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How Vinca USA is keeping Austin’s jewelry weird

We spoke with local jewelry designer and boutique owner Amanda Dimova of Vinca, who has been selling her accessories “for weirdos” for almost 20 years.

A big display of vinca earrings with a mirror in the middle and a woman smiling.

Stop by Terra Toys, 2438 W. Anderson Lane, to shop this display.

Photo courtesy Vinca

We’ve found the crown jewel in town. According to the folks at Austin-based accessory company Vinca, their jewelry pays for itself in compliments.

From knife hair clips famously worn by Aubrey Plaza to cursor-shaped earrings, Vinca stocks jewelry for fans of all things quirky and whimsy.

We met with Vinca owner and jewelry designer Amanda Dimova at her shop and studio — 1800 E. 4th St., Ste. #173 — to chat about how she got her start as an eclectic accessory pioneer.

A woman sitting and smiling with a dog.

Peep the Chopped Heart necklace worn by Dimova.

Photo courtesy Vinca

An Austin native, Dimova said she has always been creative. Her parents owned a shoe factory and gave Dimova unlimited access to all the leather scraps she wanted to create leather jewelry.

Some of her first pieces featured leather vinca flowers (leftover from a custom shoe job), which is where her company got its name. In 2006, she began selling her pieces door-to-door to shops including Blue Elephant Boutique.

“I was like ‘Yay, I’m successful.’ I remember selling one thing and being over the moon,” Dimova told ATXtoday. “I got $25 or something one month.”

Eventually, Dimova invested in a laser cutter and stopped making leather goods altogether, in favor of her now-signature acrylic art, which she said people seemed to be more interested in.

ATX_VincaGrackle

Austinites will love Vinca’s grackle earrings — complete with sparkling red eyes.

Photo courtesy of Vinca

She continued making accessories while studying business at UT Austin, recruited her friends to model, and landed a partnership with now-defunct fab.com in 2011. Dimova, who was still running her business alone at the time, said she remembered getting 900+ orders at once and having two weeks to fulfill them all.

“I didn’t know how to pack boxes, I didn’t have a label printer,” Dimova said. “We were printing labels on a piece of paper and cutting it in half and (using) spray adhesive on the back to stick it to the boxes.”

dozens of boxes on a wooden floor surrounded by jewelry making supplies and labels.

Dimova said she continued to do monthly orders with fab.com after successfully fulfilling the originally 900.

Photo courtesy Amanda Dimova

More than a decade later, Vinca jewelry can be found in dozens of retailers in 26 states and counting. Dimova’s work has also been featured in magazines — like Nylon, Seventeen, and Tribeza — and adorning celebrities like Drew Barrymore and Emily V. Gordon.

Vinca’s knife hair clip and earrings have become some of the most popular designs, but Dimova said her personal favorites are the Chopped Heart Hoops, which are interactive.

“They’re really fun to wear — you get to show people how they stab and people get a kick out of it,” Dimova said.

She’s also proud of her officially licensed creations, like the Kit-Cat Klock® earrings, and has an upcoming collection with Emily the Strange.

City Editor Figi here — my favorite product from Vinca is the custom pet portrait. Simply send in a photo of your beloved friend and Dimova will design a one-of-a-kind set of earrings, brooch, or necklace to match.

Ready to shop? You can find Vinca jewelry at the studio, online, Blue Genie Art Bazaar’s May Market, or any of these local retailers.