Next on the “Behind the Magic” series is my interview with Anita, the woman behind the SiammPatra brand. She is a woman on a mission. She has used her jewelry collection to tell stories that transcends fashion, time and culture. These stories shine light on the beauty of individuality while still being united. It represents the strength of women who dare to be bold and unique, and it empowers women to make a statement and let their voices be heard.
Hope you enjoy reading this and find something that inspires you to be the best version of yourself and live your life passionately and with purpose.
- Describe the SiammPatra band?
SiammPatra is a fashion jewelry brand that evokes and combines the essence of my birth country Thailand –Siam, with the power and confidence of the Queen within us all (Cleo Patra). My jewelry helps women to tell story of their boldness, confidence and the power to be who they truly are.
- Who is the woman behind the brand?
Anita is a wife, a founder and jewelry designer. I’d describe my personality as ambitious with a twist of an introvert. Many times my jewelry is a conversation starter and helps me to explain how I truly am.
- Share some info of your education and background?
I have a bachelors degree in gemology from Thailand. I worked in large jewelry companies in Bangkok, before starting out on my own.
- What inspired you to start your business?
I worked in the jewelry industry for decades, since I graduated. When I moved to USA three years ago, after I found the love of my life, I wanted to have a career as well as to find a place that I was able to communicate and express who I am, and at the same time use my creativity and jewelry to empower women to accessorize the way they feel beautiful.
- What are your favorite things to do and why?
I love traveling – discover new places, cultures, people and food. It doesn’t have to be a long trip, just short trips to NYC (I live in NJ) to visit the Met or Whitney Museum and discovering new brunch or dinner spots afterward is great. The senses of seeing, touching and smelling drive my creativity – I feel inspired.
- Where are you from? What city do you live in and what’s your favorite thing about it?
I was born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand. Now I live in NJ. I grew up in the fast-pace life in Bangkok, and now live in the suburb, which helps me to slow down and appreciate life and people around me more.
- Where’s your favorite place to go and why?
I can have a variety of answers for this question. But my first thought will be my altar room or a temple. When it’s hard to find my own inner peace, I need a place that can accommodate me for that. And as a wife, business woman and a designer, sometimes I need a peaceful place to rest my thoughts.
- What’s the story behind your collections
My collections are stories of my journey – each of them come from what I see, or how I feel at that moment. For example – Bedazzled collection is the first collection that came from my transition from Thailand to USA. I still had a sense of who I was as a Thai. I loved colors and all details of craftsmanship. My arms were full of friendship bracelets so I wanted to share that.
Cleo collection comes from a spiritual connection with Cleo Patra, the queen of Egypt. It was the time that I wanted to find a woman role model besides my mother, and somehow I always had the queen Cleo Patra in my heart (I even evoked her power into my brand name).
Meanwhile, the latest collection is called Escape. It began when I traveled last year to the west coast and I saw rustic chains at the museums in New Mexico and California. I got caught up with the crude forms of them and I started to think – though there is no form of slavery nowadays, but do we really become free? So, the Escape is the collection to bring awareness and recognition through the chain forms and use them as a symbol to overcome any obstacles, or whatever ties or chains us in life.
- Can you describe your personal style in 3 words?
Bold, edgy, effortless.
- What’s your go to outfit of the day and why?
I’m kind of a denim person. My outfit can be very basic like a button down shirt, a pair of denim and a blazer or a jacket so I can pile on more jewelry on me. I always wear rings (a lot of them) and either necklaces or cuff bracelets.
- What’s your favorite type of clothes and accessory?
I’m not ladylike. I wear more pants or jeans with a finish of a masculine tailored blazer or suit. I also like wearing sneakers or loafers, so I can stroll the city or walk all day. My go-to accessories are my SiammPatra Jewelry. I always wear them and mismatch all different collections, styles and colors together.
- If you could raid someone’s closet, who would it be?
Only one? I think I have more than one name lined up in my mind. I’d like to see Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Janelle Monae’s closets and have a full day hangout with them (one by one for sure!)
- Favorite fashion trend of all time and why?
I actually have three and they are my go-to style – white t-shirt, jeans and blazers/jackets.
- Favorite clothing designer?
I really don’t stick with brand names especially clothing. I always consider more in term of style and design that I like and I feel beautiful in it.
- What and who has been your biggest influence?
I’d say my mother who already passed away and my husband. These two beautiful humans taught/teach me so much and influence me to be a better person.
- Share what a typical day looks like and what’s the most fun part of your day?
My day starts with a prayer and meditation. Then I check my emails and go on with my tasks for the day. The most fun part of my day is to receive heart warming emails or messages from people who appreciate my work. They just mean the world to me.
- What was the last movie and TV show you watched?
I watched “Ghost in the shell” and it was just ok, but it made me think that our possibilities are endless since we are living in a world where technology and innovation is booming and peaking. My favorite TV show that just finished the first season is “This is us”. It’s the story of family lives, flaws and connections of several people who share a variety of different things. I feel so connected with the story – I can relate my story, I can relate my feeling and I can even imagine how I’d do if I was that person. You should see it!
