Sofia Villacis at home in Bukit Timah, Singapore
Tell us a little about your background – what did you study and what path led you to founding Killari?
I was born in Ecuador. My connection with Brazil is also very deep – having lived there in three different stages of my life: as a child, during University and later with my husband. I’m a jewellery designer and also a photographer. It was in Brazil where I had the chance to connect with my creative side more than anywhere else, while studying Business Administration I also did studies on Jewellery and Interior Design. Later on, when I went back to Ecuador I also studied Graphic Design…I know, it seems like I have a strong creative vocation and a weakness for design, must be my zodiac sign influence that made it so difficult for me to choose.
Evidently, Asia has also been a place that has influenced me a lot, having travelled throughout it extensively and lived in China for a few years. After moving for the past 7 years, we decided to make Singapore our home and the base for my jewellery label. Moving back allowed me to focus on this uncovered passion of mine – designing jewellery. It was the last push to pursue my dream.
It’s great fun to be on this thrilling journey of being able to manage your own business and to create something based on your ideas. I guess even though my life has taken different paths and I was always trying different things, I found the way to be back where I was intended to be – “all roads lead to Rome, baby”. I constantly joke that the reason why I had to travel this much, seen and experienced all I’ve seen, studied and being exposed to different things is because now I have the ability to put everything into practice, the result – KILLARI.
How would you define your design aesthetic?
I always prefer to describe the woman I design for: fierce yet feminine. Someone who knows her style but is always willing to push boundaries and experiment. Someone who is not afraid of juxtapositioning ideas or styles, someone who is always looking for that eclectic mix or special piece with personality to add to her wardrobe, a woman who is glamorous in a very worldly almost bohemian way.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I would say what influences me the most are my travels. My collections are expressions of things I’ve seen, things I want to recreate, people, cultures or sceneries that have inspired me through my travels.
Who would you die to see wearing your work?
At this point of my life, I’m very touched and flattered by every customer I see wearing Killari jewellery, but of course we should never give up our ambitions, right? So if I must say it, I think it would be: Cate Blanchett. Just love her style, it’s unique.
What are some other things you are passionate about?
Food, animals, travel
What’s your favourite childhood memory?
The years I lived with my family by the beach in Ecuador. Especially on Sundays, having a big breakfast outside overlooking the sea, we always ate as fast as we could, and my mom will always make us wait until everyone was finished before letling us run and jump into the sea. The wait: torture, the pancakes and the sea: magical.
What are your vices?
Wine and magazines.
What drew you to the location of your home?
The house found us. I would have chosen to live in a more lively neighborhood, but I felt instantly in love with the place.
How would you describe your home’s aesthetic, and what do you like best about it?
I would describe it as colorful, eclectic and definitely “not minimalistic”. What I like the best about is the space. It’s a perfect canvas, for all my photography work and art that we like to collect. I’m lucky to have my studio at home so I’m not away from my dogs for too long, besides this is really my space, the only place in the house where I can place any type of art that does not necessarily match with the rest of the house.
What of your personalities can we see in it?
The colorful, eclectic and definitely not minimalistic part.
Where are you favourite places to shop for interiors?
At the moment…I’m banned from shopping new furniture. Haha! In Singapore, I love to go to Taylor B and small and hidden décor stores.
What is your most beloved possession?
I believe we shouldn’t attach ourselves to material possessions, but in my case it’s hard. This home is filled with lots of memorabilia, it’s our story.
If you could only wear one piece of jewellery for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I’m a ring person. Definitely a ring with a story.
Famous last words?
‘I am thankful to all those who said NO to me. It’s because of them I did it myself.’ – attributed to Einstein