In Conversation: Five Minutes With Petite Grand Founding Designer, Tanja Kovacevic

The finer details

By Astrid Taemets | 14th June 2023

Whether it’s a signet ring you wear every day, layers of necklaces that change with your wardrobe, or a bangle you bought on an overseas trip, the jewellery we choose says a lot about our style – just ask Petite Grand’s founding designer, Tanja Kovacevic.

Unique in its simplicity, these delicate and handcrafted jewellery pieces tell a story, have a journey, and will form memories with its wearer, as is intended with every new piece Tanja visualises, creates, and produces. 

Here, we talk all things inspiration and design with Tanya… 


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A post shared by Petite Grand Jewellery (@petitegrand)

Tell us the story of when and why you started the brand:

I had a desire to be creative with my hands, and decided to partake in an evening jewellery course. The experience ignited my creativity and more simply, it felt good. I’d discovered my calling, and decided to launch Petite Grand. I eventually quit my job and utilised my passion to focus on the brand as a successful business. 

What were you doing career-wise before?

I’ve always been professionally engaged within the fashion arena, and have virtually covered every job description in the industry! Just prior to launching Petite Grand, I was employed as operations manager for a fashion label.

How would you describe your own personal style, and does that influence your designs?

My personal style and jewellery designs have different lives. At this stage in my life, I tend to prioritise comfort and simplicity, but I alternate my jewellery to create stylish narratives. Jewellery design allows me to channel my creativity, it’s my number one inspiration, and my outlet for experimentation and playfulness. 


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A post shared by Petite Grand Jewellery (@petitegrand)

What materials do you work with?

Our designs are built on a foundation of quality materials, but I am constantly seeking out new materials to incorporate into my designs. Quality underpins the brand, and I prioritise longevity when considering new materials. We work with base precious metals including sterling silver, and quality gold-filled finishes, an array of alluring stone and glass beads, and cord. The materials I source and purchase consider sustainable business practices. I used recycled materials and repair items where possible, and hand make pieces to order. I’m proud that Petite Grand’s jewellery production is conscious and can be controlled. 

What is your point of difference in the market?

I tend not to follow trends and prefer to stay in my own creative bubble. It’s a bubble that is fueled by my vision about what I want to bring to life and wear myself. I’m also inspired by the brand’s loyal customer base – their ideas are often integrated into the design process to imbue the pieces with a bespoke touch. It’s about collaboration, and I believe that our customers value Petite Grand’s made-to-order offering. 

What inspires you?

So many things – jewellery, antique objects, costume and set design in film, and the splendour of travelling to new places. Sometimes it’s just simple, unexpected observations like watching people on the street – taking note of an elderly woman’s brooch that sparks an idea to reimagine the piece into a pendant. I’m observant by nature, and if something leaves a lasting impression on me, it’s often incorporated into my designs or the design process. 

What goes into creating a new collection?

I tend to work in reverse. I visit my valued suppliers to see what kind of materials speak to me. I like to surround myself with all the ‘newness’ I’ve sourced, I experiment, and then commence designing initial prototypes. If I’m not 100% satisfied with a design, I rework the composition and start again. This allows the individual pieces and the collection to evolve organically. Then I collate the inspirational assets and materials aligned to the collection and devise a concept for the campaign shoot. My team assists with the deliberation of what stays and what is edited out of each collection. We try pieces on and style everything together, mixing and matching, just as I imagine our customer would. 


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A post shared by Petite Grand Jewellery (@petitegrand)

Do you have a favourite collection to date?

My first collection holds a deep sense of nostalgia for me. It marked the beginning of Petite Grand and set everything in motion. I’m so pleased to say that we still sell some of those initial designs today!

What do you love about working for yourself?

It grants me the ultimate creative freedom. If something succeeds, I can pat myself on the back, and if it doesn’t, I’m responsible, and use it as an opportunity for learning. I can choose who I work and collaborate with, and how I spend my time. The opportunity to gather and interact with a wonderful team of people around me is so rewarding. It’s all about good vibes and boundless creativity.

By Astrid Taemets An advocate for a dirty martini any day of the week, Astrid's life is equal parts cleaning crumbs off a three-year-old as it is enjoying a bump of caviar.



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