Today we’d like to introduce you to Angelina Hart.
Angelina, please share your story with us.
I have always been influenced by glamour and my designs reflect that. I’m influenced by a timeless and classic style that will never go out of fashion. I studied design in college and am inspired by the era of the 20’s, the Gatsby style. When men and women dressed to the nine all the time. I love the idea of women dressing like ladies and men dressing like gentlemen. I look back at old movies and television shows for inspiration. I am very influenced by classic and timeless fashion mixed with the modern active woman.
I grew up in a very European influenced home. Being half German and half Yugoslavian, I had a lot of exposure to different languages, cultures and food. This inspired me to travel and explore the world. I was also very adventurous growing up. I began riding horses at the age of four. I also developed a passion for fast Italian sports cars, motorcycles, flying airplanes, scuba diving, surfing, archery and shooting guns. I’ve been called the female James Bond. There are certain aesthetic elements of those hobbies that translate into my designs. I want that to draw my customers into my world, to share my experiences and hopefully inspire women to adventurous.
In addition to my adventurous side, I also had a passion for the luxuries of life. I was taught that if you buy the very best of something that you can afford and you take care of it, it will last a lifetime. I developed a deep appreciation for quality, design and style. After purchasing decades of luxury handbags and jewelry, I decided to create my own. I drew inspiration from the top designers in Paris and Italy to create my own line of luxury products. Design of a certain quality never goes out of style.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Most of my three-year journey with my handbag line was spent trying to find the most talented and skilled people to produce my designs with detailed perfection. I was looking for people who shared my belief of quality and perfection. My design and vision for my handbags was only as good as the next person I handed it off to. That is a very critical reality. This began the next part of my journey.
I worked with several different manufacturers all over the world only to be disappointed every time I received a sample of my leather handbags. It’s very hard to produce luxury-quality handbags if you’re getting samples back that are of poor quality, using cheap leather or stitched by someone drunk and blind. Some manufacturers flat out lied to me about the dying process of the leather. One place didn’t have a roof and every time it rained, which was often, the hides would never dry. You would think that having a roof is pretty basic, but not for them. I learned that it would have been easier for me to build an alien spacecraft from scratch!
It wasted a tremendous amount of time, money and patience. And everyone who knows me knows that I have no patience. Do they sell patience at Neiman Marcus because I never bought any? I can’t even count how many times I cried and wanted to give up. But I don’t have any room in my life for defeat. Many countries later, I found a wonderful group of craftsman in Italy. They shared my same sense of quality, perfection and consistency. They take pride in their work just as I do. And together we produced my handbag line.
I sourced the finest leathers from cows that live freely and their welfare is fundamental to the quality of their hides. I am an animal rights activist and will never compromise life for luxury. My natural process is reflected in the luxuriousness and quality of my handbags. I’m always telling people “Luxury Doesn’t Kill”.
I was never going to give up and I was never going to settle. I was going to create the best or nothing at all. It’s been a long journey of hard work and frustration, but I have finally arrived at my perfect destination. And now I want all of you to enjoy the results of all of my hard work.
Please tell us about Angelina Hart Boutique.
I think it’s important for everyone to realize the alternatives when shopping for luxury goods. We live in a time when it is no longer necessary to kill in order to produce luxury. Things can be replicated and manufactured. We can grow perfect diamonds that have flawless color and clarity. This is the new way of manufacturing luxury-goods. I have created all of my products in an eco-friendly manner. We can all live luxuriously while preserving and healing the Earth.
I own a large collection of many luxury items, but I will never buy something that someone lost their life over. I don’t care how big, impressive or expensive a diamond is- if a miner was killed over the acquisition of that diamond, then it has lost all of its beauty and appeal. I value life over objects. I have morals and a conscious. I have a room full of fur coats and each one is faux fur. I proudly wear them and love them. They all look and feel so soft! Why would you ever kill a little animal just to wear it’s fur like some prized barbarian parading around in your latest murder? I have several animals at home and couldn’t bear to think of treating them anything less than family.
My leather handbags are handmade from cows that live freely. They live a very humane and natural life and this is reflected in the fine quality of the leather. It was very important for me to not source leather from slaughterhouses or use other animals and claim that it is cow leather. My line of professional makeup brushes is 100% cruelty-free. I chose the finest all natural bristles that are sourced from animals that are raised humanely. It costs me more to produce my makeup brushes this way, but it is worth it to me. Protecting the lives of animals is extremely important to me. I have been an animal rights advocate my whole life.
It was very important for me to create my own line of lab-created gems. I call them Hartique Gems. By using lab created gems, we are forever preserving the Earth and its natural resources. My whole life I always gravitated towards the glamorous side of life. And one of the simplest ways to add glamour to any moment of any day is with jewelry.
