Annette Lasala Spillane is a jewelry designer and founder of TARA jewelry, which stands for The Artisan Row Accessories. After years of working in finance, Spillane felt the urge to pursue a completely different venture. When she dreamt up TARA, she realized how much "throw-away" jewelry she had amassed, none of which she wanted to keep or could repurpose in any way. This desire to create beautifully-designed, ethically-made fine jewelry remains one of the core values of TARA. That's why Anette Lasala Spillane is included in this special edition of Bustle's Must Follow, in which we highlight the incredible Asian American and Pacific Islander voices you need to follow on Instagram and Twitter.
Briefly describe yourself in one line, including how you identify and what you do.
I am a Filipino fine jewelry designer and business owner.
What do you hope people take away from following you/your work in the industry and on social media?
I once worked in finance for over a decade as a licensed CPA working in a big global accounting firm and I made the biggest pivot of my life to start my fine jewelry brand. So, if there's anything to take away, I hope that they learn that it's never too late to create the life you want. On social media, I hope to impart a mindset of re-imagining the many uses of things we own and also to invest in pieces that have real value.
When did you first feel that you were a voice for the Asian American and Pacific Islander community?
When I began working as a manager at my last job and mentored young Asians starting out in their careers is the first time, I felt that my unique background and experience was valuable to others.
Who's another Asian American or Pacific Islander person you would recommend to follow on social media?
Tina Craig (@bagsnob) because she uses her platform to stand up for those in the fringes.
Follow Anette Lasala Spillane and TARA on Instagram, @ishoptara
This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.