Tamara Comolli: Learning by Doing
A businesswoman with a creative mind, Tamara Comolli describes her world, governed by colored stones and resolute strategies, now focused on conquering the Italian market
She founded her homonymous jewelry brand because of her great passion for precious stones, but Tamara Comolli is not a gemologist, her skill – wonderful multi-colored gems are the distinctive trait in all her jewelry items – is the result of a personal, in-depth study over the years, visiting mines, going to fairs and speaking with sector experts. After opening her store in Forte dei Marmi last June, testifying the brand’s desire to expand into Italy, we met her at the presentation of her collections in the strategic Pisa Orologeria sales point in Milan. During a chat, as lively and informal as her collections, Tamara told us about her beginnings, strategies and style, even giving us a preview of her future projects.
What, in your opinion, is the best question to ask a jewelry designer?
Journalists generally ask me where I get my inspiration from. I think that it is a crucial question for understanding the true essence of a brand, as long as the answer is really authentic. In my case, all my inspiration comes from the gems. I have always had a great passion for precious stones, especially when I understood that, besides diamonds, rubies and the classic stones, there was a world of colored stones just waiting to be discovered. I wanted to use the stones in a way that no-one else did. I started to combine the colors – gems have so many – and perhaps this is the key to my success. Many people make beautiful jewelry with diamonds, I wanted to create something different. Every item of my jewelry is different, full of shades and undertones, just as people are.
Do you see yourself more as a businesswoman or a creative artist?
I am the spirit of the company and for this reason I have to be both things. The brand owes part of its success to the fact that I deal with everything. I design, coordinate, choose the locations for my boutiques and even furnish them. When people come into my world, they feel that it is unique.
What was the most difficult moment of your career?
The first five years were totally uncertain, I didn’t know how things would turn out. Many people give up too soon. I always believed in what I was doing and I knew where I wanted to go. This was what allowed me to achieve important results.
Is there anyone you need to thank?
My father. When I was seventeen years old and I created my first collection, he said to me, ‘You will never make money. If you want to carry on doing this, I won’t support you. You must study first.’ I was extremely angry but I did what he said. I studied economics at university. At forty years old, when my company started to be successful, I told him, ‘I hated you, but now I’m grateful.’
Last June you opened your first boutique in Italy in Forte dei Marmi. Why did you choose this location?
With the sea, mountains and its relaxed lifestyle, Forte dei Marmi perfectly represents me and my collections. My other boutiques are in very similar places. In the Hamptons, for example, where we have a boutique, the same feeling is in the air: a small city with no big buildings, where people ride bicycles and wear casual clothes but still have a taste for precious things, like jewelry. Italy is an important market for me. This is where the heart of fine jewelry lies, loved all over the world. The women have such good taste and know the history of jewelry. If I can conquer Italy, I can conquer anywhere.
In Milan, you chose Pisa Orologeria as your sales point where other big names in jewelry that are very different to your style can be found. What’s the connection?
I don’t think having a connection with the other brands is important. In fact, I like to be different. Jewelry is worn for various occasions and mine is perfect for every-day wear. My items have a fashionable and sexy touch, they are playful and extremely feminine.
What are you favorite gems?
Tourmaline and sapphire because they come in so many different colors, but I also like turquoise.
A gem to wear at Christmas?
Moonstone. It is slightly reminiscent of snow and its neutral color can be matched to the style and personality of every woman.
Your next challenge?
I’m working on an earring collection and it is a real challenge for me because I don’t wear them. I have to study women and understand how they wear them and what they want. I am also looking for another location for my boutiques and I’m really tempted to open another one in Italy.