So nice, had to do it thrice. That’s what happened when it came to Maja’s business. She started MinimalVS years ago but has since had two more jewelry shops spring up. Each one of them focusing on filling the gem-shaped hole in their clients’ lives. Whether it’s a need for fine jewelry or more trendy pieces, Maja and her team do it all with handmade designs from MinimalVS, Capucinne, and Three Layers. She’s talking to us about all of that and then some as she takes a break from her multiple businesses to give us the deets on her jewelry empire.
Kendra: Were you on a different career path before jewelry came to be your life?
Maja: I am a Gemini, so my life is full of experiences. I have worked in a lot of different fields. From a PR Marketer to IT sector, from owning a handmade cosmetics brand to where I am today. I am a mother of two, so it has always been a challenge to juggle between career life and family life, but I am glad where I am today with a business that allows me to be my best at both worlds.
Kendra: What was it about jewelry that made you want to start not one but three different businesses based around it?
Maja: I first started with just one shop, MinimalVS and I started making jewelry I wanted to wear and was trendy at the moment. It caught a lot of attention on Etsy. So one thing led to another and MinimalVS became that shop where you found high quality trendy, dainty pieces and has now transformed itself into a high-quality fine jewelry shop, still with the trendy and dainty touch. Along the way, I started getting a lot of personalized orders with fine jewelry. So we decided to create a shop focused more on personalized engagement and wedding rings; Capucinne. It all just came naturally I would say. The idea for all three brands evolved over time.
Kendra: How does MinimalVS differ from Capucinne and Three Layers?
Maja: With MinimalVs we first introduced minimalistic pieces of jewelry. Perfect for layering so there was a lot of geometric shapes and inspiration found in architecture, but since we offer custom pieces we later on added personalized jewelry and started making jewelry with gemstones. Which I was always in love with.
As fine diamond jewelry became popular at MinimalVS we wanted to create a brand that is all about that, hence Capucinne was born – a fine jewelry brand specialized in engagement and wedding rings as well as other fine jewelry. Capucinne has grown so much that now MinimalVs and Three Layers are our sister brands, where Three Layers is a shop with dainty jewelry perfect for those who want that effortless yet trendy look.
Kendra: What they all have in common is beauty and being handmade. What makes a handmade piece stand out from something mass produced?
Maja: The joy of a handmade piece is that each is unique. Especially when it comes to the jewelry with gemstones. Each gem has its own sparkle, its own color – tourmalines are a great example of that. Knowing that you are wearing a handmade piece makes it all the more special. That is because it was made specifically for the wearer and it just has that magic to it.
Kendra: Are your pieces inspired by the history of Slovenia? The architecture, the art?
Maja: Yes of course, when designing I find a lot of inspiration in architecture. We did a series of rings inspired by our national Idrija lace. It’s a bobbin lace my grandmother did throughout her life. So we made it as a ring, and it looks perfect as a matching band to a diamond ring.
Kendra: You’ve been on Etsy for a while now. Do you feel like an e-marketplace like this has opened doors for you that may have otherwise been harder to get through?
Maja: Etsy has been a supportive marketplace and truly the perfect place for us to grow as a business. We’ve learned a lot along the way. Now we can claim ourselves as one of the best in the category of fine jewelry. Reviews speak for themselves. And it truly is a joy to make all the pieces for our Etsy customers.
Kendra: As we head deeper into 2019, what are your plans for the year? Will there be another online store coming from you?
Maja: We focus mainly on fine diamond and gemstone jewelry and are surrounded by amazingly beautiful stones that take our breath away. So we would like to offer those as loose gemstones to the Etsy customers who already either have a ring setting and would like to change the original stone or for those who are just obsessed with gems like we are.