I am so excited to present a quick chat with Lucia Stofej, an inspiring creative entrepreneur from Slovakia. I hope you enjoy learning more about her process and seeing lots of deliciously pretty bridal jewelry, veils, and headpieces. If you are like me, and a total romantic maybe you could totally wear these every day!
Bellemaison: Tell me more about your vision and what makes your shop and designs so special?
Lucia: Vintage materials! I love looking for “treasures” at antique shops.
Every time we travel somewhere, I create a list of flea markets and antique shops to visit. Also, my grand mother is a great source of materials as she tends to put away pretty things she had inherited from her relatives. This way I now own beautiful lace, ribbons and parts of our national folklore costumes. And they keep living their life through my accessories. All this helps to make fashion more sustainable and fulfill my vision.
Bellemaison: Who are your customers?
Lucia: Brides, brides and brides. The wedding market and business is my fate. During my Work & Travel student programs, I spent 3 summers in Vermont, USA and worked at a mansion where weddings took place, from Thursday to Sunday, every week.
I love weddings and everything about them. Such a beautiful celebration of love. I even married my husband twice, in Paris and in Slovakia.
Lucia: When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a painter. There was a large storage room in my parents’ house. It was full of old magazines, books, clothes, plants and it was my favorite place to be. I could get messy there. Painting inside of old books made sense to me as there were only words. Later on during my studies a passion for DIY and mostly creating jewelry and hair accessories appeared. I was inspired by a friend of mine who used to make earrings. At university, I studied Arts and really enjoyed our drawing, painting, photography, sculpture, even jewelry classes. After that there was no way back. 🙂 I had to open my creative business.
Bellemaison: How did you arrive at making these beautiful accessories?
Lucia: I sold quite a number of products in Slovakia so I wanted to try out a global market. It was 2nd of January, 2011 when I finally mustered up all of my courage and opened my Etsy shop. The first necklace sold within hours. Later on my focus changed and now I mainly create bridal hair accessories and veils and such.
Bellemaison: Do you have special sources of inspiration that you can share?
Lucia: My inspiration comes from antiquing, watching old movies, gardening and hikes in the woods….
Bellemaison: Slovakia’s national craft tradition is considerable and includes a long history of gorgeous practices such as resistance dying, women’s ornately embellished clothing, weaving, painted homes, wooden architecture and carving. In what ways do these traditions influence your work?
Lucia: I believe “modrotlač” or blue print is our national craft. It’s a negative block printing or a combination of printing and painting –and through the resistance process, beautiful blue and white fabrics are created.
Images courtesy of Ludovakultura, Centre for Folk Art Production
Lucia: In fact, there are so many interesting festivals in Slovakia featuring national crafts, music, and food. As well, I am fascinated by our traditional costumes and decor and these elements come together to inspire my work.
Image via Slovak folk costumes @ tumblr
Bellemaison: Tell me about the process of making your creations please?
Lucia: I am the sole designer and creator of everything for sale, and I pack and ship everything myself from my home studio. I am a very busy lady (and mum)! Most of my items are hand-sewn with great attention to detail.
I love how objects transform when pearls, beads and rhinestones are applied . I often hand-dye my feathers and fabrics. My flowers are made by hand, petal by petal, using traditional millinery techniques.
Image of the artist + a vintage photo of a woman embroidering via Slovak folk costumes @ tumblr
You can see Lucia’s creations on LuciaStofej Bridal Veils, Vintage Headpieces and Bridesmaids Jewelry) and visit Lucia as below too!
Learn more about the tradition of modrotlač through this incredible pictorial story
All images are the copyright of Lucia Stofej + used with her express permission for this blog, unless otherwise credited.