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kristina
  • An Image Slideshow
  • An Image Slideshow
  • An Image Slideshow
  • An Image Slideshow
  • An Image Slideshow

 

Kristina Svajone Bobs interview by Sarah Christophers

 

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When I asked Kristina, Svaja’s co-founder and Creative Director, for a quote to introduce her interview she chose this from HH Sheikh Mohamed…

"Waiting has never been our choice in the past, nor is it in the present. We are always striving, anticipating the future and preparing for it."

Kristina is known for her passion, drive and vision and these 26 words neatly sum up her approach. Here she treats us to an intimate chat about her past, her present and her future dreams… 

"I was born and raised in Lithuania until the age of 22. Then my adventurous side demanded a change of scene and I ended up in England where I followed a passion for chemistry and maths by studying for a BSc degree at university. Once I graduated, modelling was next on my agenda and, while it didn’t use my brains, it was fun, brought great monetary rewards and gave me a real insight into the consumer mindset."

How did you then make the leap into starting a business?

"When I was modelling, it was the dawn of the great British home obsession: decluttering, streamlining, magnolia walls, wood flooring – minimal living with statement pieces - but I noticed that was very little choice in contemporary, good quality, accessible glass accessories. At the same time I was travelling home to visit my family in Lithuania, the land of traditional glassmaking, and so I decided to start producing beautiful handmade glass articles to meet this need. It was the perfect time to revive local glass skills and bring them to a wider, more style-conscious audience. I set up in a very small way, my landlord recommended an accountant and it all started from there. We started to exhibit our small collection at major UK trade shows and being a bit different, we attracted the attention of some of the country’s top retailers - the ball was rolling and it hasn’t yet stopped! I was so pleasantly surprised with all interest I had from the start."   

Where do you get your inspiration for colours and shapes?

"From just about everything I see and do: fashion, travelling, interiors, nature, food, art - it could be the angle of a heel in Vogue, or a freshly sliced papaya in a restaurant. I love modern design, art and architecture and keep discovering new forms which inspire me. Spending time with our glass artisans as they experiment with techniques, never fails to give me new ideas too."

What do you most like about England and Lithuania?

"England is cosmopolitan and one of the most important financial, cultural, political, fashion centres in the world. I like to be where life is "boiling" and things are happening every second. Lithuania has my roots and I respect it for shaping me. Without Lithuania Svaja would not have been born."   

What’s your typical working day?

"There’s no routine but I always keep connected by email and phone. I get restless if I stay too long in the same place so I spend half my time travelling overseas for business, for inspiration and when we can squeeze it in, holidaying! I am passionate about Svaja and will often work on Saturdays liaising with our growing number of clients in the Middle East."   

What are you proudest of achieving so far? 

"Aside from my family, it’s that Svaja is getting known around the world and that we have created a brand name in such competitive and niche market."

Who inspires you?

"Anyone who is successful in their field: if they have achieved their goals it means I can too."   

If you were a colour what would you be and why?

"Rainbow, because I like different colours depends on my mood. I particularly like a combination of complimenting colours: it’s so interesting to experiment with different colours in glass, seeing how they blend. Colours like people can compliment or interfere with each other; the art is to find a right balance." 

Do you have a motto for life?

 "I have a few: "Don't take no for an answer", "Be so focussed on your dreams that they dare not come true", A thousand difficult steps forward is better than one step back""

 What makes you happy professionally?

 "Lots of things: I still get a thrill when a friend or colleague calls to say they’ve been to a dinner party where a Svaja piece was the topic of the night; or when I go somewhere new and discover a piece in residence. I also love bringing forgotten talents back to life and helping artisans show their art to the world, giving them purpose to create with me and to grow. Most of all I get a real kick out of the amazing loyalty people around the world have for Svaja, its so unexpected and so personal. It makes me smile every day."

And do you have any goals for the future?

