The designer

portrait-Virginie-Millefiori

 

Hey, I’m Virginie! I create dainty colorful jewelry for the positive minded ladies who love themselves a sassy touch of quirky while remaining tasteful and subtle. I help them express their unique modern style while making them feel like they put on a happy mood!

My playful jewelry is proudly made in NYC with the best quality materials and in an environmentally friendly way. My designs have been widely featured on international magazines such as Lucky, Instyle, Time Out and USA Today, online publications, renowned fashion blogs  and I have been interviewed several times on the French TV about my journey as an entrepreneur and designer.

When I am not making jewelry or taking colorfully styled shots for my Instagram account, you can find me dancing alone like a maniac in my studio or exploring the world, chocolate in my backpack , with my eyes wide open in search for rainbows and inspirations that will one day turn into a piece of jewelry!

I would love to stay in touch with you and share my latest jewelry releases as well as special offers as they come up, if you’re in just join the fun now:

 

 

 

Who is Virginie?

Hi! I’m Virginie, a French designer and maker established in New York City since 2010. I have been collecting jewelry for as far as I can remember and started designing my own in Paris in 2005. I am a strong believer that wearing a unique color-happy piece of jewelry can change your outlook to your day and make you shine brighter.

How did you start making jewelry?

I started making jewelry while studying engineering! After all these years studying science, I started missing sketching for hours like I used to in my childhood. I quickly became the president of the not very sought after “Drawing Club” of my school. I would spend my week-ends there, drawing and painting. One day I found a box of discarded electronic chips that looked to me just like fun millipedes. I created little worlds for them with fabric, polymer clay and paint, one of them is still alive, his name is Moustache and he lives on my husband’s desk at work. Doing the little sets for the chips using polymer clay I started to learn new techniques and rapidly got hooked at the material and started creating colorful compositions with polymer clay. Soon enough the compositions became wearable in the form of brooches or rings and I started showing them to boutiques and enrolled for my first craft show in Paris, that was in 2005. For a couple years I was best known for my half-eaten biscuit rings and my orchid necklaces but I was already yearning to learn metal-smithing. I realized my wish by taking a jewelry class via the reputable Ecole Boulle in Paris and immediately fell in love with metalwork.

Where does the brand name come from?

I first started making jewelry using polymer clay and one very popular way to work with this medium is called the “millefiori” technique. In Italian it means “a thousand flowers”; this process was mainly used as a decorative pattern for the venetian glassware and it looks like plenty of little flowers next to each other on a surface. I visited some glass workshops in Murano where the millefiori originated from and I was very impressed by the details and meticulousness in the process which are very dear to my personal work as well. Here are some examples of traditional millefiori beads in glass on the left and one of my early creation using polymer clay on the right.

millefiori beads

millefiori polymer clay necklace

 

For my first craft fair in Paris in 2005, I had to fill in “artist’s name” and since my first name is Virginie and my main polymer clay technique was the millefiori I thought it sounded right and I wrote down “Virginie Millefiori”. Since then I completely shifted my medium to metal and don’t using polymer clay for my jewelry, only sometimes to create displays, but I still keep that very first artist name that gave birth to my little company as a tribute to this traditional artisanal technique dear to my heart.

23 slightly weird facts about me

  1. So I have a favorite number, it is 23, don’t ask why.
  2. I was born on May 2nd, yes I am a taurus and yep, stubborn 😉
  3. I am insectophobic, especially all the flying stuff, really don’t like that.
  4. I have awkwardly short first knuckles on my forefingers.
  5. I have a severe addiction to dark chocolate.
  6. I am overly empathetic so please if you have news to share with me, make sure they’re good and don’t invite me to watch that tragic movie or you’ll be embarrassed to death seeing that giant pile of tissues sitting next to you.
  7. I walk super fast, someone told me the other day that I walk like I am 6’5 (and I am 5’3).
  8. I love all kinds of animals (except insects of course) and I am overly cuddly with them, a bit like Mafalda you know.
  9. The only sports I can bear to watch on TV are ice-skating and dance skating (no judging please).
  10. I used to be fluent in German (daughter of two former German teachers) but almost lost it all after not practicing for over 10 years.
  11. I can’t smoke and I won’t anyway (yes I am still French).
  12. I know by heart the entire Disney movie Alice in Wonderland.
  13. I am disturbingly lucky at board games, all games actually, don’t hate me.
  14. I have this nerdy thing with numbers, I will remember very odd numbers like the exact meter from my parents car at different specific moments of my childhood.
  15. I stopped biting my nails on January 7th 2013 and still going strong.
  16. I have tried a zillion times to pronounce the spanish word “ferrocarril” and I am absolutely unable to roll the R, I doubt I will ever be.
  17. My favorite fruit is an acidulous raspberry.
  18. The tip of my nose always gets itchy and I have that weird tic to scratch it, since forever.
  19. My husband and I have lived in 7 different apartments in Paris and then New York.
  20. When I was little I wanted to be a dance teacher or a french braid specialist.
  21. I used to run faster than everyone (boys included).
  22. I haaaaate the smell of bleach, really can’t stand it.
  23. I watched all the horror movies way too young and as a result I am convinced that there are sharks waiting to eat me in all watery places and that the guy in the ice cream truck with that creepy music is actually a clown serial killer. (If you have the number of a good shrink…).