|A golden bird on a silver branch with opal flowers.|
How often do businesses begin with an act of love inspired by the animal kingdom as seen on YouTube?
Manya Tessler and Roumen Vragov wanted to seal their marriage with a self-made ring. At the time, they were not jewelry designers but Tessler worked with clay and was able to create a ring. Vragov decided the inspiration for the ring should be a Buffalo. Why a Buffalo? Because the Brooklyn couple saw a YouTube video in which a pride of lions attack a herd of water buffalo. The lions, as they often do, went after the youngest prey and caught it. It looked the baby would be killed. However, the entire herd of water buffalo returned and saved the baby. It is an extremely dramatic video and I haven’t even mentioned the crocodile. The 18k yellow gold wedding ring (left) depicts two intertwined buffaloes.
“We thought it was a good symbol for family and loyalty and love,” Tessler said during the recent Buyers Market of American Craft show in Philadelphia. So a marriage was consummated and about a couple years later a business was born, Manya & Roumen.
Their work is based on flora and fauna pieces of many shapes and sizes. Given Tessler’s background the creations are extremely sculptural. They work with 18k gold, silver, colored gemstones and diamonds that are carved and sculpted into shapes with detail not normally found on items as small as jewelry. Some pieces even challenge the conventional nature of jewelry such as the ring they were displaying at BMAC (pictured at top), which goes on the index finger and runs across all the fingers. The ring depicts an 18k golden bird with its head slightly turned to one side resting on a sterling silver branch. The branch’s lines are detailed and appear worn, as one would expect on a mature tree. The flowers on the branch are carved pink opal.
For an added bonus, here’s the video that symbolizes their relationship and inspired their business.