What is of personal value to you, Valérie Messika?
The treasures of her life: Valérie Messika, owner and creative director of the jewelry brand of the same name, about diamonds, sources of creativity and the play instinct of her daughters.
With passion and years of expertise, the French Valérie Messika, 43, has managed to turn her diamond jewelry label Messika into an exquisite and trendy jewelry store in just 15 years. Today, megastars such as Beyoncé and Charlize Theron wear their designs, which are available in 55 countries. A success story that she succeeded in creating with a great deal of humanity, humor and, above all, unbridled joy in jewelry.
Madame: You have built up your company in an impressive record time. How did you manage that?
Valérie Messika: I think my vision of diamonds has helped me a lot. My father is a diamond merchant and I grew up with precious stones. As a result, I have never seen diamonds as something to wait for to be given to you by your husband. For me, diamond jewelry can be anything: cool, sexy, feminine. My father has also given me the good fortune of years of expertise. I have been making diamond jewelry myself for 15 years now, but my roots go back a long way.
Madame: What was the most important thing your father gave you to take along?
Valérie Messika: He kept repeating that you have to focus on what you do best. And you never have to copy anything, you have to develop your own style. He also advised me to focus entirely on diamonds - no gems, no pearls, just diamonds. I made this promise to him and have kept it to this day.
Madame: Have you also grown in your personal development with the growth of your company?
Valérie Messika: Oh, yes! Above all, I learned to follow my instincts. I try to concentrate on how I feel with something and trust my feeling. It is important to listen to his head, but not only.
Madame: What were the most important milestones in your career?
Valérie Messika: It was a big step when Beyoncé became aware of us. She has worn Messika several times now and I got the feedback that she feels young and fresh. That made me very proud. As a result, many celebrity stylists became aware of us. That's a very small, exclusive circle, and it's great that Messika met with interest there.
Madame: What promotes your creativity?
Valérie Messika: I really find inspiration everywhere. I am also inspired by the railing of a Parisian balcony or a woman on the street. I try to translate this inspiration into my own handwriting. For me it is important to travel, to see a lot, to engage with art and museums.
Madame: Do you find it difficult to draw a line between work and private life?
Valérie Messika: It's fluent with us. I not only work with my father, but also with my husband, my best friend and my cousin. We are a real family business, but we all work in different areas. When we go home, of course, we sometimes talk about work, it's our passion. But actually our attention at home belongs entirely to our two little daughters.
Madame: Are your daughters already familiar with your job, as it was with you and your father in the past?
Valérie Messika: Yes, they love to visit us in the studio and see all the jewelry, say hello to everyone and play office with a telephone here. I think it's important that they look at everything and understand what we do when we can't be with them. Even if I have to travel, I often try to take them with me and set my appointments so that we can combine their holidays with it. It's great for the kids to discover so many places. They develop a natural contact with other people and cultures.
Madame: How do you hold it with jewelry in your personal wardrobe?
Valérie Messika: I always wear jewelry and love it. I think jewelry is not made for the safe, you should enjoy it every day. There are two pieces I never take off, the "Romane" and the "Noa" bracelet. Both are named after my daughters. I decide the rest according to my mood.
Madame: Do you remember your very first piece of jewelry?
Valérie Messika: My father gave me a loose 0.8 carat diamond from my grandmother, which I then wore as a pendant on a very fine chain.
Madame: Have you already given your two daughters a piece of jewelry?
Valérie Messika: My daughters are still too young, but for their tenth birthday everyone will get the "Uno" chain.
Madame: You are permanently surrounded by precious objects in your everyday life. What is of personal value to you?
Valérie Messika: Clearly my family with my two little daughters and the close relationship I have with my parents. All of them and the beautiful memories of my time with them are the most important things in my life.
Valérie Messika was born in Paris and has remained faithful to the French capital. Today she lives here with her husband Jean-Baptiste Sassine and their two six and eight year old daughters.
After graduating in marketing and communications from CELSA in Paris, she gained professional experience in the watch and jewelry sector at Chanel before joining her father's diamond business in 2000.
In 2005 Valérie launched her label Messika. Since then she has designed more than 6000 pieces of diamond jewelry and is still the only woman in France to lead a jewelry house.