Based in Finland, MANIA Jewels is an innovative, luxury jewellery brand, founded and run by lead designer, Niina Karlsson. Niina creates modern jewellery for today’s Grace Kellys and Audrey Hepburns, imbuing her collections with old Hollywood glamour. Niina finds her inspiration from everywhere, from architecture to insects, from nature to geometry. Her aim is to create jewellery that is functional and comfortable to wear as well as beautiful and balanced.
MANIA Jewels ethos is: "Beauty is our passion. Form & function is our obsession." Niina’s passion for beauty and functionality is as strong as her obsession with handcrafting and high quality. All of MANIA Jewels’ jewellery is handmade in their studio, using Swarovski crystals, crystal pearls, sterling silver and wire. Niina uses the original Scandinavian wire wrapping technique to make her jewellery, keeping true to jewellery making tradition and injecting a Scandinavian twist into her collections. Niina chats to JewelStreet about brand beginnings, her love of bracelets and her dream dinner party guests.
How did your brand begin?
I started my career as a couture designer and I used to create a lot of pearl bead embroidery. Due to my passion for all kinds of beads, pearls and strings, I started to create jewellery.
Values are really important to us at JewelStreet. What are your core brand values?
My core values are handicrafts, high quality and locality; all my designs are manufactured at our own atelier or nearby. Slow fashion is our keyword. Less quantity and more quality.
Where do you get inspiration for your designs?
Mother Nature is my source of inspiration. Animals and insects, architecture and light. Especially the Northern Lights.
How is your jewellery made?
Handmade in our own studio/atelier.
Are there any celebrities you would love to see wearing your designs?
So many! I’d love Olivia Palermo, Kate Moss, Kate Winslet, Cate Blanchett, Emma Watson, Natalie Portman, Charlize Theron and Jennifer Connelly to wear my designs.
How do you want someone to feel when they wear your jewellery?
Sensual, stunning, delightful and powerful.
If you could only wear one piece from your collection, what would it be and why?
I would wear the Girdle Bracelets - as many as possible at the same time and all different colours at the same time. I love bracelets!
Do you have any exciting future plans and where do you see your brand in 5 years?
In five years time, I would love to expand my product portfolio to accessories, like bags and belts. I have some nice ideas of items that combine jewellery and clothing in a creative way.
What's the best piece of advice you've been given? (And have you actually used it?)
Never complain. Never explain. Just do it. And yes, I try to make it happen every day in my work and my personal life.
If you could travel to one place in the world right now, where would it be and why?
Finnish Archipelago in Åland. The sea, the nature and the light is amazing there. My heart belongs to Archipelago.
What music do you play in the studio whilst you’re working?
Classical music mainly, like Mozart, J.S. Bach, Rahmaninov.
How do you ensure you’ve got a good work/life balance?
By having 7 Parson Russell Terriers! They take me out for walks and bike rides many times a day, so I’m in mint condition both mentally and physically. I also spend a lot of time at dog shows and doing other doggie hobbies.
What's your favourite quote?
Think Big. Enjoy Small.
Which 3 current or historic figures would you have over for a dinner party and why?
Mozart, Madeleine Vionnet and Coco Chanel. I would love to discuss with Mozart about his symphonies, Madeleine about her bias cut techniques and with Coco, I would love to talk about her style and her beginning as a designer and style guru.
What meal is your signature dish?
Goat cheese tomato pasta with fresh parsley.