Born and raised in Greece, Maria Kanale had worked as an Independent Art Director before starting her own independent jewellery brand, Maria Kanale Unique Jewels. As well as being her business, Maria sees jewellery making as a type of therapy, helping to relieve the stress of everyday life. Maria only makes one of each piece, making her jewellery truly exclusive and one-of-a-kind.
Maria Kanale Unique Jewels specialise in intricate wire pieces, incorporating different sized, shaped and coloured gemstones. Her jewellery has been featured in esteemed publications including British Vogue and Tatler.
How did your brand begin?
It was just a hobby.
When did you first fall in love with jewellery and knew you wanted to become a designer?
As a teenager, I was making my own jewellery and that's what I wanted to study, but then I changed my mind and became a graphic designer!
Values are really important to us at JewelStreet. What are your core brand values?
Uniqueness! I want my clients to wear a unique piece that means something to them, that nobody else will wear.
Where do you get inspiration for your designs?
I get inspirations from nature, fashion events, films, window shopping.
How is your jewellery made?
Totally handmade, using different materials such as leather, wire, silver pieces, gemstones and crystals.
How do you source your materials and gemstones?
From stores in Athens, antique stores and the internet.
Are there any celebrities you would love to see wearing your designs?
Kate Winslet, Kristin Scott Thomas, Cate Blanchett, Adele, Lady Gaga, Lana Del Ray, Jennifer Lopez.
Can you recall a particular moment with a client that will stay with you forever? Could be a funny horror story or a fond memory.
A client called me at 6.30 in the morning to meet her at the airport with a necklace I posted on Instagram the previous afternoon. She was leaving for vacation and couldn't go without it!
How do you want someone to feel when they wear your jewellery?
I want them to feel beautiful, unique!
What has been the highest and lowest point of your career so far?
My highest point: when British Vogue and Tatler magazine asked me to be shown in their issues. My lowest point: when I had no orders for three-four months and I was wondering if I should give up.
If you could only wear one piece from your collection, what would it be and why?
It would be my "lucky" necklace chosen by British Vogue.
If you hadn't become a designer, what would you be doing?
I was working as a professional Art Director.
Do you have any exciting future plans and where do you see your brand in 5 years?
I'm very optimistic! I want to see my brand in Designer's stores, Fashion Events, magazine covers!
What's the best piece of advice you've been given? (And have you actually used it?)
"Follow your dreams. They know the way!".
Are there any other designers whose work you particularly admire, and what jewellery is on your current wishlist?
GiGi Ferranti, Thea Miller. A bracelet of my own, using sapphires and silver wire.
What music do you play in the studio whilst you’re working?
Jazz and Blues.
How do you ensure you’ve got a good work/life balance?
I have faith and passion for my work, so it's a good one! Yoga helps my mind and life balance.
What's your favourite quote?
Everything is possible!
Desert island books - which 3 books would you love to have on a desert island?
Cien Años De Soledad, The Girl on the Train, Swing Time.
Winding down after a day in the studio is sometimes difficult for a designer, what do you do to help this process?
I use music and yoga breathing.
Favourite series to binge-watch on Netflix?