An Interview with The ‘Original Andrea’

Andrea Kolpaska (Originals by Andrea) is a name in Ottawa and abound associated with many things beautiful and by that we mean her wonderful and artistic jewellery designs. We sat down with Kolpaska to ask her some questions about her journey through designing unique jewellery and accessories and what she has planned next!

 

When were you first interested in fashion?:
As a little girl collecting different stones and shells during my travels.

How did you first get started in fashion?:
Creating jewellery from collected gemstones for the whole school and girlfriends and then in university while I was studying for my MA in Design and Art History.

At what point did you feel like “yes, I can do this as a career”?:
I would not call it career even now, it is a PASSION and the biggest reward is to have customers owning 200+ pieces and still asking what new you have designed.

Who is your client?:
In Ottawa I started creating collections for Richard Robinson, Lida Boutique, Three Wild women /former Carlen Gallery/, Vanilla, Manhattan Marque, Poised, Kaliyana, Sable classics, Shepherds, Pronuptia and Preston in Montreal and in Toronto my first customers were Andrews , Brian Bailey and Allan Cherry to name few

What inspires you?:
Every day life, gemstones, colors and everything around me. I like to push the boundaries, using unusual materials never used in jewellery industry before and mainly love for anything new unusual.

What do you love most about your job?:
Freedom, creativity, having such a wonderful clientele.

 
What would you say is the most stressful?:
If you do what you truly love, there is no stress. As an artist I live and work in my world, where outside emotions, problems,stress, boring routine are not able to enter my `sacred`space, I call it a designer aura. I do not follow trends, I do not wonder what competition does. I am aware of what is happening around me, what trends are coming and going but that does not create stress, does not affect me. I set my own rules and trends, I am never chasing trend, and this is why my jewellery designs are timeless.

Are you constantly designing/making pieces or is it more of “when I am inspired”?:
Yes I am constantly inspired, sometimes I have trouble not having enough time to finish all my projects and designs. The way I do each and every collection and what inspires me during this creative process is a little piece of untouched, raw piece of rock, gem, shell or a glass and the story that gets to me. This is how I build my collection, I always design out of the things that I love and admire!

How would you like to see your collection(s) grow?:
I am trying very hard to remain true to the focus of my creation’s, to remain “ORIGINAL” . I do not want to expand over my head and lose the uniqueness, if you jump on the mass production “wagon”, maybe a smart business move for some, but you kill your creative spirit. You are then becoming the production line available everywhere, not creative, one of a kind original designer jewellery.

If there is one piece of advice you could give a designer starting out in fashion it would be?:
Be yourself, do not copy or steal designs. It will never get you far, follow your vision, work hard and don`t be afraid to experiment.

Biggest lesson you’ve learned since you started?:
If you think that becoming a designer is to 9 to 5 job, that somehow you can stop at 5.00 pm and do something else , you are wrong. It takes all you have, you eat and breathe your designs, collection and creations you are working on.

From Andrea:
“I hold in my hand a piece of stone or Venetian glass, perhaps a gem, a pearl,
a crystal and it inspires me to create something special, unique and truly divine.
This is how each collection begins,
with a communion between artist and gemstone,
a connection that becomes a vision, resulting in a creation that speaks
to the essence of the inspiration itself natures beauty.
This is my joy and my passion;
it is my honour to share it with you.”

About Christopher Massardo


Christopher Massardo is a writer, creative director, publisher and former fashion stylist based in Ottawa, Canada. Massardo's work has been published in PRESS the fashion, Dolce Vita, Italian Vogue, Capital Style, Wedding Dreams, Canadian Brushstroke, Papercut, Supplementaire, IDOL, Photographer & Muse and more. His first book, "The funny, horrible and (possibly) true stories of #setlife" was released on May 15th and has been talked about on CBC Radio, CTV and Daytime Ottawa. Not to mention a hit amongst fashion bloggers including Style x Beauty Department, 613Style, Homoculture The Polished Pretties, Loafers & Polish and more!

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Christopher Massardo

Christopher Massardo is a writer, creative director, publisher and former fashion stylist based in Ottawa, Canada. Massardo's work has been published in PRESS the fashion, Dolce Vita, Italian Vogue, Capital Style, Wedding Dreams, Canadian Brushstroke, Papercut, Supplementaire, IDOL, Photographer & Muse and more. His first book, "The funny, horrible and (possibly) true stories of #setlife" was released on May 15th and has been talked about on CBC Radio, CTV and Daytime Ottawa. Not to mention a hit amongst fashion bloggers including Style x Beauty Department, 613Style, Homoculture The Polished Pretties, Loafers & Polish and more!