Kristina and I met when both of our lives looked really different. We were both working in the advertising world, her on the production side, and me on the sales side, and our paths kept crossing. We became fast friends once we discovered that we shared so many other interests outside of the advertising/tech world - most importantly a love of (vintage) fashion and design. Kristina started her jewelry line, Krimarino, after she took a little break from corporate life to travel the world and became inspired to pick up her pliers and start making her own jewelry. She's spent the last few years building a cult following in Brooklyn, Rockaway Beach, and Tulum. You can find her wares on her website or at popups in cities around the world. Make sure to give her instagram a follow to stay updated on new releases and pop-up shop venues.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Mostly through my travels. My line was born after a few stints to Tulum, Mexico and Turkey - the exposure to cultures so rooted in ancient civilizations, known for their vibrant textiles as well as their spiritual energies. I also met a lot of creative, interesting people along the way who were so supportive in the beginning and it made me think, “yeah, maybe I can actually do this.” I’m a Pisces and always need to be by the water so beach culture has also had a huge impact on my designs. I channel the mentality of all things summer into my line- it’s aimed to be easy and carefree.
What’s your special sauce? That little trick you do before walking out the door to perk you up and make you feel your most you?
Lipstick, mascara, jewelry (obviously). Those are my three must have-on’s before I walk out the door.
Who are your mentors? Who do you look up to?
I don’t have any mentors In the jewelry world per say - although it would be nice! However, I do look to other small, independent brands, who are really trying to make a go of it without completely selling out. I have a small network of ladies (disclaimer: you’re one of them) who are all 1-3 years into running small indie brands as their second career and it’s amazing to have that kind of support system. In terms of jewelry designers I look up to, it would be LUINY, Biko, and Wasted Effort.
What makes you happy no matter what? Like if you’re having one of those no good rotten days where everything is terrible, what’s the thing that pulls you off the ledge?
Yoga! Before I started this line, I was working as a Marketing Director for an agency. The hours were grueling and my stress levels were through the roof. I was on the cusp of a nervous breakdown when I found yoga. If it wasn't for yoga, I don’t even think I would have started this line to be honest! It’s what originally led me to Tulum, it’s what lead me to leave my job (the first time) and travel and take time off to really re-learn and re-figure out who I was as a person without my career as my crutch. I hate to sound so new-agey but it’s really true. Also, some cuddle time with my cat Cleo, never hurts.
Where do you shop for closet staples? Where do you go to find your special thing?
I buy and wear a lot of vintage- a part of me does it for the thrill of the hunt for that perfect, one of a kind, piece. A part of me does it because I know that it will be ‘that’ much easier to sell when I’m over it. I am actually in the process of trying to downsize my closet but sometimes I come across an amazing piece I just have to have, whether it be from one of my designer friends, vintage shops, or brands I have my eye on. I buy/sell/trade at People of 2morrow- I love that store.
Tell us about a time when you hit a breaking point, a fork in the road? Have you ever wanted to quit and run away to Bali?
I mean, I basically did. I was looking up retreat centers in Bali but couldn't afford it and went to Tulum. I am constantly toeing the line between my first career (Marketing/ Events exec specializing in Beverage and Spirits) and that whole world and this new life I have made for myself.
What is the skill you picked up as a kid/teen that you still rely on today?
How to be self sufficient. I’ve had a job since I was 16. My junior year of college, I had four jobs. I am never satisfied and always want more. I think that’s why I am so driven to succeed. I’ve enjoyed working since a young age and always had to be the “best”- the best person of the team, the first to get promoted, it was all about climbing that ladder for me; and if there wasn't an opportunity for me to do what I want, I somehow created that opportunity. A long time ago, my parents gave me a gift with the Walt Disney quote, “if you could dream it, you could do it” engraved on it, and as corny as it sounds, that’s something that resonated with me and stuck with me ever since.