I had the pleasure of meeting my namesake several years ago and I will always remember seeing her jewelry for the first time! It literally cast a spell on me! So, I invited her over for a small chit-chat. I hope you enjoy it too!
1. Welcome Maja! Please tell my readers more about yourself.
My name is Maja Tasic and I come from Pancevo (Serbia). I had studied and qualified for a dental technologist - a profession I chose under the influence of my parents, although I have always desired to study applied art, because I have always been drawn to drawing and painting. Aside from these two, my hobbies also included writing poems and making jewelry. I stuck to the latter.
I am married to Goran and we have two boys, ages 7 and 8 and I am also a stepmom to two beautiful grown up girls. We are one big, happy family!
2. How did the brand Steampunk by Maja get to see the day?
Steampunk by Maja was born out of the desire to create unique jewelry solely for myself. But then family and relatives got acquainted with it and the first orders started to arrive, replaced by handmade bazaars and online sales. The idea for this kind of jewelry first sparked when my husband poured the first pieces that got me hooked and I wanted to make them myself. That was back in 2012.
3. What were the first pieces of jewelry that you made?
It was a medallion flower, a medallion mirror and some square slabs...
4. Where did you first exhibit your jewelry? Do you remember?
Yes. It was at the mall called “Ušće” in Belgrade in 2012. I had a fantastic show and sold lots of my jewelry. But the thing that was more important and meaningful than the sales was the appraisal and compliments I received on my work. It gave me a sensational rise in self-confidence and a beautiful feeling of value and satisfaction that urged me to keep doing what I dream about.
5. What kind of jewelry are the buyers most interested in? Buyers are most interested in necklaces for themselves as well as for gifts, because necklaces are wearable in almost all occasions. Necklaces are closely followed by earrings and rings.
I love working with epoxy resin because of the effect the designs have. I also love combining materials from my profession such as metals and acrylates that one would not usually find in jewelry supplies shops. Using those makes my jewelry even more distinctive and unique making it stand out from other jewelry made with similar techniques. I love modeling my own pendants and have my husband pour them in silver which is a rather demanding, more difficult and costly technique, but the final result is wondrous!
7. Where do you source your materials?
I buy them from specialized shops that sell raw materials in Belgrade and Novi Sad, some gift shops while I buy the small watches off my friends.
8. What is the most precious piece of jewelry to you as a designer?
Oh. It is difficult to select out any as favourite - I find everything I've made dear to my heart. I've poured my heart, my undivided attention and love into every single piece I have ever made.
9. What are you currently working on?
Right now I am working on some new pieces and collaborate with designers from Split (Croatia). I am expanding the market :)
10. Future plans?
I plan to expand sales outside of Serbia and finally open my brick and mortar jewelry shop in Belgrade.
Thank you Maja! It was lovely having you over!