Anna Maria Mazaraki, the distinguished Greek jewelry designer, started her success story by designing pieces of jewelry for her friends. Eventually, design became her passion and profession.
Mazaraki launched her first jewelry store in 2000, and now she has 24 stores all over Greece and Cyprus displaying her unique designs.
“In a country that is surrounded by the sea, like Greece, the top colour trend is turquoise, I love pairing it with yellow gold,” said Mazaraki, adding that she loves the smooth texture of the turquoise stone as it is combined with metal, white pearl, coral, and amazing enamel on silver.
Mazaraki emphasised that she makes jewelry to be worn layered with t-shirts, jeans, kaftans, light, and comfortable clothing, considering that a piece of jewelry can play a special role in enhancing the look and the outfit by adding charm and glamour.
Mazaraki explained that jewelry fashion has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. With less events and celebrations happening in the world, she considered designing jewelry that can be worn with everyday outfits to make every woman feel happier, lighter, and more optimistic. They can also be wonderful gifts to our beloved ones.
According to Mazaraki, short light chains, hoop earrings in all sizes, chains for the wrist, and plain rings with interesting shapes are the main fashionable trends.
“Each season we design around 1,500 different pieces, some destined to be small or significant gifts, and others for personal use. For this reason, we have both classic and modern pieces. We also make new pieces every two or three weeks, so the customers always have a variety to choose from,” Mazaraki said.
Mazaraki explained that there are two types of women who shop for jewelry: women who adore jewelry, and women who shop for a woman who adores jewelry. Women who adore jewelry can see 100 options in the storefront and zero in the design that they will love. Everyone else needs guidance so that their gift has the right effect.
Speaking about the future of online shopping, Mazaraki assured that shopping is meant to satisfy a need, as it is to satisfy the craving for touch, feel, and smell. Hence, online shopping will always go along with the physical store. That is why most stores have online pickups to help the customer pick up what they have bought online.
Every brand needs the comforting presence of a salesperson to explain and embody the brand. Online is impersonal. Mazaraki also added that salespeople at the store give you the opportunity to see how the jewelry might be worn and to imagine it on yourself.
“A woman looks her best when she feels confident and beautiful. Jewelry is one of the things that make us feel more confident because it enhances the way we are viewed by the world. The jewelry you choose shows your taste and personality to people better than words,” she said.
Mazaraki advises women never to be victims of fashion and just choose what is suitable for them. Always wear an eye-shaped piece of jewelry, do not buy a ring that is too small in hopes that it will fit one day, and never buy a pair of earrings that is heavier than 6 grams.
“I don’t believe in basic pieces of jewelry. Jewelry is something to be passionate about. Some women like very ostentatious jewelry, other women like tiny and discrete pieces. Choose whatever makes you feel more beautiful and confident,” Mazaraki added.
“I used to work in advertising for 16 years. I had two children and began designing jewelry for my friends. I realised that the moment they bought a piece, they considered it old and wanted something new, so I realised I needed to provide jewelry that was affordable but luxurious. The hobby turned into a business and now we have 24 stores in Greece and Cyprus,” Mazarki said.
Mazaraki urges and advises those who want to be designers, to believe in themselves, challenge their comfort zones and understand that jewelry is to be worn by real people.
“We do not make sculptures; we have to make things that women will feel more beautiful and more empowered with,” Mazaraki emphasised. Mazaraki explained that no one can be successful without a great team, and without a family to keep you grounded.
“Jewelry has been made for the past 2,500 years and will continue to be designed whether we live on Earth or on the Moon,” Mazaraki said. “Women have always been fashionable. The looks may change, but the desire to be unique is always there. This is what I love,” she added.
As for her favorite fashion trend, Mazaraki loves wearing thin rings on every finger, but she hates the idea of spider and snake-shaped pieces on the body. Mazaraki said that her grandmother’s wedding ring is the most important piece of jewelry she has.
She recommends wearing various chains layered around the neck with tiny hoop earrings and cuffs that can be worn all day. Mazaraki also added that turquoise stones radiate energy, while amethyst stones have positive energy, and pearls are just beautiful.
Mazaraki also recommended not using hand lotion or alcohol on your jewelry as this will cloud the stones. Also, wear your pearls as often as you can, as they will “die” if they are not in contact with your body for a long time.
“It isn’t what she wears that can show if a woman is fashionable or not, it is how she wears it. It is the air in her movement. Any woman who is confident in her skin, who knows what she wants, who knows her limits, and has a vision, is a fashionable and elegant woman,” Mazaraki said.
Mazaraki’s designs are influenced and inspired by her customers, the sea, the books she reads, and movies.
In general, Mazaraki explained that women around the Mediterranean Sea have always worn jewelry, so it is very easy to pick up ideas from historical pieces and from what is worn on the street. As Egypt and Greece have a unique historical and cultural relation, Mazaraki is intrigued by the styles and designs that might come from blending the two cultures.