To say that Tati Brailova went through the wringer while launching and scaling demi-fine jewelry brand POCHÉ with Co-founder Nadya Syomik would be an understatement. From COVID complications to fleeing war-torn Ukraine, she had to pivot more than most entrepreneurs—but kept her goals and values in mind to not only stay afloat, but grow and learn in the process. Learn more about her story, brand, and self-care tips below.
What makes POCHÉ appealing to people of all genders, cultures, and backgrounds?
We support all people in being themselves – whatever that looks like, whoever they are. POCHE is a judgement-free, diversity-forward, inclusive brand that is open to all. You do you, we are just along for the ride. I think people feel that.
What does POCHÉ do to stay vegan and sustainable, and why are these aspects so important to your brand identity?
POCHE believes jewellery should make a statement about your values. We want our products to have an impact on vibes, not our environment. That is why we are improving our sustainability across production, packaging and the pieces themselves. We are committed to being fully transparent in the interim.
Our packaging uses cardboard boxes that are recyclable, and we are transitioning towards FSC-certified paper to eliminate the deforestation of ancient and endangered forests as well as integrate more recycled content.
We are a vegan company, with our jewellery pouches made from a cruelty-free alternative to animal leather. This does not contribute to the 14.5% of greenhouse gas emissions associated with animal agriculture, as estimated by the FAO. We are exploring natural alternatives to our pouches to avoid using virgin plastics.
What was the biggest challenge getting your brand off the ground?
Well I think this is what we are going through now. As a brand we are on the journey to establish stronger brand identity and connect with an audience in meaningful ways in Europe, UK and US. It’s not easy to be an independent company without having huge capital and trying to grow in the most competitive cities in the world where modern consumers have access to an unprecedented amount of choices.
How did you pivot strategies once COVID hit, followed by the war in Ukraine?
We launched our brand almost at the beginning of Covid, things were pretty tricky, but we were so obsessed with what we were creating that even Covid wasn’t able to stop us. In fact we learned along the way.
Russian invasion in Ukraine was much more difficult as we had to run from bombing in Kyiv, leave everything we built, relocate to new places and start over not only our business but our lives from scratch.
Frankly speaking we were oriented towards Europe and the US from the beginning of our business, but doing it at your pace from a safe hometown and being thrown into a new reality feels very different. Despite the horrible obstacles and challenges that we are facing and embracing we feel very grateful to have an opportunity to grow the brand in a conscious and responsible environment.
To what do you credit POCHÉ’s successes in such a short amount of time?
I believe that our mutual devotion, clear vision, strong background, sensitive intuition, quick learning, deep inspiration by what we create and strong belief in our brand. We are driven, ambitious people inspired by creativity. We speak with purpose and passion about the things we feel strongly about, whether it be our designs, craftsmanship, community or sustainability.
What is your best piece of advice for budding female entrepreneurs who are nervous to take a big leap, or are facing major obstacles in their work?
I think one of the most important things is to be honest with yourself about what do you really enjoy doing or creating. To be driven to keep learning, to meet people and you should own your decision and own who you are but without apology. Being a leader takes a lot of strength and courage, things you choose to do have to be something extremely valuable and important to you.
What are your skincare and self-care non-negotiables?
Sleep is one thing I can’t deprive myself of. I need to sleep a certain amount of hours and walk a lot in the fresh air, even though I live in London and it rains a lot, I would still go for a walk as part of my mental self-care.
Doctor’s Scrub from Goldfaden MD became my absolute must exfoliator, I just love the feeling of fresh and radiant skin.
I use for ages P50 Lotion from Biologique Recherge, it includes a high concentration of acids, the chemical exfoliation works to regenerate and maintain skin pH.
I’m also absolutely in love with Lip Therapy from Goldfaden MD. It instantly hydrates and plump lips!
Skincare routine really helps me to reduce stress and feel more connected to myself.
POCHE was founded in Ukraine in 2019 by Tati Brailova and Nadya Syomik. Much like the confident pieces they create, they celebrate their story’s unconventionality — two friends turned forever soulmates from opposite professional backgrounds, who launched a luxury jewellery line months before a global pandemic. Then a war.
It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t supposed to work. But it did.
Tati studied luxury fashion branding in London, going on to work at industry leaders like VAARA sportswear brand, Roja Dove and David Morris Jewelry, while Nadya managed global teams in the worlds of business and data science. While successful in their ambitions, both knew they wanted to live their lives on their own terms. This passion and energy ignited a creative spark around their shared love for jewellery.
Tired of the millennial minimalism that has homogenised mainstream style, Tati and Nadya became obsessed with the powerful ways a small piece of metal can have a massive impact on a person’s mood. Realising their opposite skill sets in branding and business were actually complementary, they used the resources available and took action. POCHE was born.
By embracing their differences instead of apologising for them, Tati and Nadya have realised a brand that speaks to a global community of creators, change-makers and fellow action-takers who define themselves by their differences. And want to make a difference in this world.
That is why POCHE is an entirely vegan brand, with sustainable and circular ambitions. Jewellery should impact style, not the planet.
POCHE pieces are designed to provoke thought and attract attention. Each mindfully enhances the style, personality and vibe of their wearers through playful combinations of colour and shape. Never subtle, always with a strong point of view. Just like their wearers, they are not for everybody — and that is what makes them exceptional.
Today the POCHE community is growing, from Dua Lipa to Joey King & Jasmine Savoy Brown. Some live in the east, others in the west; many are women, others are men. All are driven. They are the visionaries, artists, thinkers, innovators and boundary-breakers who are not just part of the conversation, but are starting it.
Join them. Join us. Be POCHE.