Detroit area jewelry designer and business owner Anuja Tolia shares her design inspiration, personal style, and favorite places around Metro Detroit in 20 Questions.
Anuja Tolia seamlessly fuses her love of Indian artisanship with Western flare, mixing exotic gems, edgy metals, and vibrant semi-precious stones in her jewelry designs. It’s easy to see why her jewelry is worn by celebrities, local bloggers, and it-girls. The delicate designs are simple enough to be worn every day and special enough to elevate your evening gown.
1. What inspired you to start a jewelry line? I always loved fashion and clothing, and the way women felt confident in their skin when they dressed up.
2. What led you to finally launch your business? When I got laid off in 2008 I decided that I needed to try and find myself, so I applied to a Fine Arts school in Italy. Once I moved to Florence, I fell in love with creating jewelry and from there it was history.
3. What do you love about your job? I love the process of creating designs and trying to curate a proper cohesive collection. I love this part of my job for many reasons, but mainly because it’s a way of self-expression through an art form for me. Also, the feedback that I receive from my customers and buyers who love the end results of the collections is priceless.
4. Who is your customer? Woman between the ages of 20-60 years old. I know that’s a broad spectrum, but there is a little something for everyone.
5. What is a piece from your line that you can’t stop wearing? It’s so hard to choose just one! I wear the rings a lot, and the stackable pave slider bracelets, but I will say the rings are my favorite pieces – they go with everything.
6. Where do you go for inspiration when working on a new line? I love looking at fashion week photos, going to art galleries, and looking at art deco type work for inspiration.
7. Can you give us 3 great gift ideas from your current collection? I think the pave sliders are the best gifts and any of the colored rainbow collection pieces.
SHOP: Pave Slider Bracelet
SHOP: Oval Slider Bracelet
SHOP: Shark Tooth Necklace
8. Being a business owner can be challenging, can you please share how you find the balance between work and your personal life? I haven’t yet. It’s very hard. I am always trying to find time to do laundry, cooking, spending time with my husband and friends. It is a real challenge and something I’m trying to figure out still, but eventually, I know I will.
Now on to your personal style…
9. What is one word to describe your style? Trendy-chic.
10. Who inspires your style? I love Rachel Bilson’s and Mila Kunis’ style, but since I am not as petite as them I can’t always wear the same type of clothes they wear, so I try to create renditions of their looks. I also love Danielle Bernstein from We Wore What. I always try to pull inspiration from these lovely ladies.
11. Do you have a style icon? As far as a style icon goes, Michelle Obama and Audrey Hepburn. I love how classic and timeless these women always look, but at the same time they are both very stylish and have the tendency to set trends.
12. Where do you find fashion + style inspiration? Instagram, magazines, WWD, and I look at runways a lot.
13. You’re never fully dressed without… My jewels/baubles. Accessories are the one thing that pulls any look together.
14. Best style advice ever received? Be yourself while you express yourself.
15. A fall/winter must-have item in your closet? A lot of different jackets! Leather, denim, long, bombers, a big variety is great for layering and topping off any outfit.
16. Favorite thing to do and favorite thing about the holiday season? I love buying gifts for my nephews (I spoil them!), and my family usually tries to go on some sort of family vacation around the holiday season, so I’m always looking forward to that every year.
LOCAL LOVE LIST:
18. Your go-to coffee spot? And what is your go-to coffee drink? I’m not a coffee drinker but I love tea. My go-to is either the peppermint or ginger flavored Yogi tea.
19. Favorite local restaurant? This is so hard… I have too many! I love so many in Detroit. But some of my favorites are Wright and Co., Selden Standard, Ottava Via, Ima, and I’m really looking forward to going to Prime and Proper.
20. What do you love about Detroit? The people. It’s a great feeling to live somewhere where everyone is so supportive of one another and wants to help make the city a better place.