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Meet Kristina Bader

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristina Bader.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
Being a first-generation Lebanese American really shaped the trajectory of my life. Life wasn’t always easy, but growing up around my very stylish mother, fashion became one of my passions in life. While I always wanted to pursue a career in fashion, making that decision wasn’t easy for me. I ended up getting my Bachelor of Arts in Marketing, because I always knew that my end goal was to own my own business. I began working at a top marketing firm, but soon realized that it just wasn’t for me. I decided that I owed it to myself to go after what I really loved. So I applied to UAL: London College of Fashion and was accepted into their design program. That decision to leave everyone and everything I knew behind to study what I love in a foreign country was a scary but life-changing experience that I would not give up for the world. Once I returned home my one and only goal was to create my brand, Sa’oti.

Please tell us about your business.
I own a luxury jewelry brand based in Los Angeles, CA. The name of my brand is Sa’oti. Sa’oti is derived from the Arabic word meaning “my voice”. I have always been so inspired by the strong voices around me. That is why I chose this name as a tribute to them in hopes that one day these same voices would be the people who would wear my jewelry. The brand is definitely unique, and not something that you’ll see out in the market today, but that is exactly what I wanted. I wanted my jewelry to be bold, thus inspiring the wearer to be bold.

My jewelry is handcrafted from high quality 925 sterling silver and made in Los Angeles, CA. Like most artists, my creation process starts with an inspiration and a design. I then sketch the prototype and head straight to my studio and begin to bring it to life. I basically take a block of wax and carve and manipulate the block until I have the perfect piece that I see in my mind. This process can take up to 10 hours depending on how big and complex the piece is. I then work with fellow craftsmen to complete the creation process. The next step is to cast the pieces and transform them into metal. The pieces are then hand finished and laser engraved with our logo and silver purity. The final step is to clean and rhodium plate the piece, and then voilà my idea is brought to life. The technique I have been using is a very special one that I developed on my own. It creates a very specific texture that I have not seen in the jewelry industry today. I wanted to create items that people got excited about. In this industry you often find yourself looking at the same piece over and over from different companies, and that starts to get boring after a while. So I created what I thought the industry was missing, which is jewelry that is totally unique, exciting, and bold.

The first collection I released was the Nar Collection (Nar is the Arabic word meaning Fire). Interestingly enough, the collection was inspired by a project I was given while at design school in London. The project required us to take something often thought of as unlovely and transform it into something beautiful. Immediately, I thought of war and the destruction it creates. War is such a horrific thing that takes all that we love and hold dear in this life and melts it away. The Nar Collection is a reminder that despite all the tragedies we suffer there is always something beautiful that remains: Hope. Since creating the Nar Collection, I have noticed that I have taken this idea and applied it to situations in my own life. Some of the jewelry from my next collection actually came about through transforming my own sadness into something beautiful. When I make these pieces I remind myself, and hopefully the world, that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, as long as we are willing to see it.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing artists today?
I can only speak on my own behalf, as everyone’s story is different. However, I think many artists would agree that a major challenge we face is blocking out the noise around us. That is to say that people are always going to have opinions about what you do and how you do it. I cannot tell you the number of times people I knew and didn’t know questioned what I was doing, whether that be career wise, design-wise, etc. You have to be able to block out all of that and focus on your craft and really honing in on what you’re trying to achieve. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t listen to anyone’s advice. I one hundred percent looked to those around me for guidance, but you need to know which advice works for you and which does not. Not everyone is going to like or understand you, and that is okay. My point is that we, as artists, need to be confident enough in our creations to know when the noise around us is valuable or not. I firmly believe that when artists are truly able to express themselves the world is better off for it.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
I am currently in stores at Flying Solo NYC. You can also shop online at www.saotijewelry.com or www.pietrastudio.com/designers/saoti. I have online shops on both Facebook and Instagram. I also participate in shows and markets so that customers have a chance to see my jewelry in person first before purchasing. Follow me on Instagram to know when I will be showing.
Instagram — @saoti.jewelry
Facebook — saotijewelry
Pinterest — saotijewelry

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Image Credit:
Sights by Sof

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