Did you watch the Oscars this year? Tiffany Haziza certainly did! That’s because she was invited to attend the 2011 Academy Awards and contribute her designs in this year’s exclusive Oscar gift bags. As the designer and creative director of Buddha & The Raven Studios, a business which prides itself in keeping its products designed, sourced and handcrafted locally, Tiffany uses silver, Swarovski, pearls, and other earth-based materials to create gorgeous and affordable jewelry.
What inspired you to start your company?
When I was getting married, I was looking for something for my bridal party. I couldn’t find something that suited my taste and that wasn’t overpriced, so I decided to try my hand at creating my own jewelry. I wanted beautiful, timeless and unique statement pieces that would rock, but not rock my wallet.
What is your company all about?
I believe that spreading light and love into the world is what life is about–at least that is what my life’s mission has revealed itself to be. I meditate with the materials I use to create my jewelry. I bless the stones and set intention into each of them that the wearer of my pieces may feel beautiful, peaceful and that they feel empowered. I love to create and I believe that you can feel this in my work.
What’s your vision for your company?
I want to maintain a brand that is beautiful and affordable. Not everyone has $100+ to spend on a single accessory. I want to offer a line of jewelry that caters to that hard-working single mom, as well as to the uber-chic career woman who has a deeper budget for life’s prettier things.
Of course, I will also continue to infuse my jewels with light and love. I think it’s important that we all use the platforms we are given to make a difference in the world. My sister-friend Oprah uses her platform to open schools for girls in Africa, and I use my mine to spread love and light via my jewels (granted, Oprah’s platform is a bit larger than my own!).
My ultimate vision for my business is to help promote and support other women in business and to continue to give back in the ways that I am able. I believe that “To whom much is given, much is expected.”
What excites you about what you’re doing?
I am “living my best life,” as Oprah says! I am living my passion and spreading joy into the world. I get to work hands on with the earth’s offerings. I get to fashion semi-precious stones, pearls and silver in a way that allows others to appreciate their offerings and beauty. I love that I get to work from home and have my children reap the benefits of these blessings without them even knowing it.
I love that I am able share my opportunities with other like-minded women and I have coined the phrase “women supporting women is the new black.”
For example, since the Oscars invitation, I’ve employed local women entrepreneurs, such as photographer Carrie Marshall to do my headshots, Ariell Paterson to do my hair and makeup before photoshoots, and publicist Gillian Behnke to assist me with PR. I gave the exclusivity of my Oscar piece to Lorna Paterson of Blush in West Vancouver and Tashe Vitaly of Sartortial Boutique in Nanaimo. Finally, If local designer Sue Messent of Tres Femme hadn’t so generously put my name forward when she couldn’t contribute to the Oscar bags this year, I wouldn’t be in the position I am in. I love sharing the spotlight and empowering other women in their own successes, that is what feels rich to me.
I feel like I am spreading beauty into the world with my heart, my mind and my hands. I feel good about that.
What’s next for you?
I really need to fill the mountain of orders that have recently come in. My website went from 30 new hits a day to nearly 2,000 in a day!
I’m also on the verge of a charitable collaboration that I’ve been dreaming about for a long time, and have just been waiting for the platform and players to reveal themselves, which finally has happened all because of this amazing opportunity to contribute to the Academy Awards gift bags.
This Oscars excitement has been a thrill and an honour which I am elated to be a part of and look forward to doing again next year, but the true gift (besides taking my business to the next level, which I am immensely grateful for) has been the opportunity to further the message that we women need to celebrate, support and promote one another. Life is big and beautiful, and our experience is more exquisite when we share the ride.