22 June 2020
Katia samson is an outstanding person, in every sense of the word. If we consider her as a designer, she sees herself rather as a facilitator of pretty things. At the head of a jewelry brand, she never wanted to work in fashion, since she comes from that world. As atypical as her jewelry is poetic, katia tells la grande boutique the sensitive and daring history of her brand sharing, precious links, and more…
I come from an iconic fashion family in Paris. My parents were pioneers in the 70s and 80s, they developed modern and daring multi-brand stores both in terms of architecture and supply. They were the first to introduce Italian designers, among others, to France while offering a wide choice of more accessible brands.
It is certain that I was raised “in stores”. My parents were not very available, they worked a lot, so for a long time, I felt that the shops were responsible for that. I traveled when I was very young and studied in the United States, which allowed me to acquire a good level of English. When I returned, thanks to a meeting, I started out in the world of media strategy, at the dawn of the privatization of TV channels. Everything had to be built and that’s how I participated in the development of TV sponsorship. I worked there for 15 years including managing the iconic Coca-Cola budget … until I realized that it was no longer for me. I suddenly needed to do something that made sense. And once again, it was the chance of a meeting that opened the way for me …
Yes! This adventure with jewelry is still and always only a story of synchronicity … At one point, I felt the need to go to India, this country was calling me. And there, began a chain of happy “chances”. I stayed there for 3 months instead of one. I went back there often. During one of my stays, and thanks to an airline strike, we had to change our plans and stay in Bombay. This is how I got the chance to participate in the Satsang (interview with the Truth) of an authentic Indian sage. In the West, we think we are the decision-makers of everything, that we do everything. I still couldn’t see a path for my future yet so I asked him “but what can I do?” His response “something always happen” … is still in my mind. This helped change my vision of the world. Life offers me opportunities, meetings, I don’t create them, I respond to them or not. In India, I was also introduced to kundalini yoga. When I got back, I wanted to continue this practice and that’s how I went to a yoga festival. In the small bazaar, a table covered with Tibetan flags offered stones and jewelry. Without realizing it, it was the premise of Sharing.
The story behind Sharing is based on meeting four women. It was an Englishwoman who ran this little bazaar stand lined with Tibetan flags. I bought her some stones and a very simple little macrame necklace. She had set up a small workshop to help three Tibetan women belonging to a group of 14 nuns arrested in their monastery in Lhasa for having participated in a demonstration in support of the Dalai Lama. They had been sentenced to long prison terms without a trial. This story upset me and I wanted to help. Their story and this little necklace moved me. I thus ordered necklaces giving them some indications on my preferences of association of stones. She sent me a box containing around fifty pieces of jewelry. When I received them, I was as enthusiastic as upset by the jewelry, their history, and also by the confidence this woman had in me. I sent the money quickly and organized a private sale at my home and I was far from expecting the continuation of the adventure which started. I never wanted to set up a jewelry brand. The response was so positive that I again ordered a hundred necklaces.
Things were done in extraordinary synchronicity. When I learned that these women were going to seek political asylum in Belgium, I was on a meditation course in Brussels. I went to meet them and at the same time, I was put in contact with the man who had taught them the technique, and who could find stones for us as well as doing part of the manufacturing, etc. I was still persuaded that it was not going to last. And then, I realized that this story made sense, that the jewelry pleased and I decided to support this movement that I had not initiated but which responded so well to my quest for meaning and aesthetics. After three years, I realized, it was what I had to do, to follow the thread of what life had brought me and proposed! The activity was structured step by step and I went from being self-employed to a businesswoman. Something always happens!
The most important and valuable lessons that have helped me build and recover from difficult times have been shared with me. It’s “to share” in English. The authentic sharing of personal experiences, sometimes painful ones, inspired me and gave me courage. The meetings are a moment of sharing, the connections, the good addresses, the practices also are shared… all these treasures come from the sharing of other people and what I have in my turn to offer today while I’m almost 60 years old by sharing what was given to me one day. Sharing is about sharing in the progressive present … the act of sharing in the present and always in motion.
Even if I remain attached to the original idea, the jewelry has evolved a lot. They remain minimalist but the choice of stones, their quality, their shape, the associations, the technique itself have been refined. All our stones and pearls are worked and faceted. I still love their simplicity, their minimalism, their elegance. The work with the wire makes the jewelry simple, discreet, and delicate and the stones give them their strength. They have this dimension both poetic and precious, at the same time very present but without ostentation.
The stones touch me, the mineral is noble. It will live after us. There is a vast dimension, almost eternal because they are the witnesses of the earth, some are extra-terrestrial like the Moldavites which come from meteorites or other recesses of the universe. It takes millions of years to create such beauties. The stones we use are 80% natural. I add some pearls for their shine and some stones increased if the color brings more than I can not find in a natural way. I personally love green stones a lot, but also tourmalines, labradorite, chrysoprase, fluorites … I am aware of the need to do things that we will never be tired of. Sharing jewelry is a happy combination of the talent and expertise of our craftsmen and my personal, more western taste. Sharing as I like to think is “we” rather than “I” … the fruit of our combined talents. The result is discreet, poetic, bright, warm, and joyful!
Our jewelry is for all women. Those who are sensitive, authentic, who love beauty, simplicity. Often women who don’t like jewelry in general like Sharing. My greatest compliment is to see our customers adore their Sharing jewel and love them as much over time. Their jewelry does not leave them, it accompanies them. They often tell me that they are very important to them, that they help them in some ways… I remain careful not to put too much emphasis on the power of stones and their energy properties but when our customers are kind enough to share their story with us, it makes us happy. The wise teach us that happiness is to desire what we already have.
I never wanted to be in fashion or to be fashionable. I am often asked why I am not doing something different. I answer that I still love them as much as I’ve always done, my enthusiasm is intact since I make them evolve to my taste over time … I am proud and happy to support and work with the same people from the start. Our Tibetan friends, our craftsmen in Kashmir who live very difficult times harassed by the power in place, but also this family of Rajasthan who lives thanks to the work of his eldest son. We are all united and interdependent. Sharing is also that.
We are like our jewelry, an expression that I like a lot that is common in India which says: “same same but different”.