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“It has never been enough for us to sell jewelry”: Anna Pisman on the project of her soul

Date: October 2, 2023 Time: 08:02:27

This year the Moonka jewelry brand celebrates its eighth birthday. On this important occasion, Anna Pisman, the brand’s founder and creative director, relaunched the iconic first collection and also joined forces with artist Alina Vinogradova. We caught up with Anya just after the holidays to talk about the ins and outs of working in the jewelry industry yesterday, today and tomorrow.


Since 2016, founder and ideological inspirer of the Moonka jewelry brand.

Before the brand, she worked at glitter and dreamed of launching her own project for the soul.

Let’s remember how it all started. How did Moonka come to be, what was she like, and what has she become now?

Early Moonka is pure creative energy. It is often said that a project is a reflection of the entrepreneurs or the team behind it. Eight years ago I was 23, working in glitter and wanted to create beautiful jewelry. Meanings, business goals, branding and other important details appeared a little later, although earlier they were intuitively read.

Today Moonka is more aware and has become a brand. It is an adult project, self-confident, who speaks openly about his inspirations and reflections, preferring to look for them in art, literature, physics and form. Thus, we managed to gather a real community around the brand made up of talented and curious people. I am very happy about this. All turning points are related to the growth of the project. The most unpleasant thing is if it is operationally not ready to grow. This is comparable to the feeling you get when you have an apple dangling in front of your nose and you can’t pick it up.

How have you changed over these 8 years as founder and creative director?

Too strong to be able to describe it in a couple of paragraphs. I can give you an example: once a year we do a company audit, the so-called score analysis. Three years ago, in most of the symptoms of the problems, it was obvious that I, as a manager and mental leader, did not have enough experience or knowledge. This year there were no such symptoms. Both myself and the team are learning, even from our mistakes.


Why do you think you managed to establish yourself in the industry, why do you like Moonka?

The project is equally appreciated for the product and the communication. We were able to find a balance between a clean and portable design and the meanings attached to it. What we have nearby also likes the public. To some extent, we have experience, “drafts of new meanings”, as Viktor Pelevin said. In my opinion, this is a necessary condition today for the communication of the brand with the client. For us it has never been enough to simply sell jewelry.

Tell us more about the new collection and why was it important to collaborate with Alina Vinogradova in its framework?

Ai is synonymous with the word “transformation” to us. The predecessor of this collection is our first-born, which, by the way, still shows excellent results in sales. But like I said, just selling doesn’t turn me on. The brand has changed, which means that the product must correspond to these changes. Alina and I met once in the showroom, I shared my ideas and, as is often the case with proper synergy, already in the first conversation we exchanged options for their implementation. All illuminated. And then the magic happened: it turned out that Alina and I had a lot in common. And, what completely disarmed me, is that we literally live the same experience in spiritual practices, without knowing each other. I love to puzzle, but there were too many coincidences in this match. We think about transformations and the search for visual images to convey our current worldview: through jewelry design, painting and the female body. Alina took part in the creative shooting of the new Ai collection and painted the painting of the same name, which she presented as part of the exhibition New meanings in the Moonka space.


In one of the first interviews with BURO. You said that at the beginning of your creative path there was not a single contact from the world of jewelry. I understand that in 8 years you have more than acquired connections. Tell us who Moonka is collaborating with today and what is the jewelry creation process like?

We work with six Russian productions, each of them is distinguished by its equipment, technologies and conditions. The basis of our product is natural stones, which is why we have more than 50 contractors who deal with stones in all their possible manifestations: they supply ready-made stones, cut to order and bring raw materials for cutting. The development of each article takes an average of six months to 3 years (we also have examples of this type).

We have the widest experience in design and can approach development from different angles: conceptual understanding, form, gaps in the matrix. In any case, every product, even the one that seems relatively simple, always goes through difficulties and requires the delicate attention of the designer.

What moments can you highlight in the local jewelry market that have radically changed the segment in the last 8 years?

I think in general the approach to product development has changed and continues to change. Once again, it is not enough to sell. A brand is character. Therefore, the small brands that offer what is already on the market, in the end, cannot compete with the big ones. Differentiation has become important, and for the customer. The GIIS and the general tax regime made the operational work very complicated, but, by the way, we had the opportunity to reach a new level. The exit of the market of foreign brands has affected luxury consumers to a greater extent. This year we have added many gold and diamond jewelery to the Moonka range and we continue to feel the demand for high value jewellery. Even for the lack of some brands.


What do you like the most among local brands today?

I draw attention to the non-trivial design. I like how some brands work with traditional techniques and crafts. I am also very happy for my colleagues when I hear that they have established a supply chain, product analysis and billing. In today’s environment, this is a difficult task.

How is the jewelry market in Russia now?

I am not committing myself to commenting on the jewelry sales market; there are reports and sections prepared by analytical centers for this. I can confidently say that with the introduction of GIS and the general tax regime, things have become more difficult for many market participants. It is a fact.


How much has your job changed since 2022? What is it like today for a local brand in Russia to work in industries such as fashion, beauty and the jewelry market?

If we compare 2022 and 2023, we have made a breakthrough in operational work. This is probably comparable to the difference between a manual and an automatic transmission. Almost everything became structural, which made it easier to plan and work in general. Behind each process there is a responsible person in the team, but it is more about business metrics.

I can’t talk about other segments because I don’t have experience, but it’s hard to work in a jewelry store. Especially without a structured and flexible approach, when you have to restructure the work in connection with all the innovations in the sector. Are we enjoying the process less? Not yet.

Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor is a full-time editor for ePrimefeed covering sports and movie news.

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