It has been a year full of pleasant surprises, amazing trips and discoveries.
Let me take you back to the Summer of 2013, when a friend of mine brought back some jewelry pieces from Armenia. She was wearing one piece during our night out that really caught my eye. It was sparkly, but not in the overbearing kind of way. It was casual and fancy at the same time, and for some odd reason it reminded me of ballet and dancing. From my friend, I learned about this incredibly talented designer in Armenia, who made the jewelry. I knew right away that the next time I went to Armenia I would have to meet this jewelry designer myself. Little did I know that a chance would present itself very very soon.
In the fall of 2013, we went on tour to New York City to perform at Lincoln Center. Performing Christopher Wheeldon’s Cinderella as “Cinderella” at Lincoln Center was a dream come true! Even though I’ve performed there in the past with San Francisco Ballet, it was thrilling to be dancing there again. The audience was very warm and welcoming. We had a fantastic time. I’d go to perform there any day!
After our NYC tour my husband Davit and I went to Yerevan, Armenia, to dance the full-length of Don Quixote. Davit grew up there and it had been 11 years since he had been back in his hometown, dancing on the stage. The performance went splendidly. There was a full house and we received a standing ovation at the end. Working with the other dancers and coaches elevated the experience even more for me, as a dancer. One of the highlights of that night was meeting the American ambassador, who came to our show. We also got an invitation from the theater’s executive director to come back and perform there again. I think we will be planning another trip to Yerevan in the near future.
While in Armenia dancing, I absolutely had to find time to meet the jewelry designer, whose jewelry I first saw on my friend, back in San Francisco. As I mentioned before, her work reminded me of a ballet with its soft colors and delicate composition. The light pink pieces reminded me of ballerinas with their grace and precision. What actually surprised me the most were the beautiful and harmonious combinations of many different colors used throughout her collection. I have always wanted to either make jewelry or be involved in a project that united my love for ballet and jewelry. I knew I was holding something special in my hands, so I brought a few pieces back and together with my friend started devising a new jewelry line. Effortlessly, an idea for “Dancing Tulip” was born. A tulip is a beautiful and gentle flower, much like a ballerina.
A little about the jewelry: All of our pieces are hand beaded, exhibiting the passion that is inscribed into crafting them, which reminds me of what I portray on stage. Our jewelry also combines feminine, light and durable qualities, much needed for the potentially strenuous wear during practices or performances.
I have also been able to translate my favorite trends into actual ideas for our products. For example beaded and colorful headbands could be a great addition for either professional dancers on stage, younger dancers practicing in ballet schools, or any other ladies, young or old, that like to accessorize. They are that universal, and that’s the reason I like them so much. We are trying to incorporate more trends from the ballet into our jewelry and accessories that both younger and older generations would all enjoy wearing. You can dress it down with a plain white shirt and jeans or up with an evening gown.
Furthermore, by bringing and selling this jewelry in United States, we are also helping the jewelry designers that work tirelessly, crafting each piece, to overcome economic hardships in Armenia. All customers who purchase our jewelry are directly impacting these women improve their craft skills, buy better quality supplies, and reach new markets.
What an exciting year it has been! There are so many opportunities that have come out of this endeavor, and I really look forward to 2014! I believe this is just a beginning of a thrilling journey and collaboration. This truly is an extension of my life as a ballerina.
Thank you all for reading,