aCHARMEDlife by Kristina Salvaggio
I’m lucky to work with a lot of cool ladies at Free People, but Kristina Salvaggio is a definite gem. Always looking bronzed, beautiful and bohemian, Ms. Salvaggio’s insanely cheerful yet down-to-earth attitude has a way of making the workday significantly more enjoyable. When I learned that the recent FIT grad had started making and selling her own jewelry, I literally jumped at the chance to snag some beaded bangles and charms for myself. DUH.
I was very excited when approaching Kristina about an RR spotlight artist feature – not only because she’s a good friend of mine but because I clearly have a soft spot for jewelry. Kristina’s line is constantly expanding and growing (she recently added feather hair clips to her store), so I definitely recommend you take a look. Read on to learn more about Kristina and aCHARMEDlife:
RR: Give us the lowdown on Kristina. Who are you and where do you come from? Name some of your interests and hobbies.
KS: My name is Kristina Salvaggio and I’m a 21 year-old Long Island girl (although I’m from LI, I’m a NYC chick at heart thanks to my days studying at FIT). I love anything fashion-related and am a total clothes-horse….I’d rather starve in order to shop! I love to listen to music, relax on the beach, wander around the city, and travel. Making jewelry is my Number One hobby.
RR: Explain how aCHARMEDlife started. Was the idea spontaneous or had it been brewing? How did you get things going?
KS: I have always been into making jewelry for myself, so about two years ago I started fussing around with some materials I had around my house. Seeing the hot new trends out in jewelry, I thought to myself “I can totally make these myself.” So I did. After wearing my new creations, people started to ask me where all of my accessories were from. I told them I made them, and the demand for them started to grow…Enter: aCHARMEDlife. I started making my pieces and selling them through Facebook. From there, word spread and my small business grew a bit more so I started an Etsy account and sold to a couple of boutiques on Long Island!
RR: Where do you get inspiration for your designs?
KS: The Seventies really inspire me; the bright colors and bohemian-like feel translate through my beaded bracelets. Jyst seeing people out and about on a normal day inspires me as well….sometimes I’ll see a certain style and come up with ways in which to tweak it.
RR: Where do you get inspiration for your personal style?
KS: Again, the Seventies. I’m definitely more of a boho girl but I dress depending on my mood. If I’m in a bad-ass mood, I’ll dress rocker-chic….if I’m feeling girly I’ll totally rock some bright florals.
RR: Clearly you have a passion for jewelry (and clothing). What are some of your favorite brands/places to shop?
KS: Being a Free People associate for the past three years, I cannot help but to love the brand. However, my number one place to shop is definitely SoHo in NYC. You can find the trendiest pieces for so cheap, and can be sure that no one on LI has the same pieces as you. Every time I go into SoHo I do some serious damage. Whoops ☺
RR: How has an FIT education affected your entrepreneurial goals and skills? Anything you wished you learned that you didn’t?
KS: To be honest, I have always been an entrepreneurial person, so FIT didn’t affect those goals too much. I took classes in general merchandising so they didn’t pin-point starting your own business…maybe a class in that would have been beneficial to me but I think I’m doing okay on my own!
RR: Favorite FIT class? Least favorite?
KS: Favorite: Creative fashion presentations – I got to make my own runway show from start to finish.. it was right up my alley! Least Favorite: every single Excel/stats class I had to take.. not my cup of coffee!
RR: Random question time. Favorite musician/band? Favorite vacation spot? Favorite TV show? Favorite food?
KS: Florence + The Machine (they’re amazing live). I love vacationing in the Bahamas but I NEED to visit Greece in my future. True Blood for TV, and my favorite food? Hmm….I love food….Italian or Japanese, I’d have to say!
RR: Other than achieving success as a jewelry designer, what would your “dream job” consist of?
KS: I’d love to work for a brand I love, maybe as a merchandiser or stylist. I love using my creativity so if I could use it for the rest of my life as a job I’d LOVE it!
RR: Who in the fashion industry do you admire most and why?
KS: I just admire the everyday person who can take clothes and make them their own. I love nothing more than a girl or guy who can take pieces and put them together to create an overall amazing look from head to toe. I love individual style and hate when people dress to fit in with everyone else. Just be yourself.
RR: Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Where do you see your business in 10 years?
KS: I see myself working in the fashion industry without a doubt. Since I’m open to anything and everything the business has to offer, who knows what I’ll be doing, I just hope I love whatever I do! As for my business, hopefully girls and guys all over will be rockin’ my looks. I don’t dream about fame, I just want to have fun and make jewelry in the process.
RR: Any words of advice for budding designers and/or fashion students?
KS: Have fun. Be different. Be creative. Don’t let others bring you down. Do what you want to do and love what you do and you’ll go far!
Some phone shots of me in mah bling:
I love layering my charms like there’s no tomorrow…..I might have to trouble Kristina for another order rather soon!