- What was the last book you read and what type of music do you listen to?
My recent read was “The subtle art of not giving a f*uck” The title might be a bit hash, but so is life. This book is a good read to carve out your life the way that is important to you. For music, I think I’m stuck with 70s-80s-and 90s music. I really fall for cheesy love songs for example: You found me – The fray, I swear – Boy II Men, Can you feel the love tonight –Elton John.
- Are you married? Do you have children? How do you maintain a balance in your life?
Yes. I’m a wife. No children. To be honest, I’m still working to balance my life. What I’ve just learned recently is setting goals in every aspect in your life, so you can see the pictures where you want to go and who you want to become, and if there is some distractions and you consider they don’t support your goals, you can say “no” and keep on tracks.
20. What does creativity mean to you and what’s your creative process?
Creativity means consciousness – be aware of what comes into my thoughts or what surrounds me and how they affect me, and present those in tangible objects that I call jewelry. My creative process allows me to connect with myself and others (either objects or people) on a spiritual level.
21. What advice will you give someone who wants to follow in your footsteps?
You have to have faith in whatever you do and your ultimate goal of doing something must be bigger than money and you.
22. How excited about life on a scale of 1-10 and what’s keeping you excited?
I’m at 10! Life is too short to be dull! I’m so grateful for my journey with God, my wonderful husband and my work that brings me to connect with amazing people.
23. Any advice for people who are struggling with finding their passion or career paths?
I’m not so sure if I’m in a position to give this piece of advice, but once I read “Big Magic” written by Elizabeth Gilbert and she said just follow your curiosity. Some people might not figure out what their passions are, but just pay attention to things around you, see if there is anything that interests and captivates your heart even for a moment, then go from there.
24. How long did it take you to create your business, from conception to launch?
It took about a good year to go back and forth with ideas, production and website.
25. What have been some of your challenges as a business owner and how did you deal with it?
There is no one footprint to success. Even if you learn from what the other people do, there’s no guarantee it will work the same way for you. You just have to keep trying, be patient and trust in the process.
26. Share something new you’re working on?
I’ve just launched “SiammPatra Brand Ambassador Program”. I’d like to create a community of friends that share love and support, through their art of accessorizing and empowering women to be the most amazing versions of themselves. I also want to use my jewelry brand to bring awareness and support to an organization and help the world in some ways. I’m still working on this idea. If you have any organization that you want to recommend, I’d love to hear!
27. Who will you like to work with?
Hmm… this question is a little bit tricky to me. I actually have three women that I want to work with – Marie Forleo, Jessica Parker and Lady Gaga.
28.Money or happiness?
In reality I need both, but in my mentality – 1000% happiness – happiness has the power to attract the rest including money.
29. What does success in life mean to you? What does It look like?
Success to me should be evoked and used to create happiness – to myself and to people around me. It’s been said that success is changing lives through my products or opportunities that I create that give myself a value and change people’s lives to live better.
30. Do you think it’s possible to have it all and what does having it all mean to you?
That’s what I always think about. I want to be a woman to have it all – a wife, a mother, a daughter, a globetrotter, a creator, a giver and etc. Anyway, I try not to fall in greedy and “not enough” categories. I believe everything is possible and can be figured out if you’re willing to work hard. Having it all to me becomes a routine of checking in with myself what I’m grateful for and what is out of track that I may need to nourish.
31. What’s your biggest fear?
To loose loved ones – I lost my mom three years ago and the picture of that day, the feeling and everything is never faded away from my memory. It feels fresh – it feels like it’s just happened.
32. Who makes you laugh?
My amazing husband, Jeff – he knows how to brighten up my days.
33. What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve done?
Backpacked to Laos with my girl-friend and stayed low-cost without any plans. Just traveled according to what we felt when we woke up in the morning.
34. Person you’d like to have a drink with?
LOL… can I have the entire gang of “Sex and The city” – Carrie Bradshaw, Samantha Jones, Charlotte and Miranda? That would be my dream.
35. What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned within the last year? Any regrets?
I learned there is no success overnight. After one year, three years, or over five years, we still keep learning and moving forward. Sometimes I regret decisions I made, but then I realize that there’s a good reason in every error I made, and if it doesn’t kill me, it’ll make me come back stronger.
36. How do you give back in your community and how do you want to be remembered?
I’ve given jobs to people in Thailand. I joined Avon 39 The walk to end breast cancer two years ago. I support children organizations for their education in Thailand. This year, I’m looking to find an organization that I want to connect directly with my company. I want to be remembered as a strong woman who is humble and kind to involve and empower women through her work.
37. Where do you want to see your collection featured?
Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Essence
38. Who will you like to see wearing your jewelry?
Every woman who dares to be beautiful and feel beautiful the way they are. Any woman who feels like their voices supposed to be heard and their hearts supposed to be sung.
39. How can people contact and follow SiammPatra?
People can learn and shop my jewelry on www.siammpatra.com
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