Jul 10, 2017 11:00:00 AM
Leading Lady: Anuja Tolia

{SS}: How did you get started in the jewelry industry? 

{AT}: As far as I can remember I loved colors, the arts, painting, and fashion. Specifically fashion… the way woman carried themselves, and portrayed themselves through the way they looked. I majored in Merchandising Management and always thought I would be a buyer at an amazing establishment such as Neimans or Saks. While in college, I did an internship with Norma Kamali in NYC and absolutely loved it. So, after graduating college I moved out to NYC and applied to Parsons and FIT and decided to go to Parsons School of Design to get my masters in Fashion Design. After working in the industry designing woman’s clothing, and styling for 6 years, I decided to move to Florence, Italy. I attended the Studio Art Center International in Florence and received MFA. But what I really fell in love with was jewelry making and 2 designing! I loved being in the studio and creating unique pieces. That’s when my first collection was created for Anuja Tolia

{SS}: Tell us about your typical day.

{AT}: My typical day is really all over the place. I have to wear multiple hats at all times. Trying to design, oversee manufacturing, manage marketing and sales, and stepping into meetings and calls occasionally.

{SS}: What do you love about your job?

{AT}: I love creating and designing and forming the next collection.

Photo by: Nancy Nguyen 

{SS}: Any advice to those starting out in your profession?

{AT}: It’s really hard to be different and stand out. It’s hard to manage your own business, so be ready for one of the toughest challenges but it can be one of the most rewarding ones.

{SS}: What is your go-to jewelry piece? Your “jewelry piece of the moment”? 

{AT}: I really don’t have a favorite piece. I feel like I am always rotating and try to give each new collection it’s own exposure. I am really loving the colored stone collection.

{SS}: What would you tell your 23 year old self?

{AT}: I would say brace yourself for a rocky road ahead. Or go to med school and have a steady income ;)

{SS}: Where do you, personally, get your daily news fix?

{AT}: CNN, Social Media, and WWD

{SS}: What do you do to make you feel beautiful, confident and ready to take on anything?

{AT}: I love dressing up, following trend, and try to be as natural as possible! The key is to also take time to do things for myself such as getting massages or my nails done.

{SS}: What is your “Style Archetype?”

{AT}:

{SS}: Who is your Style Icon?

{AT}: There are too many Style Icons for me from every decade, such as Audrey Hepburn, Jackie O, and I love Kate Middleton. For an everyday icon I love Rachel Bilson’s style.

{SS}: Where do you find style + fashion inspiration?

{AT}: I love looking at Style Watch, WWD, influencers and bloggers

{SS}: What is your power song? 

{AT}: I love music but I don’t have a power song. I love listening to BPM, Top 40, 80’s and 90’s throwbacks. But listening to Beyonce gives me strength and it makes me feel empowered.

{SS}: What is your power outfit or accessory?

{AT}: I love my white ripped jeans and I also love being in my roll up sweats.

{SS}: Who inspires you and why?

{AT}: Anna Wintour- for her strength, courage, and perseverance. Ellen Degeneres- for kindness and humor. Chelsea Handler- for being honest and staying true to herself. My parents- for their hard work and striving to become what they have as immigrants.

{SS}: What are YOUR “words to live by” OR favorite saying/quote?

{AT}: "Be a true and loyal person from your core."

"Your vibe is your tribe."

"Be kind to one another." – Ellen Degeneres

{SS}: Please share with us any of your favorite LOCAL stops in Detroit

{AT}: Everything about Detroit has been incredible lately. I really like Ten Nail BarBird Bee, & Detroit is the New Black. As far as resturants, Seldan Standard, Ottava Via, Apparatus Room are a few of my favorites and Wright & Co. is beautiful for drinks. I'm especially excited for some more boutique retail to come up! 

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