On People: Steph Ayson of Pranca

Pranca has established a long standing presence in Tropa, having joined us from the very beginning. The brand—quietly but remarkably, nonetheless—has bypassed the field of local jewelry as the new and young compeer; challenging boundaries and creating pieces that continuously explore new territory while maintaining the use of traditional resources and techniques.

Sitting in the comfort of her home, Pranca's Steph Ayson wears her very own designs and pieces in intimate portraits for Tropa. She tells us about the story of the brand, its inspirational motifs, and her future plans for the line.

"Two words guide me in coming up with designs for Pranca - raw and unrefined."

Read more about it below.

Tell us about Pranca: it's roots, how it started, and the people who are part of it?

Pranca is a proudly local demi-fine jewellery line from the makers of JMA Jewelry. For the longest time, my mom has been encouraging my sisters and I to come up with a line of our own that would reach out to a different audience than the ones we currently serve with JMA. It's been such a long time coming, but finally after sitting down with my cousin Carla, as she was about to introduce Tropa, I saw the great opportunity to finally step forward with this brand. Pranca bridges the gap between fine jewelry and fashion jewelry with uniquely-designed modern pieces at affordable prices.

How does the brand play into your daily routine? How does it influence you as a whole or vice versa?

Straight out of college in 2015, I joined the family business dealing directly with the production and selling of fine jewelry, as well as the buying of materials such as diamonds and South Sea pearls. As expected, it's been a highly technical few years as there was so much more to learn about the industry I've always been interested in. Also, it was a more mature dynamic that I had to master since our customers and partners were certain years my senior.

With Pranca now in the picture, I have realized how my work has become so much more relatable not just to me, but also to my friends. Seeing my friends wear pieces from Pranca makes it feel less like work and more of a passion project. It's an all new energy that I really enjoy and I'm happy to share with all those I reach with the brand.

On a side note: Pranca as a brand name has been quite infectious!

There's some semblance of consistency in the way the pieces look—can you tell us about factors and elements that go into designing your pieces?

To be completely honest (or should i say prangka?), I never saw and still don't see myself as a designer but I've somehow honed an "eye" for what I think might look good. Two words guide me in coming up with designs for Pranca - raw and unrefined. In the development of each piece I was constantly reminded, especially by Mom who is an amazing jewelry designer, that not everything has to be perfect. This is why I feel that if there's any element that could stand for the brand, it would definitely be the baroque pearl.

What sets Pranca apart from other local jewelers?

In the past year, there's been a great energy in the local jewelry industry what with the surge of new names in the market. It's becoming an even tougher competition but also an exciting one. I could proudly say that Pranca, being under the wing of a strong figure in the industry sets us apart. It's years of careful craftsmanship and trustworthiness within JMA that serves as the foundations of Pranca.

What's in store for Pranca?

I always get asked about when the brand will finally launch! Our actual introduction is well on its way with a 10-piece collection to start things off. It's been an intriguing past few months seeing the brand take off with the push of word-of-mouth and I can't wait to see what more it could be once everything's out on the table. Psyched!

Pranca is available online and in store. Steph paired off her pieces with Áraw's Con Yelo Collection.

Photography by: Colin Dancel