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Welcome to My Design Alley. A design blog celebrating design in many forms - from interior spaces to new products, stores and interviews with designers both local and from around the world.

A Moment With | Tanja Kovacevic

A Moment With | Tanja Kovacevic

For jewellery designer Tanja Kovacevic, each and every piece she creates for her brand Petite Grand, is an absolute labour of love. Tanja's path to jewellery design has been an organic and emotional journey. As with most creatives, she felt a strong calling and it was when she started making her own pieces, that she had a light bulb moment and just knew this was the profession for her. Eight years on and she is still as passionate as ever, creating beautiful pieces in her homely creative space with a small team behind her. We caught up with Tanja in her studio to find out a little more about the joy she finds when designing and what inspires her the most.

 Tanja Kovacevic at work in the   Petite Grand   studio in Surry Hills. Photo - Simone Gillet. Styling - Hande Renshaw.

Tanja Kovacevic at work in the Petite Grand studio in Surry Hills. Photo - Simone Gillet. Styling - Hande Renshaw.

Hi Tanya, tell us about your journey to where you are today as a jewellery designer? I wanted to be a designer since I was 12 years old. I can remember spending long afternoons drawing outfits and accessories that I wanted to wear. My career started out working in fashion, and it wasn’t until I did a jewellery making course 8 years ago that I knew I wanted to be a jewellery designer. I had that light bulb moment where I realised how much I loved it and also that I was good at it.

“It just came so naturally to me and I loved both parts of the process; the design and the crafting.”  

What is it about creating jewellery pieces that you love the most? I love the process of crafting each piece of jewellery (it’s a real labour of love!) and being really hands-on with the pieces I create. I also love it when people come into the studio and we can create something really unique and tailored for them - it's so special and the jewellery becomes so much more meaningful.    

 A few pieces from the   Petite Grand   collection adorning Tanja Kovacevic. Photo - Simone Gillet. Styling - Hande Renshaw.

A few pieces from the Petite Grand collection adorning Tanja Kovacevic. Photo - Simone Gillet. Styling - Hande Renshaw.

How would you best describe the style of your pieces? When I first started making jewellery I was really drawn to fine delicate jewellery. However, as time has gone on and my tastes have developed and changed, I now find myself designing and wearing bolder, stronger pieces and contrasting these with fine jewellery.   

 Tanja Kovacevic at work in the   Petite Grand   studio in Surry Hills. Photo - Simone Gillet. Styling - Hande Renshaw.

Tanja Kovacevic at work in the Petite Grand studio in Surry Hills. Photo - Simone Gillet. Styling - Hande Renshaw.

The most wonderful piece you have ever created? The first ring I ever made. I just couldn’t believe that I had made it with my own two hands. 

“I will always remember that moment I looked down on the first finished piece - I was so overwhelmed with emotion I started to cry... it was at that moment I knew what I wanted to do.”
 At work in the   Petite Grand   studio in Surry Hills. Photo - Simone Gillet. Styling - Hande Renshaw.

At work in the Petite Grand studio in Surry Hills. Photo - Simone Gillet. Styling - Hande Renshaw.

Your biggest tip for jewellery designers starting out on their own? I would say, get as much experience as you possibly can working in the field you want to get into. Also, take your time to figure out what your strengths are and foster them.    

What has been a career highlight so far? A career highlight has been the fact that I have the opportunity to work with people I really admire and create a space, which after so many years, I still can’t wait to come into everyday.  

What inspires you the most? Where do you gather inspiration for your work? All around me. I take inspiration from anything from walking down the street to art galleries, family and friends. I try to take one overseas trip a year and this is normally a huge source of inspiration for me.   

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What’s your greatest passion? I have a lot of passions in life but the biggest one would be the process of creating, in all aspects of my life.    

 At work in the   Petite Grand   studio in Surry Hills. Photo - Simone Gillet. Styling - Hande Renshaw

At work in the Petite Grand studio in Surry Hills. Photo - Simone Gillet. Styling - Hande Renshaw

Tell us about your studio - how long have you been working here and what do you enjoy most about working in space? I absolutely love our studio. I’ve been here for 3 years now and to me it is almost like an extension of my home. It’s somewhere I love coming everyday and I've tried to make it an environment in which others feel the same. The building we are in is filled with lots of other talented creatives, which is also something I love.    

 A little corner of the   Petite Grand   studio in Surry Hills. Photo - Simone Gillet. Styling - Hande Renshaw.

A little corner of the Petite Grand studio in Surry Hills. Photo - Simone Gillet. Styling - Hande Renshaw.

What are you looking forward to in 2018? I am really looking forward to settling down in my new house and finding special antique pieces to fill my home with. Hopefully I will get to do some more travelling this year too!    


Thank you Tanja! | Petite Grand | @petitegrand


FULL STOP


I usually wake up at: 7am.

My perfect day would involve: A day in the country and open spaces.

I am inspired by: Everything around me.

Best advice I’ve ever received: When you worry, you only suffer twice.

I couldn’t live without: My friends.

My favourite daily ritual: Morning Coffee.

I recently discovered: Reiki by Reaya

On my wish list: A work by Allie Webb.

I’m currently reading: We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Negozi Adichie.

And listening to: The Soundtrack to Call Me By Your Name.

My guilty pleasure: The BBC program Fake or Fortune?!

My mantra is: Treat people the way you want to be treated. 


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