Azka Agha: Founder of Tinsel Jewelry

Photo Courtesy of Tinsel by Azka photographed by Jessica Caughron

Azka Agha, one of SCAD’s most promising fashion design students, has started a successful jewelry company with an international market before turning 20. Growing up in Pakistan she started her company as a young girl under the influence of her jewelry designer mother, and was able to create jewelry for both men and women that is not only unique but affordable for young fashionable adults. We were able to get a quick interview with her in between her busy schedule of classes and running a business to hopefully inspire others to follow their passions no matter who says otherwise.

HC:  Why did you decide to start a company at such a young age?

Azka Agha: When I first started selling jewelry I never anticipated that it would become an actual brand or that I would be selling it at the scope that I do today. It was thanks to the amazing response I received after my first few sales that I decided to expand. Soon one design turned into ten, ten to twenty and so on until Tinsel became what it is now. I mainly began selling jewelry because I wanted to see if I was capable of selling my designs (I knew I wanted to sell my fashion designs one day anyway) and because I was bored and wanted to explore a new hobby. 

HC: That’s amazing, who inspired you to create jewelry?

Azka Agha: My mother. I watched her sketching out her designs and bringing them to life for years. How she used tools and elements like wires and beads to create such exquisite pieces that made me want to learn as well. Moreover, she took courses in Gemology and taught herself how to handcraft jewelry which was pretty amazing since she clearly was interested in something and simply went after it. 

HC: Wow, you make it sound so easy! I’m sure even you have days that lack inspiration, whose style are you influenced by or inspires you?

Azka Agha: That's a tough one. I don't think there's a single person whose style I like. I do tend to gravitate towards edgy or streetwear looks. But it's not always as simple as one type of style or person for me. With Tinsel I need to come up with different jewelry designs that cater to different styles so the products appeal to a general age group rather than a fraction of people within it.

HC: As a business woman you always have to keep on top of what’s next but are there any jewelry trends you love or hate right now and why?

Azka Agha: Rhinestone chokers: I'm a sucker for sparkles, love them.

HC: Me too! Anything sparkly is a must. Although I could talk to you all day about well glitter, I’d like to know if being a full time freshman at SCAD has influenced your collections in anyway?

Azka Agha: It definitely has in the sense that I'm constantly surrounded by creative individuals whose personal sense of style inspires me. Additionally, it helps to be surrounded by young people within my age group so I can see what they like and don't like and make products that cater to those preferences. 

HC: Obviously being in Savannah you’re not able to be at your workstation in Pakistan, so how do you distribute and make your products whilst still managing all your school work?

Azka Agha: Before leaving for college I stocked up on products and supplies to make them. Having them ready in bulk makes it easier to just mail to a person immediately upon order rather than make each piece as the orders roll in, like I used to. My mother manages the distribution of products back home in Pakistan. Now that I have a website coming out all that is going to become easier. 

HC: Well this has been very informative, do you any last minute advice for young entrepreneurs?

Azka Agha: If you truly love something just go for it. I was hesitant about selling my jewelry at first and I never would've imagined I'd get such a positive response but I wouldn't know if I hadn't tried. However, remain dedicated to your work, it's so easy to be forgotten today unless you're constantly on top of your game. 

Photo Courtesy of Tinsel by Azka photographed by Jessica Caughron

Photo Courtesy of Tinsel by Azka photographed by Jessica Caughron

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