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Q&A with jewellery designer and entrepreneur Mariana Carneiro

Posted on September 1, 2021

Mariana Carneiro, Kaju Creations


Can you tell us about Kaju Creations?
For the past two years, Kaju Creations has been my full-time job. I do everything myself from designing to making the jewellery to customer service and packing orders. Kaju started as a hobby, as a desire to make things with my own hands. I am grateful that my passion turned into a business and I can do what I love the most for a living! 

What made you want to take jewellery courses at VCC? 
I designed jewellery for other companies for many years but never made the jewellery. When I started to dig into the making process I got really interested and could learn a lot online but I felt the need for a structured course with a knowledgeable teacher. That is when I found the VCC Jewellery Techniques 1 course.

What was the best part about studying at VCC? 
Learning in practice! Every class the teacher would talk about the theory, but most of it was actually making. The course was short but filled with so much information! I was given new tools to create my designs. 

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned since starting your business? 
One can never stop learning, there is so much to learn and improve! 

What is your best piece advice for someone starting out in this industry? 
Don’t overthink it; take one step at a time. It’s overwhelming to look around at a saturated market, but each designer has a different view and style, and there is space for everybody. Do your own thing, at your own pace. 

What is your goal for Kaju Creations? 
I want to keep creating new designs, improving my skills, and offering great quality handmade jewellery.


Take your creativity to the next level through VCC’s jewellery and gemmology programs and courses, including: