Designer Spotlight: Ana Talukder Simpson
A brief story of what you do and why you do it.
Ana shed her corporate life and started her jewelry company, The Pretty Peacock in 2008. The goal was to create jewelry that evokes emotion and crafted using traditional methods so that each piece can last a lifetime. High quality, recycled precious metals are used in Ana’s jewelry lines – responsible luxury is an absolute must.
How did you get into jewelry design?
I think anyone who is a creative entrepreneur was that kid that always wanted to draw, create, dance, sing, – be creative…we all grew into adults that still have that creative bug at our core. Somewhere along the line, though, you realize (or think you realize) that “being creative” isn't necessarily the safest way to make a living, so we pursue other, more traditional, options.
(plus, my very East Indian father would have had an aneurysm if I told him I wanted to major in the fine arts!).
I started stringing crystals and beads because my mother asked me to make her lanyard for her badge at work. Her co-workers loved them and so I sold one or two to each of them. From there, I was hooked.
Beading became a bit too tiresome for me, so I took a metalsmithing class – that's what really got me thinking that I could make a business out of jewelry design.
What makes your collection unique?
I love texture. I especially love texture that plays homage to my culture. Henna/mendhi patterns that are actually a part of the silver – not just etched on – so you can touch and feel it is what I love about my own work.
Text is my next love. My bread and butter when I first started was pieces made specifically for mothers. My pieces, however, didn't scream: “HEY LOOK, I'M A MOM!!” I tried to make it subtle, but still carry the sentiment. That was a big draw.
What I love creating, and what my customers seem to really be drawn to is what I call my “geekery made haute” collections: spirals with text, latitude longitude, Sanskrit…these are all unique and personal, which is what I think jewelry should be all about.
What are your inspirations?
East Indian culture – textiles and Sanskrit text.
Quotes/words that uplift, inspire, and/or motivate.
Fluid, interesting shapes and textures.
How are you making a difference in your life?
Being able to work in a creative arena really does something good to your soul. I am also showing my two, young children that you can do what you love and make a living (something that I was not necessarily taught growing up – few of us are).
What's something unusual about you that makes you “you”?
I don't know if it's necessarily unusual – but I have something called ‘creative A.D.D' – I love learning new methods, techniques and concepts. I am rarely satisfied and try to keep away from reading/researching other designers because I feel like it stifles my own creativity when I see it.
What's the biggest struggle in running your jewelry business like a business? OR What is your biggest success in running your business like a business?
Coming from a corporate background definitely has helped me with my successes. Working from home can be a challenge for many, but I try and keep a tight schedule and commit one, full day a week to marketing.
Struggle: When your studio is in your house, there is no “off” time. As a business owner in general, I think you are constantly thinking about your work – it's what you love, right? 🙂
Ana Talukder Simpson’s love of geekery, texture, and patterns (especially those that pay homage to her East Indian heritage), and all things sparkly has yielded designs that are uniquely elegant.
“Jewelry is not to be just a bauble to match the current outfit: It is supposed to hold meaning for the wearer. Whether that means reminding them of a special time, place, or person, or simply to make them feel fantastic.”