Tal Man believes that human beings are intrinsically drawn to renewal and change. “Especially women,” she says.
She would know: she was a television presenter and model before she enrolled at Shenkar, Israel’s foremost arts, design and technology college, out of respect for the wishes of her grandmother. It was there that she fell in love with jewelry design.
With ideas of renewal in mind, Man, who now divides her time between Tel Aviv and New York, founded Talia Jewelry. The simple concept is to allow you, the consumer (or gift-giver), to “co-create and design the piece of jewelry of your dreams.”
Tal, tell us about your journey to Talia Jewelry.
Before I founded Talia, I had a studio where I designed custom one-of-a-kind jewelry. As I worked with more customers, I noticed their need and want to be involved in the creative process, and this was the initial driver to found Talia.
Talia started with three collections of pendants, which currently contain more than 300 charms, from which different shapes can be assembled. Moreover, even at home, after the consumer received her desired set, she could continue to change it, without any knowledge, instrument or complexity whatsoever.
The number of combinations a consumer can put together from five Talia charms is tremendous. Moreover, by adding a new charm, once in a while, the number of unique pieces one can create increases exponentially.
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How would you sum up the appeal of a piece that can be modified whenever you feel like it?
Unlike other consumer products, jewelry has a great personal and emotional significance. It represents us and is a continuation of our personality and therefore, it must be special! And with that being said, Talia’s sole mission is to embrace our consumers’ individuality, creativity, vision, and self-expression.
The biggest appeal of jewelry that can be changed is that as women we also change so much throughout the day between career and home, an event or a party, between a desire to be extravagant and modest. Talia’s modular jewelry can be combined in a multitude of ways, allowing the wearer to create a look to match any mood, style or setting.
Each piece features a mechanism that allows the wearer to change, rearrange, and expand the design. Can you tell us a little about the process of designing it?
I created a mechanism that enables modularity without using tools, prior knowledge or, heaven forbid, magnets. The simplicity of Talia’s collections is on the verge of necessity, something that is so requested and yet something so innovative and groundbreaking.
Talia’s rod component is the heart of the jewel. We call it a “soul.” A key part in building the mechanism was insuring that this rod would be able to be used by all our collections, current and future.
An exciting component that will have in the future will be the launch of a new collection of accessories that will allow personalization of the rod itself in addition to the charms.
Tell us a bit about the Talia Virtual Studio and how it works. I was so impressed with the intuitiveness of the interface; from a business point of view, what was the most important thing to accomplish with the Talia Virtual Studio?
As a digital DTC brand, our main communication with our consumers’ community is through our website. At the heart of our website is the Virtual Studio. In the virtual studio, which we internally call the “Playground”, hundreds of hours of development have been invested to make the system dynamic while still user-friendly.
The sole purpose of the virtual studio was the ability to see the various pieces that each consumer makes for herself, effortlessly, in an intuitive way that can also give us feedback on the demands of the consumers.
We were faced with an interesting challenge—the ability to allow consumers to design their jewelry, even on their mobile. I can say with great pride that the time spent by the consumers on the Playground itself is longer than the usual stay at the e-commerce sites. I believe we’ve succeeded in creating an unparalleled user experience.
It was very important to us that the message conveyed in our slogan would also be expressed in the studio: “You Made It.” Three simple words convey the promise and the passion of the Talia brand.
Can you tell us about your favorite Talia Jewelry combination you’ve been wearing recently?
This is a very tricky question, it’s like asking me who my favorite daughter is!
I’m in love with all the collections and enjoy playing with the charms and assembling different pieces even a few times a day depending on where I’m headed and my current mood.
I love the look of layering Talia pieces, especially with the Opus Collection as I can wear plain clothes and the jewelry will do the upgrade to a more glamorous look.