A storyteller and lover of animals, Vera Balyura stumbled into a world of jewelry design. We must say it was a happy accident and one we wanted to learn more about. We sat down with Vera to get the full story of VeraMeat and discuss her handcrafted, richly articulated designs which tap into every female’s craving for edge and adventure.
How did you first get turned onto jewelry design and what was the path you took to make it where you are now?
I made jewelry first for myself though I’m not one to do anything half way so I ended up making a collection & a stylist friend wanted to use it in her work. Then Nylon magazine wanted to feature me as a designer & stores started contacting me wanting to stock it. Before I knew it I was an accessories designer with a million things to do.
How is your experience with travel reflected in your pieces?
I’ve traveled my whole life every 4 months. From the time I was born I was in a different country. It really shaped my personality & view of the world. So every VeraMeat has a narrative aspect because I’m nothing if not a storyteller.
There seems to be a lot of influence from animals, their bones, claws etc? Explain the inspiration here.
I’m part native American which I just found out from a DNA test but it does make sense as I love the concept of power animals & truly believe animals try to communicate with us. To me they are magical creatures we should respect and take seriously.
Sum up your design style in 3-5 words:
Magical, lucky, heirlooms.
How important is it for you to have your pieces handcrafted? What is your involvement in each piece?
I design each and every piece, look at how large it is, change my mind a couple times. At some point I just call it and let my customers decide if it will stay in the VeraMeat permanent classics collection or just that season.
We have so many wonderful people following us on our instagram & our mailing list. They don’t have any trouble asking for certain accessories to be made or changed in some way.
What kind of girl does the VeraMeat collection appeal to?
Plant creatures who feed off urban carnivorous beings. And super artistic young pups and kitties who want to have it all!
What’s next for VeraMeat?
We just opened a new store with clothing & other VeraMeat products. It’s called VeraMeat+, cause it’s VeraMeat accessories plus other VeraMeat products. We even have some friend designers stocking their stuff there. Check it out at 305 E 9th St. NY NY 10003
Also we made a VeraMeat feature film called Salad Days coming in 2015 see saladdaysmovie.com
It’s a narrative feature road trip movie featuring some VeraMeat & Vera’s magic from her imagination.
Images by Andrew Lee