Interview with Papion Jewelry
San Diego Jewelry Designer Puts a Creative Spin on Accessorizing
Saideh Shemirani of Papion Jewelry
46 years ago Saideh Shemirani left her home country of Iran to move to America, a new and unfamiliar place. Traveling alone, Saideh took fear in stride and set out to discover a new frontier. Landing in the state of Maryland in 1970, she met the love of her life and began studying interior design, allowing imagination to spark what would soon become a lifelong creative venture.
Eight years and two kids later, both of which were boys, Saideh found herself living on the opposite side of the country in sunny San Diego. “I didn’t want three children,” she laughs, warming the local Starbucks with her honest smile. “But I’ve always wanted a daughter, so I decided to have a third.” Putting all her hope in the uncertainty of genetics, Saideh got just what she wanted to make her family complete, a baby girl.
The company of another female inspired her to dig out the glitter and let her artistic background take the reins while creating unique accessories for her daughter. “People would approach me and ask where I got my daughters headband or shoes,” she notes, all of which were handmade by her. Word of mouth made her children’s accessories the talk of the town, and just as people began to take notice, so did the big fish in the pond. Companies such as Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom began putting in orders for her sought-after products. With the spotlight on her, Saideh broadened her horizons and began dabbling in women’s jewelry, an industry she has been part of for the past 10 years.
After much trial and error, she finally found a style of jewelry that she feels embodies her unique visions, naming the line Papion. “All of my pieces are one-of-a-kind and handmade,” excitement lighting her eyes as she opens her box of colorful, rhinestone-embellished necklaces and handbags. One could easily spot her pieces from across the room, with their bright shades and perfect color combinations, clearly the work of a tried and true designer. Bracelets, necklaces, purses, clutches and most recently chokers, there is no shortage of striking products to choose from.
The accessories mark their unique territory with qualities like feathers, pearls, lace and rhinestones. Though her pieces appear to be heavy with all their sparkling embellishments, they are surprisingly lightweight and incredibly comfortable to wear. Her work takes you places, making you feel as though you’re under a calm sea amongst mermaids or basking in sunshine in a field of flowers. “I draw my inspiration from everything around me, I pay attention,” Saideh explains. Customers can purchase one of her readymade pieces or can have them fully customized to their liking. Additionally, she offers special event pieces, bridal collections and children’s accessories on a made-to-order basis.
Saideh’s talent for design has landed her multiple awards and even a display in the San Diego Off Track Art Gallery. Keeping her line close and personal, she never felt the need for marketing on social media pages or websites, but this is something she is now exploring. “I loved to design so much that I didn’t really focus on marketing,” she admits. For now, customers can track her down at local markets or by email firstname.lastname@example.org. She will soon be easily accessible through the Papion website, which is currently under construction.
A genius at creating an eye-catching and unforgettable accessory, Saideh loves designing on her own. “An artist paints something, and they want it to be known as only their painting,” she says. As she sits surrounded by her brilliantly colored, meticulously crafted jewelry, there is no doubt Saideh is exactly that: an artist.
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