Call it nerve, vivacity or chutzpah. Whatever word you choose, it is clear that independent jewelry designers have something special that drives them to succeed. All entrepreneurs struggle against the tide of risk and uncertainty on a daily basis. Those who succeed have my utmost respect and admiration. Anna Balkan is one of those designers.
Anna Balkan has endured more adversity than most design entrepreneurs, which is saying a lot. She arrived to the United States from Russia seventeen years ago without any money or English language skills.From this humble beginning, Balkan tenaciously fought for a better life by dedicating herself to hard work, a college education, a consulting job with a prestigious firm and now the creation of her own business. When you are with her you cannot help but be impressed by her energy and charisma. Her passion for life is evident in her story, her tireless work for her business and, of course, her designs.
Anna Balkan designer jewelry is feminine and colorful. Each piece is created from a multitude of gems and pearls bound together with intricate wire work. Each piece exudes the same verve as Balkan herself. Her line is enormous with jewelry pieces available in every color combination under the sun. Each pretty bauble begs to be worn with a sun dress or evening gown. Or, adding an Anna Balkan piece to a business ensemble is the perfect way to flash elegant style along with conservative attire. Balkan’s work has been featured in national fashion magazines and is for sale at fine boutiques around the country.
But Balkan’s story does not end there. While her career in jewelry design continues to flourish, Balkan has developed a new flair for philanthropy. She sits on the board for STOP International, a non-profit dedicated to stopping human sex trafficking and providing social services to rescued victims. This worthy cause is close to her heart since so many immigrants from her native Russia are exploited through trafficking around the world. Anna Balkan donates 10% of profits to STOP International. She has also designed a signature necklace to raise awareness and donations for the charity.
Anna Balkan was a 2009 finalist in the Jewelry Design Business Development Grant competition sponsored by Halstead Bead, Inc.