The Importance Of Investing In Handmade, With Tanja Kovacevic Of Petite Grand

by: Rosie Dalton | 4 months ago | Features

Image: Petite Grand designer Tanja Kovacevic. 

Petite Grand is a handmade jewellery label that was founded by designer Tanja Kovacevic in 2010. Although Tanja initially began her career in the field of fashion, it would ultimately be accessories that most ignited her passion. Now leading a small but dedicated team of five in the brand’s Surry Hills studio, the designer says she is still just as passionate about her craft now as she was then.

Specialising in fine pieces like chain earrings and delicate necklaces, Petite Grand is a local brand committed to minimising waste wherever possible. Which is why we were super excited to welcome the label to the Well Made Clothes family. So to celebrate the launch, we caught up with Tanja about the brand’s journey to date and what keeps her inspired.

Rosie Dalton: What is your earliest jewellery memory?
Tanja Kovacevic: Going to the markets, and seeing a very fun mix of jewellery. In particular I remember liking how jewellery was so small and delicate, but so eye catching and intricate. 

Rosie: Why did you decide to launch your own label?
Tanja: I wanted to be a designer since I was 12-years-old. I can remember spending long afternoons drawing outfits and accessories that I wanted to wear. My career started out working in fashion, and it wasn’t until I did a jewellery-making course 8 years ago that I knew I wanted to be a jewellery designer. I had that light bulb moment, where I realised how much I loved making it, and that this was what I wanted to do as a career.

Rosie: Can you tell us about the journey of your pieces, from concept to creation?
Tanja: Generally when I’m designing a collection, I start by combining elements that interest me, and then the inspiration for the rest of the collection kind of flows from there. I like to be really hands-on with the whole process, designing by making a prototype or sample. It’s the only way I can understand how certain materials and styles work with one another.

Rosie: Which materials do you tend to use in your designs and why?
Tanja: I love experimenting with new mediums in my designs, it always keeps it interesting for me and the customer. Of course I love working with gold and silver but I also love working with more organic materials such as shells, opals, glass and gemstones.

Rosie: Can you tell us a bit about the Petite Grand studio – what is the atmosphere like there?
Tanja: It’s somewhere I love coming everyday and I've tried to make it an environment in which others feel the same. I’ve been here for 3 years now and, to me, it’s almost like an extension of home. My little dog Max comes in everyday and keeps us company. We’re so lucky that our studio has amazing sunlight and always feels very inviting. The building we are in is filled with lots of other talented creatives, so that’s something I love.   

Rosie: How many team members do you have working in the studio now?
Tanja: Including me, there are five of us working in the studio now. We have a wonderful team that love everything jewellery related. We are all very passionate about making each and every piece, so we’re thrilled when a customer pops into the studio wearing one of our designs.

Rosie: Why do you believe it is important to invest in well-made jewellery?
Tanja: I believe it is important to invest in anything handmade. It is so much more special and you can feel the energy of the person who made it. You are more likely to hold onto handmade pieces for a long time and they can serve as a memory of a special time in your life. Which I think is so important in this day and age. 

Rosie: And finally, how do you seek to minimise your impact through design?
Tanja: We make pieces as we receive an order for them, which means that we aren’t producing everything in bulk. Every single piece we make is for a purpose, therefore we rarely have left over pieces of jewellery. We also reuse materials and melt metals to use in later collections. In addition to this, we are very cautious of not wasting other materials like paper, boxes, or tissue paper. We try to reuse wherever possible.

 

You can shop our range of Petite Grand jewellery over here.

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