Inside the Studio
Inside the Studio with Nino Sepo
First up to kick-start our 'Inside the Studio' series is Georgian jewellery designer and NJAL showroom hero, Nino Sepo. From the desk where the collection comes to fruition to the work bench that brings the vision into being, this is your personal tour of how designers live/work/chill/create/repeat. After graduating from Tbilisi State Academy of Arts in the class of 2011, the brand Nino Sepo was soon born. Creating poetic statement jewellery that certainly ignite conversations, the designer lives and works in a studio that harmonizes creativity and lifestyle, whilst doubling up as a space for core players in the local creative community to debate on a multiplicity of topics. Psst, you can shop the Nino Sepo collection here. NJAL officially passes the 'mic' and 'camera' to the designer to explain her corner of the world. Over to Nino Sepo:
DESCRIBE THE LOOK OF YOUR STUDIO
"We are based in Tbilisi, Georgia. For me it’s the most wonderful city in the whole world, as it’s my home and nothing compares it. It is the most joyful and sad place at the same time. My studio is located in my apartment, where I do sketches, research and office work. I share it with my dad who is a painter and this space is always full of creativity, music, and it’s the room “full of art” as many people call it. This building is more than 20 years old, it has many open spaces and the most important feature is the natural light."
VIEW ALL NINO SEPO'S COLLECTIONS IN NJAL'S SHOWROOM
WHO REGULARLY VISITS?
"Our friends often visit our space and often local artists, art curators, and fashion designers of different generations meet each other here. Very interesting talks take place here."
WHAT MUSIC DO YOU HAVE ON REPEAT IN YOUR STUDIO?
"Music is my best friend while exercising or walking but never during my working process. When I am drawing sketches of new collection I need silence. But when the designs are ready and we are moving to the next steps I love listening to Bossa Nova, Georgian retro songs, and classical music."
WHERE DO YOU MEET CLIENTS?
"I have different style to meet clients or buyers but I can meet them everywhere. I think a lot of things have changed in last 4 years, we began to live with the new rules in the new reality, maybe it sounds weird but now we have more options to make our everyday life less formal and more meaningful."
You cannot host everyone in your studio but you can take your studio/art everywhere.
"Now I plan less studio visits, I have discovered that business meetings over coffee are sometimes more inspiring than in the studio. I began 'mixing and matching' people, places, my art and business. It seems to me that different locations have different vibes and I want to take my art with me."
HOW TO DO YOU ENSURE YOUR WORKING ENVIRONMENT IS HAPPY AND HEALTHY?
"I love people, I love their reactions on my jewels and I love their stories. I love chance meetings with the people wearing our designs. My art is about them... Where we manufacture our jewels is a very interesting place and surrealistic place. It's an underground territory, near a metro station. It's so inspiring."
VIEW ALL NINO SEPO'S COLLECTIONS IN NJAL'S SHOWROOM
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO WORK OPTIMALLY?
"So, I never have a boring studio life. My working day starts in a place like an art gallery, continues near the metro station and ends in a coffee shop. Everything is unusual at my studio, there are lots of paintings, old books, vintage furniture. There are six people who help me with manufacturing and stockists."
WHAT EQUIPMENT DO YOU HAVE IN YOUR SPACE?
"As the most part of my jewelry collection is handmade, we need some jeweler’s instruments and new machines."
DESCRIBE THE STUDIO VIBE AND ATMOSPHERE IN A FEW WORDS:
"Interesting, multi-tasking, and joyful."
IF YOU HAD A MAGIC WAND, WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO ADD OR CHANGE ABOUT YOUR STUDIO SPACE?
"I would like to have some new studios in different cities and countries, it will be more interesting for me. My art is not about gathering, it's about sharing. So I want to share a creative atmosphere in as many places as possible."
DO YOU HAVE A FAMOUS QUOTE THAT CAPTURES THE ESSENCE OF YOUR WORK ETHIC?
"DREAM BIG is my favorite quote in every situation."
WHAT IS THE SNACK SITUATION LIKE AT YOUR STUDIO? (YES, THIS IS A SERIOUS QUESTION).
"I am the designer, the party planner and the person who brings sweet things but never eats them. I am trying to eat healthy food, salads and seafood and do long periods of time fasting. The only bad habit is snacking but I try to control it , the only thing out of my control is coffee! I have very many and very large cups of coffee per day."
HOW DO YOU RELAX? DO YOU HAVE ANY GUILTY PLEASURES?
"My guilty pleasure is to have turned on Grey’s Anatomy or Sex and the City over and over again and again a million times more . During my down days, I try to listen to some Ted Talks it often inspires me. Also, I try to make some small photo shoots with our products."
PET PEEVES OR BAD HABITS YOU DETEST?
"Repetitive tapping and checking one’s phone during a conversation."
DESCRIBE A RECENT FUNNY MOMENT THAT HAPPENED WHILE YOU WERE WORKING.
"It’s very often related to the names of our designs. We call all of them just by the style name; for me and my coworkers this is totally normal. One day though, while standing in a row to get my coffee I had a phone call with one of my coworkers and I told them that ‘two strangers’ are in my handbag (it’s the name of our new ring) and suddenly I realized that everybody around me overheard and looked very confused."
See all of Nino Sepo's collections past and present in the Not Just A Label virtual showroom, a space for creatives in over 150 countries that has been supporting emerging and contemporary talent for over 15 years. SHOP CONTEMPORARY JEWELRY NOW