Being able to promote work of my friends is always a pleasure. So, here is a little post featuring an interview with my friend Paola Gulian. She is 1/2 of the Urban Alien team, a jewelry initiative from Bulgaria, creating handmade jewelry with mineral stones, gold and silver. The designs reflect the modern appreciation for nature, stones and simplicity. They are trendy, yet every piece is unique because it’s handmade. Shipping costs are extremely low and so are the prices. They are rebelling in a creative way against the extremely high prices of international shops, who sell pretty much the same minerals with ridiculous price tags. Urban Alien is different, still following the desires of the urban trendlovers and indeed alienates itself from the tourist shops.
“It kind of reflects our own nature, feeling a little bit different in an urban atmosphere, just like an urban alien.”
From the Apartment to the Webshop
It started off as a joke at her best friend Kalina’s apartment. It was an evening full of inspiration and a bit of wine. Both girls are graduates in Media and Design and wanted to start something of their own.
“We really wanted to make jewelry for ourselves. Jewelry that we both liked and wanted to wear, but we didn’t really believe it would turn out as expected”
Have you always been interested in jewelry and design?
I have always liked interesting jewellery, but I’ve never really been crazy about it. I would wear the odd necklace or ring. But, it was only recently that I really started to like crystals and minerals and how they could look with just a simple DIY touch here and there.
Is it somehow a statement against the cheap crystal shops in Bulgaria?
The crystals here are cheap but it’s not a statement against it. More of a statement against the extremely high prices of other international shops .
Would you say your creations are modern or rather authentic?
I think I would class it as a little bit of both. It has a really authentic feel, because it truly is authentic, every piece is unique and doesn’t look like the other. And I consider it to be modern, because this type of style can be seen in most big shops recently.
Do you make everything yourself?
Most of the pieces are made completely with our own hands. Some of the minerals and crystals are pre-cut and then embellished to fit a certain idea. We also tend to revamp vintage jewelry and mix it up with some of our crystals and rocks.
What is your favourite gemstone?
My personal favourite is the Opal, it’s a bit holographic and exactly what I am into at the moment. We can’t wait to make some Opal rings soon.
So basically, the main aspect of your products is that they are cheap and raw?
Raw, because we literally break some of the rocks ourselves. Cheap, in a good way, we don’t like to overcharge for something we enjoy and love doing.
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Urban Alien ships globally