What is your name, company name and product you sell?
My name is Milana Tolins. I own and operate a company called Milan’A’Stile. I acquire jewelry from independent jewelry designers during my travels around Italy and create unique collections under the brand name of Milan’A’Stile. I personally curate the collections to bring the best quality and design in modern costume jewelry to the United States. The inspiration behind every Milan’A’Stile jewelry collection is the famous quote by Coco Chanel:
“Costume jewelry is not made to give women an aura of wealth,
but to make them beautiful”
Where did you grow up? Why do you choose to call Minnesota home?
I grew up in Kiev, Ukraine. I have lived in Minneapolis since 1991.
What inspired you to start your own business?
For years my profession had little to do with jewelry. I have been a practicing attorney since 2001 and have my own criminal defense practice.
Despite my professional training as an attorney, jewelry has always been my passion. Growing up I have always gravitated towards the arts, and especially towards decorative art. As a child, I could spend hours in art museums looking at collections of jewelry design from centuries passed. Later, I started creating my own collections. I found pieces in boutiques, art fairs and art studios both in United States and during my travels around the world. For years, I have heard so many compliments about my personal jewelry collection. My sister who lives in Milan, Italy, and is a concert violinist as well as a serious fashionista, has been a driving force behind my leap to take my passion for jewelry to the professional level. In 2010, I decided to start curating collections of Italian costume jewelry to bring to the customers in the United States. That is when Milan’A’Stile was born. I travel to Italy, visit trade shows, visit artists showrooms and create collections by mixing and matching different artists and designs.
How do your traveling experiences affect your design choices with Milan’a’Stile?
As a European living in the United States, I have always wanted to bring a piece of the world I grew up in to my new motherland. In Italy beauty is everywhere: landscape, architecture, small winding streets, amazing people, food, steaming smallest cup of espresso. Even pigeons perching on the steps of cathedrals are beautiful.
Seeing this natural beauty inspires me to find the best representation of that Italian flare in jewelry design. I create my collections with hand picked jewelry that embodies the italian beauty and style.
Tell us about how you approach each season and decide which designers you will be working with.
Staying fashion forward is one of the most important things for Milan’A’Stile. I work only with designers that change their collections with each season and create fresh and new things.
When are you the most inspired? What inspires you?
I am most inspired during my travels. Seeing new things, visiting beautiful places, meeting people around the world and getting immersed into their culture is the best boost for my creativity. When I am away and see this amazing world around me I want to bring it back and share it with people at home.
Name 3 things that you absolutely must have in your workplace.
Camera. Jewelry. Espresso.
Outside of your business as Showroom, do you have any other hobbies?
Whats your favorite way to relax and “get away”?
Ballroom dancing. 🙂