Spotlight: Anja Guggenheim

From the beginning, we intended this blog to be centered around Liberty Street, life in the Philippines, and the causes we support.  One of the things that has always fascinated me is how creative and talented a whole lot of people are in the Philippines.  I personally feel that the things we produce can stand side by side with the things made internationally.  The onus is on us to make sure that the things we produce are of the highest quality and can withstand the scrutiny of the international market.

With that being said, I am introducing a new feature I am calling “Spotlight” in which I interview people from different walks of life that are making their mark here in the Philippines that we feel you should know.  For our first edition of Spotlight I went ahead and interviewed my friend Anja whom I wrote a post about in the past.  She has expanded her enterprise from a single self-defense weapon into making a full range of self-defense jewelry as well as collections that reflect various things that capture her imagination as she saunters through life.

What made you want to start your own jewelry line?
Like many good things that come your way, it was somewhat of a happy accident, really.  I was using resin to make fist weapons, and it was so fun to work with so I made a ring for myself.  Design ideas just kept multiplying from there and I felt this strong desire to realize them.  It’s so rewarding to bring something inside of you out into the world.  I imagine people wearing my stuff and it makes me so happy!

 

What is ATK!?

ATK! is my first jewelry collection.  This is read as “attack!” and I picked it up from the gaming world.  It was first Atk+6! but that really confused people.  I got some very strange looks thanks to that quirky name.  I simplified it mainly because I got tired of explaining what it meant.  You shouldn’t have to explain your product, art or brand too much.  It should do that on its own.

How do you come up with your designs? 

It all starts with an idea for a theme, which is usually sparked by an object.  The unicorn horn first weapon was what lead to ATK, for example.  The idea there was “deadly attraction”. Now I’m working on two other themes.  Both are inspired by excursions – one to the beach, the other to Quiapo.  In both cases, I found and got entranced by one object and the rest just follows. Sometimes, I’ll try something and it won’t work out, but that’s part of it.

Where do you get your inspiration?

My surroundings, my friends, THE INTERNET, memories…

What does it mean for you to be a creative entrepreneur in the Philippines?

I’m not quite sure yet.  Currently, I’m just finding my footing, so for me, it’s about finding my path.  Luckily, there are awesome people who have walked the real thing and I can turn to them for guidance.  If you’re reading this and would like to share your experiences with me or just talk shop, send me an email! I’d love to meet you.

Where can a person buy one of your products?
They can visit my shop anjaguggenheim.etsy.com and my new website anjaguggenheim.com.
What do you have in store for your brand in the future?
A wider range of pieces to choose from.  Most of my items are rings so I have been working on necklaces and earrings to complement them.  The next two themes coming out of my shop are inspired by corals and talismans.  I’m surely going to devote a lot of time to getting the brand out there.  Fingers crossed!