Talking to Vela feels like reconnecting with an old friend, the type who’s bubbly, fun and easy to talk to, the kind of girl you might describe as “down to earth“ and she happened to be the girl behind one of my fav jewellery brand – BYVELA.
Who: Vela Petkova
Location: Sofia, Bulgaria
Your perfect city to live in: Geneva, Switzerland
Tell us a little bit about „By Vela”: An idea that came almost as spontaneously as many other great ideas… I worked for a couple of years at the admin department of a London-based company. Quite randomly I decided to draw some piece of jewellery, just for the fun of it, though I have never actually been an artsy person. However, the very first ring that I drew, my cutout Leopard Cuff Ring – I loved it! I decided to make it from silver for myself to wear, but actually all my friends loved it too and started asking about it. So from a simple try-out it became a full-time occupation. I eventually quit my job and started developing the brand. Of course, not everything was as straightforward as it seemed and at times it’s extremely challenging, even overwhelming. But then again, there is nothing you can’t learn along the way.
The brand itself is all about creating contemporary-classic jewellery. Whenever I create a design, I always try to blend trendy with timeless and I always want it to be personal, to be me, to match my perception of beauty. Sometimes this means taking more time to create a collection. I take my time but I want it to feel right.
The brand is entirely based in Bulgaria, another thing I am proud of.
What do you think is the most interesting part of working for yourself: Observing and learning every aspect of a business. Building something from scratch and seeing it grow. It’s a pretty great feeling… Also, sweet independence!
One thing you can’t imagine yourself without: Music and dancing.
Five things you always take with you when traveling: My computer, sketchpad and pencil, too many cosmetics, comfortable shoes and a book that I never read.
What inspires you: When being creative – music.
In life – that any dream is achievable if you put your heart, time and effort into it.
What is your style signature? Contemporary-classic. Just like with my jewellery, I like to be trendy but I usually only pick up trends that are transitional and not too “this-season-only”. I also really like colorblocking and am always very careful when choosing the colours in my outfits.
How would you describe Geneva to someone who has never been? Clean and organized, pretty, amazing service, beautiful people, relaxing.
Where is the best place in Geneva to have a coffee and watch people go by? Café du Centre on Place Molard.
Where is the best place to have a drink? The Cocktail Bar in Sofia – outstanding cocktails!
Where do you go for a good lunch with girlfriends? It’s usually a dinner, as for lunch I usually eat at my office and watch Friends. Forno Cipollini – one of my favourite restaurant in Sofia.
The best pastry shop… Hmm.. Rainbow Factory in Sofia maybe?
Tell me about your ideal day. Depends very much on what day it is… During the work week my ideal day starts around 7am, I tidy up the house a little (as in the evening I usually don’t have the energy), make the bed, take a shower, yoga, breakfast, delicious coffee, and then having a packed schedule – I am the most productive when under pressure. Give me 100 things to do in one day and I will quite effortlessly do them all. Give me one thing to do and I will mix it up.
My ideal weekend day is waking up around 8-9, making a nice tasty breakfast, going out for a walk and lunch with my bf, then back home to chill on the couch/hammock for a while with a big cup of coffee/tea and watching some comedy show.
Best Shopping Area: Florence. I really like the numerous small boutiques you can find there.
Where can you always spot the fashion crowd? London.
Your favorite multi-brand shop? The Outnet. Great brands at great prices.
Your secret beauty tips? Coconut oil instead of night cream. Note: not suitable for oily skin and always skipping 1-2 days a week allowing the skin to rest. Also – cleansing every evening and morning. Exfoliation and mask once a week. 50 SPF. Not so many secrets – just consistent care.
How do you see yourself in 10 years: Family and kids, at least one successful project behind (be it the jewellery or any other idea I would like to develop). Happy.
Interview and edited by Alice Simeonova