Jewelry isn’t just for others to admire on you, but it is for you to enjoy how it feels on you and how it makes you feel. Jewelry that captures a certain glamour. It is beautiful, formal and elegant. My jewelry reflects the same aesthetic appeal of any expensive boutique on Rodeo Drive. My Hartique Gems collection is superior to those overpriced boutiques in many ways. My gems are all conflict-free, no one was harmed or killed in the making of my gems. They are all flawlessly created in a lab which eliminates the harsh mining on the earth’s resources.
Another appeal to my collection is the price. It’s a sad moment when you realize you don’t have a spare $250,000 for a bracelet to wear to dinner. Rather than wasting your retirement fund, you can purchase a Hartique Gems bracelet for a fraction of the cost and still have plenty of money left over to do something wise and good with it. With natural stones, you have flaws and imperfections. With my Hartique Gems, there are no imperfections, every stone has a perfect clarity, cut and brilliance. Each looks like a perfect flawless diamond.
When I put on a beautiful ring, necklace, or any piece of jewelry, it always makes me smile and feel glamorous. It brightens my day inside and out. I always hear women ask, “Where would I wear that?” The question should be, “Where wouldn’t you wear that?”
Jewelry is an outward expression of the sparkles and love inside of you. I believe that you can wear any jewelry at any time for any occasion. Of course, we all have special occasions, birthday’s, anniversaries, charity events, etc. that call for more formal wear and accessories to match. But what about everyday life? Shouldn’t each day be a bit special and a celebration? I know it might sound crazy, but I love to pair jeans with diamonds. The mix between casual and formal makes for a fun fashion statement.
It is a quick way to dress up any casual attire. Even going to yoga class, you can wear a simple pair of diamond studs to make it more special and dress up your yoga pants and t-shirts. Jewelry makes you feel beautiful and glamorous whenever you wear it. It adds a sparkling touch that will have you stand out. You will be noticed, complimented and admired. And that is not a bad thing to add to even the most simplest of days.
This is part of my mission to bring back the glamour. It has been decades since we had a glamorous and fashionable style. The 80’s was the last decade that there was any sense of glitz and glamour. Just watch Dynasty and you will see what I mean! Since the 90’s, the style has been going downhill. We suffered through what I always think of as the “Dark Ages”, the grunge era of the 90’s. People had no shame dressing up like lumberjacks. Plaid flannel somehow replaced silk and satin and people in general dressed more and more unattractively. I was in Seattle at the time so I have a first-hand account of how bad is got and I am still trying to recover from it!
Now in the 2000’s, workout clothes have replaced any effort in dressing up. People look the same during the day as they looked when they went to bed. No one really cares to change clothes before or after the gym, they just stay in permanent workout attire. Sure I know it’s comfortable, but come on ladies! Sweat is not the new body shimmer! To dress up today, women put on their expensive yoga pants, instead of their cheap ones! If our fashion continues down this path, we may all be wearing our pajamas to the mall, on an airplane or out to dinner with friends.
So, from lumberjacks to gym rats, there is a lot lacking in the glamour department. I want to change that! I want to bring back the beauty and glamour that we all have inside of us. And I want that to show on the outside! There is no need for a special occasion in order to wear jewelry. Any day is the perfect day to dress your best and glitter and shine with jewels!
I like to think of luxury as a smart luxury. I’m trying to enlighten and educate people on the alternatives for spending money. Take a diamond engagement ring for example. Most people are unaware how little a diamond will hold its value. It is actually one of the worst investments for you.
If you go to sell a diamond, you’ll get anywhere between 5% and at the most 20% of what you paid for it. It would be much smarter to purchase a lab created diamond and save a lot of money. Then put that money towards something more important, like buying a house or starting a college fund for your future children.
I have been against blood diamonds and the diamond industry for many years. I wanted to offer people an alternative. With my Hartique Gems, you get a perfect, flawless diamond. I do not believe that a life should be sacrificed in order to mine a diamond out of the Earth. We live in an age now where we can grow diamonds in a fancy microwave. No one needs to die anymore. If the mining of diamonds stopped today, there would be enough diamonds to supply the world for the next 20 years.
They are not rare like people have been brainwashed to believe. My Hartique Gems allow people to buy luxurious lab-created diamonds without having a guilty conscience. My jewelry is sustainable and beautiful. My designs have been inspired by some of the most famous jewelry pieces in history.
The slogan “a diamond is forever” is a lie. My Hartique Gems are forever, forever preserving the Earth and protecting lives. That’s what forever is for. If we don’t protect what we have now and preserve what we have now, there will be nothing left and there will be no future.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I’ve thought about that from time to time. Wondering if I would have been happier or better off if certain things didn’t happen the way that they did. If I had to start over, I don’t think I would change anything.
I am a very firm believer that everything happens for a reason. And if I didn’t go through certain struggles and darkness, I would not have gained the strength or new skills that I have today. Going through those difficult times made me a better version of myself.