Vera Balyura, the creative genius behind VeraMeat, has lived a life that seems to be right out of the movies. Born in Ukraine, she moved to New York City at fourteen to be a high fashion model, eventually deciding to design jewelry instead. Her unique designs reflect her own experiences, but translate perfectly into the lives of her customers. Quirky pieces such as the Pintsize Cosmonaut and Two-Headed Love Bunny serve as both beautifully crafted accessories and conversation starters. Vera’s lovely creations are meant for those that share her immense imagination and a great sense of humor.
Where do you find inspiration?
In the eye of the storm. Seriously though, in New York there are so many stories in every eye you catch, every hand you see reaching for a coffee, every jacket you see touch a shoulder.
Where did your interest in making jewelry begin?
My mom had a pair of very detailed earrings and the wanted them so badly. Little did I know I’d have to punch holes in my ears. Life lesson.
How do you decide what to make into jewelry?
It’s always something I really want, because I’m my own customer, so that’s a huge advantage. My friends’ questioning nature is also my inspiration.
What process do you use to design your pieces?
Well that’s a secret, isn’t it? I can say my mascot Puppy Fred is probably the only one who knows all the magic behind VeraMeat.
What do you wear in the studio?
Ha, actually I wear really fancy designer dresses, shoes, and jackets just for myself as I love being inspired in my work space. Doesn’t matter if anyone see’s me as it’s more for myself and the people I work with who also inspire me.
What recent purchase are you most excited about?
Oh, I love shopping. I’m huge into shoes and am going to Paris this September to do a capsule show for VeraMeat and to shop. But most recently my new voice pedal and guitar pedal for playing music has excited me very much.
What is your favorite place in the world?
I love New York as you can go anywhere else in the world from there. But I am planning a trip to Papua New Guinea, Australia, and New Zealand in the next year that I’m most excited about.
If you could have a super power, what would it be?
To make other people see their life’s ambition and become motivated and happy in themselves.
Photos via Parker Fitzgerald and Joshua Allen.