Women’s love for jewelry is undeniable. We enjoy embellishing looks with fancy jewels. Leveling up our femininity makes us feel beautiful and confident.
My earliest memory of wearing jewelry is an evil eye necklace, I wore as a young girl. My mother had faith in the significance of the amulet, used as a charm to scare of wicked glares from envious people. The history behind the talisman, as a source of protection, originated in Greece but similar beliefs are honored in different cultures. I grew up with an appreciation for these little treasures because of the emotional connection not necessarily, its material value. Of course, as a girl’s girl, I also like using jewelry to compliment my looks at any given time.
The earliest traces of jewelry were found during the prehistoric era. Pendants made of bones, shells, pebbles, and quill were worn to ward off evil. It is believed the handmade pieces had magical powers. Over time, the meaning of jewelry evolved. It became a sign of devotion, affection, even status in modern society. We are obviously wearing plenty of it! The market for jewelry is extremely lucrative. It is estimated that by 2026, this industry will grow to USD 500 Billion in global revenues.
My admiration for anything jewelry made me jump at the opportunity to interview Patricia Robalino. She is the Owner of Patricia Robalino Designs, creator of exquisite jewelry that celebrates women’s femininity and grace. Her passion for jewelry-making began at an early age in Ecuador, as she watched her family create beautiful pieces. The adoration is illustrated in the beauty and delicate quality of her collections. It is no surprise, she has built an incredibly successful business with countless satisfied clients.
Our conversation over Zoom was such a pleasure. Patricia’s demeanor made our interview enjoyable and easy. She was humble, kind, and genuine which made the time with her delightful!
Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview for AW! I hear that you knew at the age of 7 that you wanted to design jewelry. In fact, you created your first collection at the age of 19. Impressive! It can take years, sometimes, decades for people to figure out what to do with their lives. Women, in particular, can have a difficult time in this area. We are wives, caretakers, mothers, providers first, which complicates figuring out our passion. How did you know that designing jewelry was for you? The love for making jewelry was passed on early. I would go with my mom to work. I was fascinated with gems and sat with her to choose stones and designs. Participation was key, it helped cultivate my passion for jewelry design.
You have been designing jewelry for 27 years. Your designs have been seen on the red carpet and on some of the best-dressed women in New York and Palm Beach. You have elevated your business to international success. Congratulations! Your journey has been long. People often see the success but don’t truly appreciate the sacrifices it took to get there. What has been your greatest lesson as a female entrepreneur? There have been so many lessons and we never finish learning, each one is harder than the next. I have memories of frequent travel to visit various houses in Europe. I was looking for opportunities to show my work. Clients overlooked me, as the designer in the room. At the age of 29, I’d be asked, “Who did you come with?” without knowing I was the designer! This did not discourage me, I would not give up. The biggest lesson to pass on – never give up, keep knocking on doors! Doors will close all the time but one day, you will find a door open to what you are looking for!
You have shaped your brand by giving it a strong feminine identity. You’ve also maintained a strong sense of your South American upbringing, I have seen some of your collection. It is elegant, graceful, colorful, and creative, really beautiful pieces! If I asked you, who is Patricia Robalino – The Woman. What three words would you use to describe her and why? Honest, loyal, perseverant! I believe in staying truthful and loyal, everything you put out into the world, comes back to you. Loyalty may not sound realistic but it is incredibly loyal to husband, friends, and employees – it is everything!
Sometimes, we look back at our lives and wonder “What if”? If you could do one thing differently in your personal journey what would it be? I have always been very dedicated to my work. Early in my career, I spent endless hours at work, dusk to dawn. If I could change something, I would spend more time with my mom, brothers, family.
I like to end AW interviews with a positive message. What advice can you offer female entrepreneurs seeking longevity and success in their business? It is very important for women to always be self-sufficient and be able to stand on their own two feet. Understanding the value of having your own opinion, acknowledging self-worth is also, critical. Be your own woman.
AW is thankful to Patricia for gifting us with a piece of her journey. She has made incredible achievements in 27 years of business, none of which has tainted her modesty. It’s wonderful to see Latinas conquer territory in industries where opportunities were not available decades ago. Sometimes, it’s tough to see ourselves in certain roles, industries, or positions because we don’t see people that look like us doing the work. It’s essential to share stories of empowered Latinas breaking barriers to show future generations, what is possible. I hope her story will be as inspirational for you, as it was for me.
The jewel of this interview has been connecting with the talented creative on a level, I believe many of us can, as women. We have the power to build the life we envision but we must be willing to continue knocking on doors! I encourage you to begin your own expedition to discover the jewels in your life!
Photo Credit: Joshua Tillman Estes
Protected content. 2021 awakened-woman.com