I'll admit it: My name is Sabina and I'm an Awards Show junkie. From the inspiring speeches I usually cry through to the hot, red carpet fashion and accessories choices, so you can bet I was tuned in and glued to my television and computer when Julianne Hough rocked the red carpet with striking gold (real) beetle and stick bug earrings.
Fast foward to the after-parties and Brittany Snow is caught wearing the striking Spartan rings from the same designer. I knew it was an independent designer and small business owner who had created those stand-out accessories. As I always say, entrepreneurs make the most amazing and creative things. I immediately had to know WHO it was, HOW they got their pieces front and center for such a huge fashion moment, WHY she thinks Julianne picked out those specific insects...point being, I needed the nitty gritty details on how this all went down. Thanks to the wonders of social media and Google I was emailing with lucky designer Daniela Villegas within the hour and she graciously answered all my questions (even my non-business more-Julianne focused ones that I couldn't help but asking). Check out our exclusive Tin Shingle interview with Daniela below and connect with her online and Facebook as well!
Daniela Villegas Chats Golden Globes, Julianne Hough, Beetles & Entrepreneurship Exclusively with Tin Shingle
How long have you been in business and actively selling your own pieces?
I've been designing jewelry since I was a teenager and I started designing for my own brand DANIELA VILLEGAS since 2008.
What did you do before launching your own accessories line? What led you to decide to hang your own shingle so to speak and launch your own brand?
I started making jewelry pieces for friends and family. I studied fashion design and started learning and working for different people until I decided to launch my own line when I felt the necessity to express myself without constrains. I felt it was time to open my wings and explore.
How important do you think celebrity product placement and styling opportunities are for a fashion or accessories brand?
They are very important because they provide you with the opportunity to reach different markets and possibilities. However, I feel the most important part is to always keep the quality to the top and to create a piece with perfect balance between creativity and sophistication.
What did you think about how Julianne Hough looked in your pieces on the Red Carpet?
She rocked the Golden Globes red carpet. She is a woman that likes to experiment and takes risks that most of the times pay off, you can see she is comfortable and happy. She is very well advised by her stylist Anita Patrickson. At the end the red carpet is an important part of being an actress, she takes it seriously and I'm sure we'll see her rocking the business for many years to come.
Why did you choose the insects and scarab you did for this piece?
"The Backyard" collection is one of my lines that is inspired in the insects integration and balance with the environment. Every piece has a story and symbolism. The beetles are a very unique animal with an incredible range of colors and patterns. First, we chose the color that Anita and Julianne had in their minds and everything unfolded from that.
Can you outline how you, a small business owner, were able to get your product on a hot celebrity during one of the most high visibility nights of the year in terms of Hollywood and fashion?
Some luck, a focused effort and in this case it was especially made possible by Julianne's stylist, Anita Patrickson. She is the one that made the connection.
What did you do to prepare your website/social media/customers/etc for the big moment?
We enjoyed having input and interaction with them and via social media.
What advice do you have for aspiring jewelry designers or entrepreneurs in general who may be reading this article?
To be true to yourself, to be congruent with what you are and what you design. To listen to your heart and when you feel is time to fly, do it! Step by step, no need to rush anything. Work hard everyday and enjoy what you do.
What is your favorite thing about owning your own business?
The freedom I have to create my own pieces, how I manage my time and also the opportunity to meet incredible people in different fields.
What has been one of your biggest challenges as an entrepreneur?
I feel the biggest challenge at the beginning for me was to find great people that can help me to make my pieces a reality. I've been lucky enough to work with the best team.
Where would you like to see your business in 5 years from now?
Being represented by more fantastic stores around the globe, to expand on every level.
What other celebrities are your fantasy celebs to have your jewelry adorn?
I would love to see Diane Kruger, Tilda Swinton, Kate Moss among others, these are women that are not afraid to experiment and who create their own trends.