Selfmade Experts: Dari Maximova from Maximova Jewelry

©Maidje Meergans

Dari Maximova made a dream come true with her jewelry label Maximova. She shares her journey in this interview

Who remembers those bebe ads from back in the day? And Dari, the face of the campaign? A few years have passed since then, and I’m really excited about her new project: Maximova Jewelry. She’s put so much of her heart and soul into it, from the beginning through to the final product. In this interview, she explains a little bit about the ideas behind her jewelry – sun, sea urchins, and more…

What made you decide that you wanted to design your own jewelry?

I first had the idea about a year ago. I was really interested in crystals at the time, in their function and their energy. I started giving them to friends and family members – each crystal always has a wonderful and special meaning. I quickly fell in love with the idea of making crystal necklaces and started making them. I gave myself a little time, and then it hit me after I after I met up with my friend Judith Gabriel: Why not also sell these necklaces? I’ve been so excited about making my own jewelry ever since – I had a thousand ideas.

I went through those ideas and could see how they worked, but suddenly I was standing in front of closed doors. I didn’t know how to implement my plans and urgently needed help. Judith wrote an ad for me on Facebook: “Product designer/jewelry designer wanted!” A few got back to me, who I then also had meetings with – until I met Elena Tezak. She has been my right hand ever since and has taught me a lot over the past year. It’s so much fun and I learn so many new things every day. I also attend a goldsmithing course because I think it’s important to understand everything and to participate in everything from the start.

How did you come up with the designs and what do they mean to you?

My first collection is called “Naughty By Nature” and it’s an homage to the beauty of nature. For me, being outside is the best – no matter where you look, you discover so many beautiful shapes, colors and little hidden messages. Stories are told.

We started looking for natural motifs, such as shells or the spines of sea urchins, which we thought we should mix with other things based of their shape and look. The “Naughty By Nature” collection might remind you of male and female genitals, but I’d rather like to leave everyone to their own interpretation. I think what people see for themselves is exciting – each piece has its own little story and meaning.

What was important to you when coming up with the logo and packaging?

I just thought the logo should match my jewelry – it should be something you may not recognize right away. It was inspired by the silhouette of a sea urchin and the sun, which I think stands for self-realization, light, and life.

As for the packaging, it was important to me that it was beautiful enough to be kept.

Your first necklaces sold out really quickly. What were your bestsellers?

I’m really so happy that my jewelry has been so well received. I love every single piece. All of the pieces mix with each other and you can always find a new way to wear them. The bestsellers are the “Sun Siren,” “Minni’s Bombshells,” and the crystals. These styles are obviously something special, and not just for me. My absolute personal favorite is the “Big Sea Bullet.” Boys love this design and women are daring to wear it more and more. Put it on and feel its shape – you won’t take it off!

What advice would you give to someone how has an idea for a dream project and doesn’t know how to make it happen?

If you really believe in something – and you have fun doing it – then it comes naturally. For the most part – nothing comes without hard work, of course, and I’ve also gotten plenty of grey hairs, panicked, and shed some tears over the last few months. But that’s part of it. I’m really doing everything I can right now not just to dream my dream, but to live it.

What’s next? What can we expect in the future?

New products are coming! I’m really looking forward to sharing everything with you soon. We’re working on the website, my online presence, and all that.

As for the future, I’m planning collaborations with artists from other fields. I want to create symbioses, bring friends on board. It’s so much more fun working with people you like. Someday I’d also like to have such a big team that we can have our own Christmas party with bowling and lots of burgers!

You can see – and buy – all of Maximova Jewelry’s pieces for yourself online. The collection is also available at MDC Cosmetic in Berlin. If you want to learn more about Dari, follow her on Instagram (@darimaximova) here or here (@_maximova_jewelry_).

Julia co-founded one of the first fashion blogs in Germany in 2007 and became a freelance consultant for digital strategies after publishing her first book in 2010. After an eventful four years with Condé Nast working mainly in the digital department of Vogue Germany, she decided to launch her own online magazine with her dream partner, Veronika Heilbrunner. She is based in Berlin and loves to read books.

Updates about her next professional steps can be found at https://www.linkedin.com/in/juliaknolle/.