A moment with…jewelry designer Sino Ragontse
In the modelling work I have done here in Botswana I have had the opportunity to meet incredibly talented designers and I have decided to share these creative geniuses with you :)
First up we meet jewelry designer Sino whose beaded jewelry line D’vine Creations is a true labor of love.
When did you start making ur jewelry?
I started making jewelry back in 2006. I only started making them because I was getting broke, really fast. My friend suggested I should try and start making my own. I loved the idea so I went with it. My creations in the beginning were DREADFUL, I had no clue what I was doing I mixed in different sized beads not thinking that most will be heavy for anybodies ears. They were shocking I tell you but I wore them wit such style and grace. My friends were also my *LIVE MANNIQUINS*, we turned heads and hurt our earlobes in the process *LOL* but it was fun. I went back home and my sister and mom also got into the mix of making beaded jewelry. I was having problems with putting the finishing touches on my earrings and it was my sister who actually helped me out. She later stopped creating as did mum, I am the only one who became passionate about it.
What inspires your designs?
I get inspiration from everywhere. I could be sitting at the office and a client comes in wearing a stunning neck piece. It would obviously catch my eye and in my head I would dissect the design. I would try to think how it would look if I turned that creation into earrings and then I try create them. Even If it doesn’t work out but I like them, I will rock them as is. I also get inspiration for some of my designs from celebrities. I have these earrings that also double as a neck piece I call them MPHO MY #1, they were inspired by earrings I saw the S.A artist Camagwini wear. With my headpieces the inspiration came from Alicia Keys’ wedding Grecian headpiece. Before I forget, I name all my *EARRINGS* after my friends, they inspire me everyday.
What kind of woman do you design for?
I design for a woman who isn’t afraid to stand out from the rest, someone who knows once she walks into a room all eyes will be on her. She exudes confidence, elegance and is an earthy and bold woman. A colorful woman who’s not about fitting into this world but making a decorative one of her own
What made u decide to put your talent out there and sell them?
I honestly didn’t think people would love my creations. I did them for myself because I wanted to wear something I knew I would never get in a shop, something unique. People complimented me everywhere I went or stared at me like I was a mental case but it didn’t bother me. In 2008 a lady that was interviewing my sister caught a glimpse of some earrings I had on and LOVED them. My sister immediately jumped to tell her I created them. She was amazed, then she got hold of my jewelry box… she nearly cleared me out, I was DEVASTATED. She told of me of an event that was going to be held the next year and asked if I wanted to be part of the show. That event was what I called my *COMING OUT NIGHT* Feb 8th 2009 Celebrating Mosadi. That was where I got introduced to other designers and people got introduced to Sino. The response was amazing I will forever be truly thankful. Since then people have been then buying jewelry from me.
Where have you featured ur jewelry so far?
I showcased at the Japanese Foreign Affairs Exhibition soon after Celebrating Mosadi . I was then asked to help with accessories for the Gemstones Model Search Competion where my jewelry was showcased along side Mpho Kuaho and Lesedi Matlapeng and then the Miss Botswana Fashion Show 2009. Towards the end of the year I met up with another young designer who made accessories, but she only used waste products. It was fun fusing both styles, as I only used beads. We both show cased at the Flaunt Yo Style fashion show that year. 2010 we were asked to showcase our designs at the Somarela Tikologo Green Fashion Show, I loved the show I had never seen so much creativity before, using waste products. Later on that year I started creating fashion shoots with some friends of mine as a fun way for us to market our creations together. We have done 4 shoots so far the last one we did was on raising awareness on Human Trafficking in Botswana, the pictures were showcased on The Voice Newspaper and Sizzling Magazine.
What dreams do you have for your jewelry brand?
*I WANT TO CONQUER THE WORLD* hahahahahahaha..(^^,), but seriously I want my jewelry brand to get as much love and appreciation world wide as they have here in my country. I am constantly networking with fashion models/designers/stylists/bloggers across the globe maybe hopefully one day I can get to showcase my work on an international runway. I would love to create for celebrities and build relationships with international Fashion Designers. I want to actually learn how to design clothing *FASHION*, even though I cant draw to save my life, I have some designs down on paper that I have incorporated into my jewelry. This year I am challenging myself to create pieces I thought I couldn’t, creating fresh new designs more *statement* pieces. I am excited about the fashion projects and events coming up, I would love to be in the midst of all that glory.
Which is your favorite piece that you’ve created?
WOW… I have no idea… I thought I loved Baba but that changed when Koketso Chiepe was created. Then came Mandisa I couldn’t live without her and around that time I started creating my headpieces…so I am not sure I am emotionally attached to all my designs. To single handedly pick one creation for me its impossible to do. BUT so far the pair of earrings I feel really grabbed a lot of attention and they my major statement piece, are the earrings I created and wore at my *COMING OUT* night I called them Maungo.
How can people get a hold of your jewelry?
I have been working on my webpage for a while and hopefully it will be up as soon as possible. But for now you can get me on facebook *SINO SEA-STARR RAGONTSE* or you can follow me on twitter @Sino_Rag. I sell from home and those wishing to take a look at my creations are more than welcome to get in touch.
What’s the best advice you have for people wanting to put their creativity out there whatever form it may be in?
BE PREPARED TO WORK HARD…to the outside world fashion is glamorous and quiet exciting as you get to travel the world and meet interesting people and get to learn from them, and it is but there is a LOT of work that goes into EVERYTHING. You will have to work long hours sometimes not getting to sleep at all, there will be moments where you feel you CANNOT carry on, where you loose all faith. I have had moments like that where I wanted to let everything go, I STILL have moments like that but I remind myself where I want to be in life. I want my jewelry brand to be loved, appreciated world wide and for that to happen I know sitting and twiddling my fingers wont get me there. I have a regular 8-5 job weekdays, I am now studying by correspondance so that means extra work for me AND I co-ordinate and organize fashion shoots for my friends. I get people calling me wanting accessories every week, but I can only get to do the orders after the gym (which I go to after work, its IMPERATIVE to maintain a somewhat healthy lifestyle) All this plus trying to balance out my social life is HARD. By the end of the day I am completely drained, but because I know where I want to be in my LIFE all I do, I do with a smile and determination that my passion for beaded jewelry will get appreciated/recognized internationally. DON’T GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAMS AND BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. Stay true to your passion never try be someone else. Get inspiration from those you admire, and don’t forget to WORK HARD end of day you will reap the benefits of your blood sweat and tears… STAY BLESSED
Thank you Sino!!! :) View pictures of some of her work below…