Q&A: Janice Girardi

A college trip to visit her sister was just the start of Janice’s journey to Bali, along which she collected and traded ethnic jewelry to support herself. Read more about Janice’s travels and the inspiration behind her jewelry collection in this Q&A.

Q: Walk us through your story. Where did you grow up? What brought you to Bali? How did you decide to become a jewelry designer?

 A: I was born in Japan and raised in the United States – in Pittsburg then Los Angeles, CA. During a college summer, I packed my bags to visit my sister overseas and began the journey of my lifetime. I started in Australia, where I first heard of Bali: described by everyone who had seen the endless rice paddies and walked the white sand beaches as paradise.

Beach
I ventured to Bali, then followed my heart through the rest of Southeast Asia, India, Afghanistan, and parts of Africa, collecting and trading ethnic jewelry along the way to support myself. I can’t remember a time when jewelry didn’t captivate me. It has been part of my story every step of the way. In each remote village and in every new country, I found more inspiration. Six years passed before I returned to America.
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Q: How has Balinese culture influenced your jewelry design?

A: Bali is home to some of the most exquisite jewelers. These jewelers use ancient Balinese silversmith techniques that have been passed down from generation to generation. Balinese jewelry is extremely intricate; time and thought are put into every detail. Commitment to quality is paramount – pieces are patiently produced to last for life. This patience and attention to detail has the greatest influence on me.

Q: What is your favorite part of the Balinese culture?

A: I think the first thing many people notice when they arrive in Bali is the magnificent beauty in every direction you look. My favorite part of Balinese culture is the unparalleled attention to detail that is pervasive in every aspect of Balinese life. From the daily offerings of gratitude people lay out in doorways and temples, to the architecture, to traditional fabrics, and of course, the jewelry, there is always a new detail to be uncovered by taking a closer look.
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Q: What is most rewarding about your job? What is most challenging about your job?

A: There’s never enough time in the day with how much I aspire to accomplish and create, so it’s a challenge for me to choose which ideas to dedicate myself to. The reward is seeing the items come to life. I start by bring stones together, my ideas evolve into sketches, and eventually they become the physical products you wear. It is a magical feeling to try on a product for the first time; this is something I cherish.
workbench

Q: What is your favorite piece of jewelry?

A: The Ebb Tide Bracelet is one of my go-to pieces. I wear it with the clasp on the front of my wrist, to highlight this unique element and its thoughtful detail, or I let the stunning pearls shine, with the clasp in back. It goes with everything, and I feel great when I’m wearing it.
Ebb tide bracelet
I also have to mention how often I wear the Green Goddess Bracelet – every detail in this piece was carefully thought out. It is a true work of art. I notice new things in the carving every time I look at it. The hinge makes it easy to take on and off, and the hand-selected peridot stones are of the highest quality.
Green Goddess bracelet
You’ll also always find the Seas the Day Stacking Rings on my hand, either stacked or with the bands showcased on different fingers. The amazing stones, with their different hues of blue, complement each other perfectly.
Seas the day ring

Q: How would you describe your personal style?

A: Classic and casual. My closet is full of simple, wearable pieces, which I accentuate with jewelry.

Q: What do you enjoy doing when you’re not designing jewelry?

A: You will always find me in arms reach of a dog, or several. When I’m not designing jewelry, I dedicate my time to the Bali Animal Welfare Association, a nonprofit organization I founded to help Bali’s many animals in need. Animal welfare is one of my biggest passions.
Janice and dogs

Q: Do you have any personal rituals?

A: Every Saturday and Sunday, I walk my 20 dogs through the small village where I live, down the river valley to swim and play with the children in the river. We hike alongside the water, shaded by palm trees and watched by curious monkeys. My dogs love the freedom, and this escape into nature renews me for the week ahead.
Janice and dogs in forest

Q: What do you love most about Silpada?

A: Silpada and Janice Girardi are a match made in heaven. We share a commitment to quality that is paramount in every detail of both of our businesses. Together, Janice Girardi and Silpada bring you the highest quality stones, pure sterling silver and exquisite craftsmanship in each piece of the Balinese Collection.
– Mandy

 

2 thoughts on “Q&A: Janice Girardi”

  1. Very beautiful pieces and an interesting story especially with the inclusion about the dogs and the animal welfare organization. Then there is the Paradise you live in. I want to go there!

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