Tayva Martinez is someone I’ve known since we were both super teens– as a matter of fact, she was the Super Duper Teen to my Trying to Find my Landlegs Teen. Now that we’re both adults, she’s one of my favorite take-no-prisoners entrepreneur ladyfriends. Tayva has run her own business for as long as I can remember– and she’s always impressed me with her quick wit and sincere devotion to her aesthetic vision. Role model, much?
Tayva’s now running her own vintage reproduction jewelry line, called “Sparklelux, by Miss Tayva”. Make sure you enter our contest below to receive your very own stunning pair of her newest earring design!
Even though your handmade vintage-inspired jewelry line is sparkling new, you’ve been an entrepreneur for a long time! How did you catch the bug? Did you always know you’d be the captain of your own ship?
My mom, who never really worked a “normal” job, has always been artistic and made extra money with her talents. Her main craft has been stained glass windows. She’s outfitted churches with her windows, and has always had a large amount of private clients. It allowed her to stay home with me. She definitely had a considerable amount of
flexibility with her job, as opposed to my father, who worked a traditional job. I loved it! Even though she had work, she could always spend time with me and do the things she wanted. As a kid, I knew that’s how I wanted things to be when I grew up.
I was a journalist by trade since the age of 16 and honestly, I never really liked working for someone else (especially a corporation!). Even back then, I freelanced and preferred that work scenario to the traditional run-of-the-mill job. Plus, working for another entity in that field required a lot of overtime. I felt like my life was devoted to these companies!
I’ve always been a very independent person. I’ve always preferred having a hold of the reins, rather than being told what to do. After years and years of working for others, I decided it was best to do my own thing. I can’t see doing it any other way.
Model: Lisa Love / Photographer: Chris Gomez
What–or who– inspires you to create “Sparklelux! by Miss Tayva“?
My love for Mid-Century vintage is my main inspiration. However, I’ve always been enamored by glamorous women. My grandmother, Toni, shaped a lot of what goes on upstairs. She passed when I was 12 and had suffered a lifetime of ill health, but always made it a point to look good. Her hair, clothing, makeup and accessories were top-notch. My first glimpse of confetti lucite was from her jewelry box. I mean, what’s NOT to love about glittery, sparkly accessories?!
I’ve always been a firm advocate of beauty. I attended beauty school and have worked as a makeup artist. I’m also a former model and was the face of various companies who specialized in products that enhanced and flattered the female form.
As far back as I can remember, I have never been drawn to modern, trendy things. I used to fight relentlessly with my mother every morning when it came time to get dressed for school. I always had the most up-to-date fashionable outfits… and hated them. I wanted to wear things that reflected my personality. I was only a little girl, but I longed for fashions like my grandmother wore, or what I saw in old movies (and was totally in a hurry to grow up). Vintage style is where I have always fit in, I feel.
The creation of my jewelry line is merely an extension of my vintage jewelry collecting. I find modern stuff so boring– today’s statement pieces are just so ‘blah’ and gaudy to me. Everything looks the same. When I really began collecting vintage, I always kept an eye out for confetti lucite pieces.I find them to be eclectic and unique. Always eye catching! The little girl in me has always loved the glitter and confetti.
The problem with the old stuff is that the colors and shapes are always so limited. I felt like I was finding the same old things over and over again. Sometimes, the metallic elements inside have started to oxidize and the lucite is rather dull from being chucked loosely in jewelry boxes. Also, I loathe clip earrings– they are sheer torture. I disliked not having a pair to match with every outfit I owned. I also disliked having to deconstruct a pair of earrings to turn them into post earrings for pierced ears! I initially started making the earrings for myself but figured a lot of gals likely felt the same way I did, so I started selling them. So far, so good! I’m really amazed at the feedback I’ve been receiving– from all sorts of people, just not the vintage community.
Model: Bri Ruiz / Photo: Marco Patino / Hair & Makeup: Shirley Garcia
Tell us about your new earring shape! Where did you come up with the idea?
My new shape is based upon an early 1960s design, one that existed back in that era but is rarely come across today. I’m really stoked to reproduce some rather scarce, sought after designs and this is one of them. I have more of these designs that I’m working on, and I’m really excited about that!
The new Sparklelux! earring shape. Gorgeous, no?!
You just moved from Arizona to Palm Springs, the ultimate vintage mecca of California. How do you see this changing or influencing your work?
There has always been this unseen force that has drawn me to Palm Springs. Every time I would visit, I would be so sad to leave. For years, I’ve had these crazy dreams about Mt. San Jacinto and Palm Canyon Drive that were always so haunting. It has always seemed like the perfect place for me– beautiful surroundings, Mid Century architecture, and lots of like-minded people. I felt like I was in a creative rut in Arizona. People out there didn’t get what I was about or what I was into. Creative-wise, unless it’s Native American or New Age-related, people just don’t get it. I am totally in the best creative environment right now. Simply driving down the street gives me so many ideas.
Now that I’m with the love of my life (lowbrow artist Von Franco), I’m feeling more creative than ever… not only with my jewelry, but with my painting. He’s basically the male version of me. We like all of the same things. I really value his ideas and opinions. He is one of the most creative people I know and It’s an incredible feeling, being under the same roof with someone so like-minded. We really feed off each other. I’m enclosed in this awesomely creative bubble in every aspect, and I only see things getting more out of hand… in a good way, of course! I’m more eager than ever to create.
Tayva is giving away one pair of her new earring design to one of my readers! All you have to do is leave a comment on this post, and “like” her Facebook page. Winner needs to be located within the United States… and the winner will be chosen Tuesday morning at 9 am! GAME ON!
I love wearing my very own Sparklelux! creations– they really do go with everything!