Today we’d like to introduce you to Amandine Nabarra.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I thought I was the “perfect” wife and mother living my sleepy suburban community. Then, life happened. As I was personally going through a very tumultuous time, the country was also experiencing the fallout from the 2016 election as well as the #MeToo movement. So, I moved to Los Angeles to start living the way I wanted to live, with the goal of using my love of art and design to create a better world.
That’s where Bazooka Grooves comes in. We’re not just making wearable art pieces. We’re consciously trying to engage with our community and create change. We’ve partnered with some local charities in the past year and we’re looking forward to doing more community work. We also donate 15% of each sale to causes like Planned Parenthood, Stand with Parkland, and Project Angel Food.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Starting the business was a challenge, especially during a time when I was doubting everything about my life. It was hard to let my intuition take over and really trust my instincts at first. I had to really re-imagine what I wanted my life and my work to be in order to reach my full potential. I had to figure out how to create pieces that weren’t just stunning as fine jewelry, but had an artistic edge and required a thoughtful, out-of-the-box approach to design. That wasn’t easy. Navigating a 3D program like Rhino was a big challenge, but luckily I had a great teacher. Luis Ruiz, artist extraordinaire (as well as my Bazooka Grooves co-designer,) helped me learn the new technology and encouraged me to push myself and discover what I could do. I’m still learning, but I love designing works of wearable art in 3D, and then I go to Downtown Los Angeles to discuss the making of each piece with our metalsmith team. Creating Bazooka Grooves helped me get in touch with what I’d been missing. It felt like a kind of creative rebirth, something that started out painful but that I’ve come to see as a real gift.
Please tell us about Bazooka Grooves.
I come from a fine art background, having created artist’s books like Bernoulli Equation and Voyages (en Train) that help turn abstract concepts into objects you can hold in your hand. I’ve tried to bring the same sense of curiosity, playfulness, and love of design to my work at Bazooka Grooves. Each piece is a work of art that helps its wearer express who they are. Jewelry, to me, isn’t just adornment. It’s a form of self-expression. It helps other people find you, either through compliments or curiosity. Jewelry, like great art, should inspire conversation and connection. Our pieces are like talismans: symbols of strength, unity, and resistance that wearers can carry with them wherever they go.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I’m French, and my father was a street photographer in his youth. We always had a darkroom growing up. After I moved to the United States and had my daughter, I started taking up photography seriously. It led to creating visual stories for my artist’s books, and now, for my jewelry design. I like that I’ve come full circle in that way.
- Website: bazookagrooves.com
- Phone: 323 400 3270
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @bazookagrooves
- Facebook: @bazookagrooves
- Other: pinterest: @bazooka grooves
Fanny Chu (@fannychuphotography) – Hair: William Huth (@william_huth33)