July 18, 2011

Q & A with Tara Nish - CLOSED!

This Q & A features Vancouver-local Tara Nish, the designer behind AstridLily. Her reponses are completely heartfelt and humble. I think her story is absolutely inspiring and it really makes you think. On top of that, her jewelry is one of a kind and each piece is carefully handcrafted by Tara.

Lucky for Chanel & Caviar readers, everyone has a chance to enter to win one of her stunning pieces - more info down below. Feel free to check out her Etsy store and if you have any questions, leave them below! xo

How did AstridLily start and why the name?
Tara: A bad car accident left me with a back injury and unable to work at my Commercial Banking job, a career I loved and had just graduated with honors to pursue. I was hopelessly depressed, in chronic pain and feeling like I had no purpose. My friends and family encouraged me to pull out my jewelry supplies from year earlier and start creating. It had an immediate therapeutic effect, gave me a purpose in my day, and an outlet for self expression. I could create intervals, some days just as I lay in bed due to pain. Soon I posted my creations on Etsy and put my jewelry out to the world. The name was created years before after my beautiful daughter Astrid Lily.

How would you describe AstridLily?
Tara: I like to be very free spirited and I am passionate about creating looks that reflect that inner essence. I handcraft unique, elegant, whimsical gemstone jewelry for women who love mystical pretty things. AstridLily uses only the finest metals and semi precious gemstones ensuring each creation is one to be treasured for years to come. AstridLily is a dash of bohemian, a pinch of exotic, and a whole lot of glamour. AstridLily jewelry is precious, and meant to be treasured for years to come. It's not a trend. It's not disposable. It's a small piece of timeless art that expresses to the world the creative beautiful woman you are.

What sparked your interest in jewelery design?
Tara: My interest in jewelry sparked when I was doing "The Artist's Way". it's a book that is a guide to spark your inner artist. I started to browse in little boutiques on my "artist dates" and found all this interesting beautiful jewellery and it inspired me. I bought some materials and taught myself... wow, I still can't believe the power that book had!

How do you go about designing your pieces?
Tara: I design every piece from start to finish. I just lay out the gemstones and start to play.

How would you describe your own style? Do you have any go-to pieces?
Tara: I would say my style suits my personality completely....bohemian but sexy, a bit playful, I worship heels.

Favourite item you own?
Tara: Favourite item I own, is either a handwritten booklet that my daughter Astrid wrote everything about me. She made it at school for Mother's Day and I have never laughed harder. She just made up everything.... favourite food- cabbage, favourite activity- doing puzzles...hahaha....a whole bunch of awesome little imaginative findings:)

Where do you look for inspiration?
Tara: Inspiration comes in so many forms. The biggest source is actually the gemstones themselves... the colours and shapes, and the way the totally change if you add them with another colour. I love fashion, reading magazines, blogs, runway shows.

Style icon?
Tara: Hmm, I would say Bianca Jagger, Nicole Ritchie, Lourdes Ciccone Leon, Sara Jessica Parker... I just can't choose one.

One trend you don't ever want to see come back?
Tara: People please, it should never have been a trend, anything Ed Hardy. Men in bedazzled shirts is so wrong. The only thing worse, is men in overalls. So very wrong, unless you are Uncle Jesse out on the Dukes of Hazard set. Uncle Jesse rocks, he can wear a thong for all I care... well, maybe not.

Best advice you've heard?
Tara: Best advise I've heard- by far, and this is from a dying father to his daughter. Pay attention to your guy's actions, not what he says. If they don't match, ignore the words, the actions don't lie.

I hope you enjoyed the Q & A with Tara as much as I enjoyed working with her! I was so happy I ran into her at the Portabello West Market, here in Vancouver. She was so sweet and her daughter is such a doll! Remember to check out her Etsy store to see all her fabulous creations - they make the perfect gift!

The Giveaway!

As mentioned above, there is a fabulous giveaway included with this Q & A. After my last giveaway, I realized that it seemed a little "limited" as not everyone has Twitter or Facebook. So, for this one, there are multiple ways to enter to win the ring you see above! It's a stunning amethyst ring and comes in a medium size (if you win and live in the Greater Vancouver area, you are able to have it re-sized to fit you).

1) Signup for Chanel & Caviar's monthly Newsletter (+2 entries)
2) "Like" Chanel & Caviar on Facebook (+1 entry)
3) RT "I entered to win an @AstridLilyGems design from Chanel & Caviar! http://bit.ly/qNNviY via @CassyCarter" on Twitter (+1 entry)
4) Follow Chanel & Caviar through Bloglovin' (+1 entry)
5) Visit AstridLily's Etsy Store and comment on what your favourite item is! (+1 entry)

That's a total of SIX entries (something for everyone)! You MUST leave one comment telling me which ones you decided to do and your email! No comment, no entry. =( 

The contest is open internationally!

This contest closes Sunday, August 7th!!

Good Luck!