Monday, December 11, 2017

8 QUESTIONS WITH...

By Eva Fydrych

Debora Ann Malouf
DM Jewelry Designs

Photos courtesy of DM Jewelry Designs



If you haven't heard about DM Jewelry Designs yet, it's just a question of time. Run by charismatic Debora Ann Malouf, this Pennsylvania-based business should be on your fashion radar in 2018.

Born and raised in a suburb outside of Boston, Massachusetts, Debora has always been drawn to designing with high quality precious and semi-precious gemstones, pearls, and other natural stones. Tax Accountant by day, Debora continuously creates custom designed pieces which represent top women's qualities such as beauty, intelligence, and strength.

Fashion Studio Magazine had the pleasure of talking to Debora about both successes and challenges of her rapidly flourishing brand, as well as her favourite jewelry trends for this season. Enjoy!



Photo courtesy of DM Jewelry Designs



FASHION STUDIO: What inspired you to start your own business?

DEBORA: It took a number of swift kicks to my tush from an entrepreneurial figure for me to actually embark on this jewelry designing journey. I originally wanted to go to Rhode Island School of Design as I was naturally drawn to fashion design, however, I was deterred by a few friends who were double degree art majors who ended up as tattoo artists as they couldn’t find jobs in their fields of passion. So, I ended up going the other path to become a corporate income tax accountant and Certified Fraud Examiner. All through that time, I stayed being creative because it’s truly what makes my heart sing. Eventually I created custom jewelry for friends and others through word-of-mouth. This entrepreneur saw some of the pieces and kept encouraging me to make the jump as she thought my designs were unique. It’s been a slow process, but as of a year ago - I finally jumped in with both feet!


FASHION STUDIO: How would you describe your target customer? Who do you design for?

DEBORA: Originally when I started on this journey, I was encouraged to design pieces that could be continually offered. What I realized was how that approach was limiting to my designing as I could only obtain gemstones that could continually be offered. I’m drawn to unique, high quality materials. In staying to true to my intuitive designing process, my target market went from offering to masses to the lovers of unique, couture designs that is often found in the luxury fashion market.



Photo courtesy of DM Jewelry Designs



FASHION STUDIO: What do you consider your biggest success so far?

DEBORA: First and foremost I consider my biggest success comes from feedback I have received thus far from previous customers on how they feel when they wear my designs. My designs come from my heart and soul where a number of ladies have commented they feel special when they wear them and how these pieces tend to represent their personalities. I can only hope they feel the love that went into creating the designs when they wear them!

I’m grateful for other successes that have happened thus far in 2017 such as being invited into the designer program for a Celebrity Style House in Los Angeles as well as being discovered by JewelStreet and invited to join their platform as one of their curated designers.


FASHION STUDIO: Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

DEBORA: For decades I have always been drawn, enamored and mesmerized by Bvlgari. Their designs are a true definition being exquisite and elegant! My other design inspiration comes from when I research unique gemstones to design with and come across a certain shape, I tend to get visions of what could be! If only working with the Internal Revenue Code came to mind like this!


FASHION STUDIO: What are your main challenges and how do you overcome them?

DEBORA: Right now my greatest challenge is finding a balance between working the day job of income taxes, designing jewelry and working out since having a healthy body feeds a healthy mind to design with. My approach to over come this is to do as much as I can through the week so that the weekends are spent designing as I easily loose track of time while in my “Design Den”!



Photo courtesy of DM Jewelry Designs



"Stay true to your own visions"




FASHION STUDIOWhich jewelry trends for Fall/Winter 2017 would you recommend?

DEBORA: Statement pieces and especially ones that are universal and can be worn not only in the office, but also worn on a night on the town or to a special event.


FASHION STUDIO: What is the best piece of fashion advice you've ever received?

DEBORA: The best piece of fashion advice I have received to date is to stay true to my own visions. Don’t be concerned about what others are doing or change my own visions to follow another’s path.


FASHION STUDIO: What is your ultimate goal? Where do you see your business in five years time?

DEBORA: My ultimate goal is to continue to build my business and realize my dream of designing couture and limited edition accessories full time!

One of these days I'm also hoping to pay it forward more than I can. I would love to create a non-profit program for abused and homeless women where I would take unused inventory and help these ladies create a piece of jewelry for themselves. I think there could be a beautiful lesson/message of self love and they are deserving of something beautiful because they are...even if they may not think of themselves that way at the moment! I also had a thought of how the craft store Michaels no doubt has unsold inventory where they could donate for a charitable contribution deduction on their own tax return!

I would just need to make sure shelters would be welcoming to this program.


FASHION STUDIO: Thank you for your time and for sharing your unique vision with Fashion Studio Magazine. We can't wait to see more of your designs in 2018!





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