Each week we will be highlighting one of the fabulous emerging designers from Phoenix Fashion Week 2017. This week, meet accessory designer Niki Grandics, the founder and lead designer of Enji Studio Jewelry. Niki describers her jewelry line as ethical accessories with an edge, creating bold, modern jewelry for beautiful souls.
Hometown: San Diego, CA
First fashion job: My first job in jewelry was as an intern at Jeweliany (now rebranded as Thatch and under new ownership). The company was in the same sort of growth stage as mine is now and as an intern I had a hand in assisting with lots of different things: manufacturing, shipping, making line sheets, assisting in photoshoot (bringing clothes, jewelry, holding the reflectors). It was great getting to experience what goes on behind the scenes.
When did you know you had a passion for fashion: I found my way into the jewelry world accidentally. I started college at San Diego State University as a graphic design major, because at 19 I thought that was the only career path for someone who is an artist but doesn’t want to be a starving artist. I pretty quickly learned that that’s not the case and graphic design wasn’t really a good fit for me. So I started taking other art classes that I thought were interesting like glass blowing and sculpture. This eventually led me to the jewelry and metals department and once I sat down at the jeweler’s bench, I knew I was in the right place. It was love at first sight (or first solder) and I haven’t looked back since.
Your biggest fashion accomplishment in your eyes: Making this my full-time job and having my work featured in Glamour and other magazines!
The biggest obstacle you have overcome: Coming from a family of doctors and scientists, it was a challenge being accepted as an artist and designer. Growing up, I was expected to go to medical school or at least earn a PhD and my passion for design was always seen as just a hobby, until the results of all of my long hours in the shop and studio started to pay off and I began winning grants, scholarships, and awards for my work. My mom has gone from being a skeptic to one of my biggest advocates.
A Designer who inspires you: I am very inspired by the collaboration of jewelry designer Shaun Leane and Alexander McQueen. Together they made revolutionary runway pieces that really changed the way I saw the power and impact of clothes and jewelry.
Favorite quote: “Profits are a result, not a purpose.”
Advice to someone pursuing a career in fashion as a designer: Treat failure as a learning opportunity instead of a personal defeat. Failure and rejection isn’t personal and is part of every designer and entrepreneur’s story. It’s a way to learn and grow beyond your comfort zone.
Favorite piece you have ever designed: My favorite so far is a rough diamond engagement ring I made for a beautiful couple last year. I had a lot of creative freedom with the design and I’m so thrilled that she loves it!
For more information about Enji Studio Jewelry and to shop online, visit enjistudiojewelry.com.
If you would like to attend Phoenix Fashion Week 2017, you can purchase tickets here: bit.ly/PHXFW2017FABAZ. Use promo code FABAZ for a $20 gift card good towards any seat (not applicable towards standing room tickets).