"Do I! I want to continue building the Svaja brand and portfolio across the globe, taking our customers on a journey of imagination and endless possibilities. I’d like to establish Svaja as the leading high-end interiors accessories specialists for private and public spaces around the world and I also want to continue growing our bespoke architectural glass service – each piece is a work of art! Most of all I want to keep celebrating what has made glass unforgettable throughout history: beauty, elegance, unique style... almost like a woman!"

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Kristina’s insights...

“The first thing people say when seeing Svaja glass is “Beautiful, I love the colour”; but often they also think “Oh, where would I put it?  Is it too bright/modern/big for my space?”  Inspirational accessories will complete your interior but it can be difficult to make the right choices at first.  With a few pointers you can enhance your space and enjoy the dynamic clean lines of Svaja in your home, workplace, restaurant or hotel.

Colour block it

From catwalk to home, bold block of colours are hot news, injecting friction, pace and excitement to any space.  But how do you go bold in a room where you want to unwind and relax?  If your living space has a neutral colour scheme, you don’t want hot magenta and lime.  It’s all about palette and scale.  Colour blocking can have incredible impact when you go tonal, so choose dynamic Svaja pieces in shades that blend rather than shock.  Make an impact with rich, deep versions of your neutrals; calm things down with softer, more muted tones; but remember, always opt for bold, unfussy, angular shapes when you want this sophisticated, luxurious modern look.

Turn it up

If you need to add some adrenalin to your interior; or pull things together into a coherent scheme, a well chosen accessory can do the trick.  Heat it up with punchy, colourful Svaja pieces to add missing excitement in your home or public place.  Or use the sensual, organic nature of Svaja to reflect and tie a scheme together.  Many of our pieces contain a number of colours and finishes, so find one that complements the details on your existing accessories, furnishings or wall colours.

Mood setters

Create your perfect ambience by choosing accessories as mood setters across your space.  It may be relaxation in the bathroom, casual elegance in the lounge, or drama in the dining room: we have a Svaja piece to help you achieve it.  Large, dynamic architectural shapes will have massive impact in a minimalist setting and create instant friction and energy.  Pieces with luscious fluidity and distinctive classical detailing will reinforce the warm sophistication of a social space.  Or conjure up bright memories to bring some personal resonance to a room – our colourful Angel Fish will transport you to tropical climes, while a piece of Cloak of Neringa will bring the tranquillity of Cinnamon Bay straight into your space.

Space age

Hi-tech heaven at home or work, but it’s feeling a little sterile and uptight?  Move the remote controls out of the way and add a dash of life with one or two future-proofed accessories.  A carefully-picked piece of Svaja will send out the right signals: it's possible to chill out and relax here too.  Check out our Mystique glass sculpture or Amber Coast wall panels – theses could help you bridge the gap between stark futurism and the comfort of reality.

Boutique hotel

Bring your interior bang up to date.  The clean lines, the comfort, the polished finish, what’s not to like?  Mirages in White, one of our latest creations, will help you achieve five star hotel-style glamour instantly.  Uber luxurious and deliciously on trend, it's white hot!

Compact living

When space is limited, you can still stamp it with your personality and create a mood.  Look for small space solutions: accessories that’ll alter the scale and are eclectic, not expected.  Pieces such as Svaja’s Portofino vase or our large Orchid panel in scarlet will reflect light and give an impression of greater space.

Wide open

As more and more of us bring down the walls and move towards flowing, open-plan living, we need to be clever in the way we demarcate function and mood.  Kitchen/living spaces are a perfect example – utility with glamour!  Clear zoning with intelligent furniture arrangements can be tied together with accessories in linking colours and motifs to send out the message: we are one beautiful whole with a few specialised parts.  Link things up with Svaja pieces from the same collection or by choosing a limited palette of contrasting colours and using them in groups across your space - walls, dining space, coffee table, fireplace.  Your aim: for everywhere to look good, from every angle.”