In this issue I present to you an extremely talented young woman. After finishing her secondary education at the National School of Arts “Prof. Vesselin Stoyanov”, she goes to Varna, Bulgaria to work with friends of her, who motivate her to enroll in The College of Tourism.. During her first year studying there, she goes to do a practice in Barcelona, unaware of how much this trip will change her life, and that she will find her home and future there. A few years later she becomes the main designer of jewelry for the fashion brand Stradivarius, and nowadays her name is well known in the industry and it is always associated with her great talent and high level of professionalism. In 2014 she even creates her own jewelry brand and is now here with me to share with the readers of Success Stories Magazine a little bit more about her success path. Her name is Tsveta Trendafilova.
Plamena Petkova for Success Stories Mag:
Let’s start from the moment you left for Barcelona – what made you stay and how did it happen so that you refocused your artistic talent from painting to jewelry design?
During my first year in CT-Varna they offered us a practice in Spain and since I had signed up for a Spanish language course during the school year, I decided to go and see how it is and to take the advantage of learning the language better.
It happened so, that during this practice I met my future husband so until autumn came and also the time to return, the owner of the hotel where we were working, who was very satisfied with me and my colleague (who was also from my College), offered us to stay work for him and we quickly decided it.
A few months later I made a decision that I still want to continue to study and came back to my original idea to study Stage Design. So I enroll the program for Art Director in the UACE Barcelona (Universidad de las Artes Cinematograficas y Escenicas de Barcelona ).
We moved to live in a small town near Barcelona because of my husband`s work. In the same town is the headquarters of the Spanish brand for luxury accessories and jewelry Tous. One day I came across their job advertisement for apprentice jeweler and I got the sudden idea of applying for the position. I missed a lot being in close contact with art, be it a manual craft as the jewelry manufacturing. They decided that I was a good specialist and hired me immediately. Thus began my first contact with the jewelry without guessing that it will intrigue me so much to turn it into a profession and to find it more and more interesting every day. In Tous I went through various processes at work, which were the basis of what I know today, from apprenticeship at jewelers where I learned the technical features and a year later they moved me to the Design department.
How did it happen so that you became the main jewelry designer for Stradivarius?
Here in the fashion industry staff is being recruited through the so called headhunters – there are companies that are specialized in seeking candidates for fashion brands in Spain and other countries in Europe. After several years in Tous they called me to offer me a job as an accessories designer at Parfois and shortly after that at Stradivarius. In Stradivarius the proposal was to take full responsibility for the jewelery collection and I decided it immediately.
In addition to the entire jewelry collection you have done also other types of designs for Stradivarius like hair accessories, sunglasses and swimwear collection. Which kind of design is most interesting for you and what inspires you about your creations?
I did all kinds of accessories throughout the years in Stradivarius, but from the very beginning I didn`t allow anyone to mess with the jewelry, haha, it was my responsibility and it remained this way until the end.
Three years ago you decided to replace the reliable job for a single stable employer and go freelance. What made you take such a step and what did this decision bring you?
After more than ten years working in large multinational companies, going freelance is some kind of natural sequel. This is a decision that should be taken at once, if you’re considering it too much, you never decide it.
But in my case the fate helped me a little – after five years in Stradivarius I was offered to join a new project that never saw the light of day and it was easy.
The project was canceled and I just decided not to go back working in a big company, but to try to create my own. I have several major clients I work for. There are always also smaller projects coming to keep me under pressure and energized. Separately I develop also my own brand of jewelry, so I don`t have time to get bored.
Takemyyellowdress is your personal project, which you started in 2014. What can you tell me about it? What motivated you to create your own jewelry brand and what inspires you about your collections?
Takemyyellowdress was born in 2014. For years friends of mine were telling me that I have to create something in which I can have complete freedom to work on my ideas. When you work for someone else you are under the influences of colleagues, bosses, sales, what is fashionable and all kind of important factors, you must be reckoned with. When you have your own brand you can also do it, but if you don`t want to – you don`t do it, the best thing is that you do whatever you want.
I have never felt comfortable with the idea, if I have a brand to be with my name, so I had to come up with a name. I am not sure where exactly the original thread came from so that it came to “Takemyyellowdress”, I think from a song in which a phrase reminded me of how when we were very young they were telling us not to wear yellow on Friday, because they let the crazy people from the mental institution to take a walk in the city. About the yellow color – it comes from the fact that the mad ones were having some kind of ID in yellow color as a proof that they are crazy and obviously children do some strange association with the yellow ID and to dress in yellow.. So Takemyyellowdress is some kind of wordplay – take my madness or my ideas – you can understand it as you want.
For me, the collections I do for it are like when people keep a diary – I make jewelry. Inspiration comes from everywhere, you need only to be observant. The brand is going well and I hope to be able to concentrate myself fully on it in the future.
Share with us a little more about what is the designer`s work all about –most people imagine it is spending whole days over sketches, creating new collections, and in fact you constantly travel everywhere in the world.
The designer`s work consists in being always informed what happens around you, to be interested in any art, because art is an inspiration. Literature, photography, architecture, painting, music, travel .. the truth is that there are no restrictions. Just to clarify – this is my view, everyone builds their work formulas over the years, mine is such – anything that causes an emotion is quite naturally to inspire you and give you to create something.
I travel a lot for business and pleasure. I prefer pleasure, of course, but my work is related to long journeys in countries like China, Korea, Japan, India, and also shorter in European capitals. Before I always startled that I don`t have enough time for pleasure trips until I learned to combine them so it all came together.
There is a lot of inspiration in traveling, just watching people on the streets in some so distant place is incredibly interesting, let alone the folklore, culture, art, food. Over time, you learn to take advantage of long flights during which you are not disturbed by anyone. You can read, work or simply think about something. This is a time only for you and if you tune yourself like that to these hours in flight, it appears that three or four thousand kilometers are nothing.
It is very important for a designer to have ideas and even more important is to find the sources for them, then come the sketches, prototypes, projects and roughly everything people imagine a designer makes.
It gives me freedom..the freedom to be able to organize my time, to work from alternative places, not necessarily from office; freedom of thought, which is influenced by everyday life without a specific routine.
At the beginning I felt disoriented, as if I wasn`t doing enough work, because I wasn`t limited by time or place and I had the feeling that I squander myself. But this changed. Now it’s hard for me to imagine going back to the limitations from before.
Besides a busy designer, who is creating all kinds of accessories, you are also a mother of a wonderful daughter. How do you combine successfully your engagements at such a load?
Difficult and since my daughter is in the teen age – quite difficult, but I will survive.
How far do your ambitions go and what do you want to achieve more in the future?
My ambitions are a bit chaotic, because I have always new ideas and I inspire myself amazingly when I think of one. I think this will forever remain so, so I guess the future is unknown and I like this idea very much.
But if I have to talk about the near future, I am now working on a new collection for Takemyyellowdress, which will be presented in June 2016.
What is success for you and what would you advise the readers of Success Stories Magazine in order to be more successful?
I have never thought about what is success for me. I guess as every person who deals with art I also want my work to inspire people. But I think also that success is as personal state of mind – to be O.K. with where you are now and how you live your life.