Today let’s talk about another creative business woman and friend of mine: Valery Noyen.
Valery is a fabulous, enterprising young woman and not the least leading her company, with its innovative project “#mirrortag’.
While having a delicious carrot cake at the Local House in Miami I had the pleasure to interview her.
Who is Valery?
Valery is a good friend and a start up entrepreneur; we met while doing a Spanish course on Miami Beach. She has a Masters degree in architecture and just two weeks after graduation she registered her own design company with the first project of jewelry design, Valery Noyen. Statement and sophisticated jewelry pieces that can be worn in many ways, where you create your own unique look every time. But that’s was just the beginning of the story…
How did you come up with the idea of #mirrortag?
While making custom designs for clients, I would take selfies/ pictures in the mirror of the design progress of the jewelry piece and send it to the client for feedback, so they could see how a necklace would look on them. I found the presence of the phone in the picture frustrating, as it would take a significant part of the photo and not serve any purpose. I am quite precise in my work and also the photos I take, even if it is a quick snap. I looked at it as a challenge and decided to make the phone a useful part of the photo: I created an iPhone skin with name of my brand written mirrored, so it would be a watermark on each selfie I take, and ‘protect’ my creative work.
From putting a watermark on your work to many designs for #mirrortag, how did that happen?
I noticed people were curious on what was on my phone and what it meant, that element of curiosity triggered me to think further. At the same time I was travelling to Rio and a friend there advised me to discover Instagram, as it is a booming social media platform to share your life and showcase your work.
Suddenly I was introduced to the world where people share millions of selfies. I realized they are trying to communicate through these images, telling something about themselves, sharing their story. Whether it is that they are ready to start the day, sharing their fun times with their loved ones, their fitness progress photos, I found it quite inspiring. They are really inviting us into their world with these images. The most famous hashtag #selfie was due to all these people.
The idea of# mirrortag became clear in my mind: why do not make smartphone skins with words/captions to each selfie?
How did you choose which words to include in the #mirrortag collection?
I actually did selfie research and identified several groups, and looked at what they were trying to convey through the photos and paid attention to hashtags they were using. And I still do, as it all evolves, words change in popular culture and clients want to be on top of trends.
How would you describe #mirrortag?
#mirrortag is an innovative and a fun way to take selfie and to accessorize your phone. Because the word is spelled backwards on the smartphone skin, it is not an intrusive way of seeing your message of what you want to represent when you are for example holding your phone or it is laying on the desk during a class/work. It works as an affirmation too along with the caption to your selfie, something what you are or strive to be, a reminder. I encourage people to explore their creative side and feel good about themselves.
#mirrortag skins are white, elegant reusable skins with the words/hashtags. You apply a #mirrortag on the back of your phone and snap a selfie in the mirror, the word becomes readable on your selfie. Besides being a beautiful design, the skin also protects your phone from scratches.
#mirrortag is a status update, it is a caption. That is why I needed the skin to be reusable, as what you are expressing changes regularly. You can get as many #mirrortags as you want and dress your phone with them, depending on your mood.
What is the next step for this project?
We have already more than 100 designs in the collection, and now the next step is introducing the customized #mirrortags. You will be able to create your own personalized #mirrortag, how cool is that. A word you often use, or a nickname you have, or a personalized gift like that, anything is possible. I’m looking forward to getting design requests from everyone.
I am traveling to Hong Kong to finalize this part of the project there, which I find very exciting, it will be my first time in Asia.
Photos are taken by Sam Gyang, fashion photographer based in London www.gyangphotography.co.uk