Meet Tania Rodamilans

It actually began with painting. I just dove in and started learning through experimentation, intuition and persistence. It was a very organic process, but also extremely challenging. I explored all kinds of different media, styles and formats, and before I knew it I had artwork everywhere. I started sharing my artwork at galleries, and moved on to working with boutiques when I started to design my own jewelry. The early jewelry lines were drawn right from the artwork itself. Then, I started to get inquiries about my pieces, so I needed a digital space where I could show my work. That’s when my website, taniarodamilans.com, and then Etsy store were created. My brand is all about elevating accessories to what they are — beautiful, personal, artistic textures that accent our individual style. In that pursuit, I highlight beauty wherever I find it in the world around me (hint: it’s everywhere). And the way I look at it, the things we use to accent our personal style in our homes are also accessories. So, my business is a combination of jewelry design and original artwork.

What do you love about your business and industry?

Accessories are what give fashion its finesse. The perfect complement, added to the most basic outfits, can make them come alive, like the subtle magic that music brings to film or a frame can bring to a work of art. Rather than adding to, these elements are about bringing out the beauty that already exists in the light, the shadow and the emotion of the piece. The same is true of just the right necklace. Accessories bring a sense of completeness that it is hard to achieve with clothing alone. Leaving home without accessorizing is like walking out without shoes.

Tell us what inspires you.

I find as much inspiration in a rusted piece of hardware as in a Japanese flower arrangement, or a beautifully displayed salad. I often find myself thinking of the next project while working in my studio. Honestly, lack of inspiration is rarely the problem. Focus and stillness tend to be my weaknesses. What I enjoy the most is the pleasure I find in exploration and discovery, and the simple fact of being fortunate enough to play with colors, water and fire. But it is in the discipline of art that the potential of a blank slate becomes endless possibilities. We tend to forget just how beautiful life is. There is beauty all around us if you know where to look. I can’t help but notice an interesting color combination, the way the sunlight casts a beautiful shadow on a wood fence, or how a dirty muddy puddle can become the perfect reflective surface and create the most interesting effects. The Universe is constantly delivering; we are just too busy to pay attention.

What advice do you have for other creatives and entrepreneurs?

When you start your own business, choose something that truly makes you happy. Dream big, and don’t be afraid to follow your intuition. When the time comes to make changes, embrace them. Don’t give up. You are not alone in being your own boss. There are others out there that are going through the same exact challenges. Talk to them, work with them, help each other.

What is something surprising about you?

If there is something you will always find in my kitchen is a selection of spicy sauces. I put spicy sauce everywhere and I go through Sriracha like others go through milk.

What is the most common question you get about you and your business?

"How do you come up with all these ideas?"

Tell us about your process for making and creating.

As an artist, one must be as comfortable with creation as with destruction. In the process of creating a new collection, many ideas and prototypes must die. We rarely speak of all the sketches left behind, the crooked necklaces, the burned soldered pieces, or the cracked stones that where essential to building the path that leads to creating something that didn't exist before. I don’t go skydiving and you will never find me in a roller coaster, but every time I show my work I feel the same adrenaline rush. It’s always a bold move no matter how many times you’ve done it before. Having the courage to show your authentic self and what comes from you is the definition of bold. It is a privilege to wake up every morning knowing you can create something that didn’t exist yesterday. You have to be bold to embrace the creative process and even bolder to show the results to others.

Name three local makers and brands that you are inspired by and why.

Sophia Reyes, well tailored pieces, classic looks with a spin and amazing silk tops.

Moonstone Pottery, elegant every day pieces that can present any food an editorial look.

Julie’s Chocolate, deliciously beautiful hand painted bonbons.

What is the best advice you've ever been given and how has it shaped your business?

Staying focused and keeping up the level of enthusiasm can be difficult, especially when things don’t go as expected. Take time to celebrate what worked before you fix what didn't.

Tell us about your product.

 I design with an eclectic, boho-chic style and an equal parts elegant and whimsical sensibility. To me, necklaces are like magic talismans that can transform not only an outfit, but also the person wearing it. I also put a lot of care and attention into what I call wearability, because women shouldn’t need an occasion to make a statement.

What do I mean by wearablility? Well, it's a combination of three things: exceptional quality, unique style and multi-functionality. Quality has to be exceptional. I seek out and am extremely selective when it comes to the materials I source. It’s not about making things that are high-end in terms of cost, I want real women to be able to wear my pieces. It’s about demanding high standards, because they deserve nothing less. Style has to be unique. This isn’t about being obscure. This is about designing pieces and collections that have stories behind them. This way, women aren’t just connecting with my impulses as an artist. They’re able to connect with the story of the piece that captures their eye in their own way. Multi-functionality is the art of form. Some of the pieces I design can actually transform to be worn long or short (or anything in between). Some are specifically designed for ease of layering with others. I’ve designed necklaces that had a breakaway bracelet. I feel it’s important for fashion to flex to fit how women live.

My motto is simple: Beautiful. Wearable. Everyday.

Discover more about Tania Rodamilians at taniarodamilans.com

kendra chaplin