Photo: Heri B.Heryanto/Indonesia Tatler

A row of black trays waits by the window overlooking Jakarta’s skyline as Eliana Putri breezes into the room with a string of greetings. “This one is a choker from my Royal Vintage collection,” Eliana says after revealing a colourful and heavily-jewelled necklace followed by a simple wing-shaped earring.

Starting out as a hobby of making accessories with ribbons during her highschool years, Eliana continued to study design and fashion styling in Tokyo. Back then, her experiments include creating pieces featuring diamonds, rubies and other gems together with precious metals.

Today, she uses Swarovski—each stone in EPA’s three collections is certified and registered in the company’s database—and is expanding into fine bridal collection focusing on beauty, luxury and intricacies. Eliana adds that whatever she does, paying attention to details is important.

“I’d like to create more beautiful things and work with more materials that I haven’t used before,” Eliana tells Indonesia Tatler.

Photo: Heri B.Heryanto/Indonesia Tatler

The Royal Vintage collection is made with royalty and nobility in mind and, out of her three commercial collections, it is the most customisable one aside from special personal requests. On the other hand, the Sam & Eli collection—named and modelled after her daughter—is a stylish and edgy expression that extends beyond conventional jewellery types.

She then showed us a black-fabric bracelet, part of the Sam & Eli collection, tied on her wrist and studded with small stars and weighed with two small wings on each bunnyeared end.  Eliana explains how the bracelet turns into a choker and a bandana.

“Creativity and versatility are at the heart of EPAJEWEL,” Eliana says with a smile. “But note that you will not find a speck of pink in Sam & Eli.”

Close to EPA’s values is that the Signature collection features simple designs for daily wear. The designs revolve around, and prominently display, the one-wing symbol instead of a small inclusion that’s present on other pieces.

“The one-wing symbol also stands on the brand’s logo,” says Eliana. “To me, it symbolises peace, love and freedom.”

Eliana started EPAJEWEL with her one wing four years ago as she recuperated from an accident that took her son’s life. “This event inspires me to create one of my best collections, the Prince Matthew,” Eliana says. “The proceeds from this collection will go to orphans who suffer from autism or cerebral palsy.”

She further explains that the customer’s charity of choice must be in these categories in memory of her son who would have suffered from brain damage had he survived the crash. In return of a donation to this volunteer-based charity, Eliana will create a special custom made piece—such as a necklace, or a clutch, or an earring—according to the donor’s wishes.

“When you wear the piece from your donation, remember that you’re a giver,” Eliana says. “We can’t always take and never give in this life.” Forward on, she dreams to open a school for the unfortunate children with special needs.

Growing the brand and having a small boutique by next year is another goal Eliana has. As of now, EPAJEWEL is the first all- Indonesian brand to be included in two On Pedder Hong Kong boutiques and another one in Jakarta.

First Love is one of the special collections Eliana has created for the boutique. “Stars and hearts inspire a lot of my pieces,” Eliana says. “I also daydream a lot when I create art.”

Other sources of inspiration for Eliana come from the people around her, which she pours into the sculptures that decorate her husband’s office.

“As a designer, you can’t restrict yourself,” says Eliana in conclusion. “Art has many facets, and a true artist can go anywhere—it’s just about taste and being true to yourself.”

(Text by: Edith Emeralda)

Tags: Epajewel, Eliana Putri Antonio