The talented reporter-cum-jewelry designer took her newly honed skills to Washington D.C., whereupon her first trunk show at the Embassy of Colombia reigned in ambassadors, princesses and other highly influential personnel who began donning her designs in droves. Awards began zooming her way, the Style Setter award from Washingtonian Magazine! The Top 20 List of Most Influential People in Washington D.C. by Capitol File Magazine! (Which begs the question, what are our politicians doing down there?) No matter, Paula took this as a sign to do more. She enrolled at the Corcoran College of Art + Design to study Jewelry as Sculpture and her talent has been growing ever since. She now flies back and forth from her Colombian workshop and her new home in New York City, jetting her jewelry around the world.
We asked her a couple of Qs, to get inside the creative mind of this style influencer.
AW: Which artisanal technique did you first adopt?
PM: I started making "jewelry" that didn't need any real jewelry tools; I used my hands, wires, beads, leather, fabrics... When I started pushing myself more in the design element I realized I better learn how to work properly with metals, so I did!
AW: What’s the most extravagant piece you’ve been commissioned to make?
PM: A wedding ring with a 4.5 karat black diamond.
AW: And which piece were you most tempted to keep for yourself?
PM: A brooch that I made a few seasons ago with a 30 karat smoky topaz; I just can't get rid of it! Mainly because I know I will struggle finding that sort of stone again.
AW: Can you describe the environment in which your Colombian workshop is built?
PM: It is located in downtown Bogota, which is pure madness - I love it! It is very similar to where I live and work in NYC (Little Italy) but instead there are a lot of Spanish style colonial houses from the 1500s.
AW: In what ways is Colombia a constant source of inspiration for you?
PM: In every way: all the stones are sourced in Colombia, and the gold I use is a very particular color only found with Colombian gold. Colombia is a country that stimulates all your senses. Everything is so sumptuous. Every color is intense.
AW: Tell us about some of your favorite NYC Icons.
PM: Lately I’ve been obsessed with Marina Abramovic. She is a woman that represents everything that I admire.
AW: And you’re favorite place to go when you’re here.
PM: I can eat, almost every day, Taquitos from “La Popular" on Spring St, and if I want to have something special, I love “The Ides” at the Wythe Hotel.
AW: In this collection I see snakes, coral and interstellar travel. What do you see?
PM: I see the connection between the craziness of city life and the wild of the jungle – especially snakes.
AW: And what is your favorite thing about being a jewelry designer?
PM: Being able to have a jewelry case full of options!
Well that sounds far flashier than a case full of stories. In fact, it sounds rather like a case full of stories you can wear.