Five for Friday: Jewelry Designer + Metalsmith Cat Janiga
CJ: My work is primarily inspired by two things: moments of magic in my everyday life, and the extraordinary women I’ve met around the world. The cycle of inspiration continues when my pieces become physical talismans of inspiration for these women - a way for them to express themselves, too.
2. How would you describe your style?
CJ: I always struggle with this question because my style is based on my mood.
3. If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
CJ: My maternal grandmother. She died when I was 8 and we never met. She had a crazy life, though. She was born a countess, but her parents died when she was a child. She was sold off as a maid by family members that were supposed to take care of her. She fled from Nazis and Russians, and then she escaped to Poland to start a new life. Those are just the small bits I know, so I can only imagine the stories she would have to tell!
4. What advice would you give someone trying to get into your profession?
- You get a realistic picture of the ins and out of what it takes to not only to build a brand, but also learn what your day-to-day is going to look like. It's not all mood boards, design sessions, and fun parties.
- You have the opportunity to learn your industry with hands-on experience so you can plan your strategy. That way you, can avoid potentially costly mistakes when you're ready to start out on your own.
- It helps you determine what your 'thing' is going to be. Are you going to be a designer? Are you going to be a goldsmith? Will you do production runs or just one of a kind pieces? Are you going to make fashion, costume, demi-fine, or fine jewelry? When I finished my degree, I was SURE I wanted to be a bench jeweler and work on only fine or one-of-a-kind pieces. I got a job at a fine jewelry company as a goldsmith, and I QUICKLY realized that was absolutely not what I wanted.
Many thanks to Cat for finding the time to chat with us!
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