of demand for something so custom and eclectic.

 2. Who do you look up to in the fashion realm?

Honestly I don’t know. As much as I pay attention to fashion I don’t as well. Though these major lines have been setting the trends on a very widespread level the smaller people are always the people I end up looking to. I didn’t grow up on designers, I grew up on appreciating design.  My first time going back home {India}, I was introduced to my families private silversmith and goldsmith. The roots of my culture come from individualism. Over there when a women sees that the new trend is to wear per say a heavy gold necklace she goes to her jeweler and custom designs something in that criteria but makes sure hers is one of a kind. When I visited back home I drew out the design I wanted, decided the size I wanted and had my first custom pieces made. I pull influences from different lines/designers I like but at the same time I like to stay true to my own style.

 3. How would you describe your personal style?

My style is bohemian inspired. When it comes to color palettes I love soft pastels and nudes. It looks fresh and I love to mix it with bold statement pieces and crazy shoes. I use the opportunity to make a statement with my accessories.

4. How is your brand different from what is currently on the market and in the stores?

The designs are a unique way to blend contemporary styles in jewelry making with jewelry making techniques and styles from India; Haati Chai creates a uniquely magical combination of “on trend” pieces rooted from Indian culture. It is not glaringly obvious in all the pieces, but you can tell that it is something different, special, and unique. This jewelry brand not only has the “usual” earrings, rings, necklaces and bracelets expected to encompass any jewelry line, but it boasts anklets, body chains, head pieces, nose rings, men’s jewelry and Indian trinkets.

 5. What does your clothing/jewelry label embody?

I feel that people nowadays don’t understand jewelry anymore. I grew up in my culture knowing that each piece of jewelry I was given had a meaning and the longer I had it the more meaning it had. In India, in a specific region, women are given bangles on their wedding day which they wear their entire lives. When their husband passes away they throw the bangles into the ocean. In another region when women are seen wearing nose rings it means they are unmarried, if they are wearing a nose stud that means they are wed. There are different pieces for coming of age, protection against evil, and so on. I want to continue creating timeless pieces. I want Haati Chai pieces, to be those you find in your mother’s jewelry box and feel you found a treasure. I want them to be given their own meaning by the individuals who wear them, not to be tossed out like costume jewelry.

 6. How do you keep your clothing/jewelry representative of yourself while also keeping consumers satisfied?

To make everything trendy I do take different elements and incorporate them into my own designs. For example this past year mixing of metals is the new “it” thing. Before, people would only wear all silver, all gold, or all copper pieces — nothing was allowed to mix. Right now mixing all the different metal tones is in. I used that specific element and incorporated it into my authentic designs. I chose to do this with my designs not just because its in but because as someone who definitely loves being daring when it comes to design, it was a perfect fit.

 7. What would you say is the key to keeping yourself relevant in an ever changing and growing world of fashion?

 Key is to be you, make your mark. Grow but always grow in your style.

 8. If you were given the title of “FASHION POLICE” for a day, what ticket are you most likely to give out the most…

            a) indecent exposure

            b) Flyyer than your average

            c) Failure to look in the mirror before leaving home

            d) (fill in your own)

I leave the house as put together as possible. If you work out a pretty decent routine you can do that in twenty minutes. Its worth it. You are your brand so market it!.

9. What do you love most about Los Angeles?

Los Angeles is a melting pot! I can have access to everything while in one place.

 10. Have you visited the FlyyCoast2Coast blog? What were your thoughts.

Yes, I have been on the blog. Loved what I saw, was stuck viewing all the fab finds for like hours. I have an obsession how being an eclectic is key.

We’d like to thank Stella Simona (http://haatichai.blogspot.com) for allowing us to get a look into her FLYY brand, Haati Chai. Her jewelry is beautiful. And Stella would love to share it with our gorgeous readers!! We will be hosting a giveaway for a handmade Haati Chai piece. To enter: LEAVE A COMMENT ON THIS POST + FOLLOW ON TWITTER (@FlyyCoast2Coast)!!!  We will choose a winner on February 29th at random. Good Luck.

contest open to US residents only.




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