Q&A with Heena Shah of Valani Atelier
1. Who is the Valani Atelier woman? How does she inspire your designs?
The woman I design for is bold and confident in her choices, her innate style is as intriguing as her perspective: savvy, sophisticated, and unique. I seek to strike a fine balance for women who appreciate a modern expression of luxury, with pieces that are approachable and aspirational that can be worn every day.
2. How have you seen your approach to design develop as you continue to explore various mediums and colored stones?
Every colored gemstone is unique, and successfully designing with them requires constant engagement and innovation. Because no generalized classifications exist for emeralds, rubies, and sapphires (unlike diamonds with their GIA grading) the process of designing each individual piece is that much more technically challenging and so much more alluring.
3. Why do you like working in platinum?
I love that platinum gives me the ability to create jewelry that appears delicate but has incredible strength and durability. It’s truly feminine in that way. For beautiful pieces that can be part of a woman’s style every day and year after year, it really is one of the most luxurious raw materials available to a designer.
4. Jewelry is emotional, oftentimes there is a connection that is formed with a piece prior to its purchase. (i.e. push gifts, self-purchase gifts, wedding jewelry, anniversary jewelry, etc). What is one piece of advice you have for someone that is looking to buy something special for himself, herself, or a loved one?
Think beyond the individual piece and consider the aesthetic, style, and aspirations of the person who will be wearing it. Jewelry can be layered with other pieces, and it can be worn over and over. The right piece can be an investment in a wardrobe and in a style that really speaks to who a person is.
5. What is your favorite piece of jewelry that you own, and why?
My engagement ring. My husband designed for me, and it was a complete surprise. He chose to make it in platinum, one of the rarest, strongest materials on earth, and every day when I look at it, I think of what that choice means to him and to us.
6. What was the first gift you ever bought for yourself? Has that experience been a source of inspiration to Valani Atelier?
The first piece of jewelry I bought myself was a ring with my kids’ names engraved on it. It’s a simple hexagon ring, and I always feel close to them when I wear it.
My kids mean the world to me, so I knew I wanted a piece made with the highest quality materials, but it had to be something that was wearable every day. While the pieces that my husband picks are beautiful, they are always really substantial, with stones that make a big statement.
That search was quite eye opening, and it was actually one of my main inspirations in launching Valani Atelier, to find a way to make really fine luxury jewelry using beautiful materials like platinum and colored gemstones that is sophisticated and accessible to the modern woman.
For more beautiful platinum pieces from Valani Atelier, browse our gallery