Similarly to the rest of the former Soviet bloc countries, Poland is experiencing a surge of young, up and coming brands in recent years. Often their founders stumble upon a gap in the market and decide to create these products on their own, putting in their passion, expertise and talent. A brand named Pola Zag is one of them.
HOW DID YOU GET TO JEWELLERY DESIGN?
My story began in Krakow, where I am based at the moment, and where I moved to study interior design. In fact, I made my very first bracelet here during my studies. It all started with this bracelet. My friends seemed to like it and started asking me if I can make similar bracelets for them as well. Soon the “domino effect” kicked in and I’ve started receiving orders every day. This year the brand celebrates its 7th birthday! Somehow I always knew that I would be a designer. I first thought I would be designing interiors, but I ended up doing jewellery design. Still, the interiors are a great passion of mine.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
I am inspired by music, travels, and by my son. He is a new person in my world and he has shown me what is most important in life. That feeling gives me power. I learned that I can do more that I thought I could.
WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE?
I get up around 7 o’clock. As the very first thing, I turn on the coffee burner. At the same time I deal with the needs of my little Jó, because he is usually so hungry after the night. After we finish our breakfast, I usually go to the city to get things done and to spend some time with my husband. Every day I play both roles – the one of a mother and the one of a business lady. My husband is a musician so we both are freelancers - we can adjust our time so that we are comfortable.
WHAT IS UNIQUE ABOUT YOUR PRODUCTS?
I usually work with steel and brass. They give you so many possibilities how to make new designs. My favourite feature of our products is that our pieces are never identical, there are always subtle differences. All our stuff is made by hand, with the help of stationary tools only. We do not outsource to anyone. My company is made of two people - me and my dad.
TELL US A BIT MORE ABOUT YOUR CURRENT COLLECTION AND YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE...
My latest collection is called “PAPER” and as the name suggests, my inspiration was the paper and all the different ways of bending it. We started with twisting and turning paper into various shapes and taking the inspiration from the forms we created. The second stage was to find a way to make the brass look like paper. In the future, I want to start cooperating with international labels and stores, but the rest is my sweet secret :)
WHAT IS YOUR BRAND’S MOTTO?
Be good, do not be greedy, grow up and go ahead!
WHAT PART OF THE PRODUCTION DO YOU ENJOY THE MOST?
I really enjoy solving difficulties. I love it when we figure out the problems of ergonomics of our pieces. We use to say that “paper can withstand anything” but in real life it’s different. Often the ideas that we sketch on paper will be changed, once we start building the real product. Sometimes my ideas turn out not to be feasible...
JUST WONDERING, HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR ONE OF YOUR PIECES TO BE MADE?
First, we have to come up with the idea. Once we have the initial concept, we sit in the lab and start making the prototype. If its production goes smoothly and everything is as we imagined it to be, we move to the final stage of finishing the piece. This usually takes few hours. However, often, things do no go as planned and then we start again and again and again... After this process of prototyping, when we make sure that the new product is feasible, it gets easier and easier to make as we produce more of it.
WHAT ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT (EXCEPT FOR YOUR JEWELLERY)?
WHICH UP-AND-COMING BRANDS DO YOU LIKE?
YOU ARE BASED IN KRAKOW - WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT IT? ANY SUGGESTIONS OF PLACES TO VISIT?
I find Krakow to be a very cosy city. It is perfect for people who want to live their life at their own pace. It is great for freelancers. Designers in Poland want to change the thinking about our country, we want to show that we have power, we like to work and that we are creative. I feel like now is the best time in Poland to create something of your own and by yourself and I’m in love with this trend!
For people interested in design I would definitely recommend JEJU - a store offering natural Korean cosmetics and more, Tytano as a hub for the creative industries and a design showroom named Forum Designu. You can stop by Charlotte for coffee and visit Zenit for lunch or just walk around the town - in every corner of Krakow you can find something beautiful.
WHAT DOES MINIMALISM MEAN TO YOU?
It means choosing better instead of a lot.