Interview with Mikhail Budagashvili, owner of Qarisma, by the company NiMi-Art at the jewelry exhibition Junwex in Moscow (September 2016)
1. Could you please introduce yourself and tell us a little about you.
My name is Mikhail Budagashwili. I was born and raised in Georgia. After graduating from university with honors, I started working as a mechanical engineer. I have never changed my line of profession in 33 years but I've changed four countries of residence so far.
2. It would be interesting to know what inspired you to create Qarisma.
I've been in love with art since I was young, so when I saw Minanqari items, I fell in love with them at once. It was love at first sight! I can still look at them for hours enjoying their ethereal beauty. And the brand name Qarisma is a combination of two words, Minanqari and charisma.
3. Like all famous brands, Qarisma has its own history – how did it all start?
As a creative person, I immediately felt like doing these fascinating things myself. So, three years ago I and my wife registered our own brand in Switzerland, bought a house in Tbilisi, as well as all required tools and equipment, and hired talented masters.
4. Please tell us a little about your production process and methods you use to ensure such amazing quality.
I've been working with the Swiss for 27 years, which makes me a perfectionist in everything I do. There are a lot of talented artists and craftsmen in Georgia but the quality is really poor. We decided to organize our production process the Swiss way. This is why it is no wonder that we have the Swiss order and discipline. All our operations are subject to strict quality control. All creative and production processes are documented and regulated. Every sketch and every element have their own individual number.
Our masters are free to create what they want. And this is very important because art requires creative freedom. However, our masters also use the work of our other designers, if necessary. Our team of 20 people make beautiful items of the highest quality bringing joy to their happy owners for their entire life.
5. How many pieces of jewelry are there in your personal jewel box? Do you wear your jewelry brand only?
I don't wear jewelry because our men's accessories are not ready yet, but my wife owns very many Qarisma items, which she enjoys wearing: they attract attention of both men and women.
6. What would you like to say or advise to those masters who are new to Minanqari?
Minanqari is industrial jewelry art and not artisan production of imitation jewelry! It's a great disappointment that many masters in Georgia create beautiful but cheap Minanqari items of the lowest quality. I am terribly ashamed of the fact that Georgian amateur craftsmen flood not only Georgia, but also many other countries with their cheap and low-quality Minanqari products. These low-quality products will soon disappoint buyers who will turn their back upon Minanqari forever. No one has the moral authority to discredit this ancient and beautiful art. So, newcomers and seasoned masters should remember that they do not simply sell jewelry but present the Georgian art.
7. In conclusion, what are your plans for the future?
To me, the future of the Minanqari art looks rosy. Minanqari is the pride of Georgia, the centuries-old traditions of the finest jewelry work. I do hope that in addition to Qarisma and a couple of other brands, a lot of new and strong brands will soon appear in Georgia offering high-quality beautiful products made by hot cloisonné enamel method. We need strong competition and strong brands; only then the art of Minanqari will be appreciated and marketed all over the world.