The Voices of our Community: CHOFA
We had the pleasure of catching up with Sofia Pagano, the founder of CHOFA, an exquisite acrylic jewelry line, and the lucky winner of our Bazaar vendor raffle.May 19, 2023 · 4 Minute Read
In this exclusive interview, Sofia takes us on a captivating journey through her passion for jewelry making and the childhood dream that inspired it all.
What inspires the captivating designs of your acrylic jewelry pieces?
Growing up surrounded by sailing adventures, my parents’ travels became a profound influence on my designs. I have fond memories of playing with ropes and crafting knot bracelets and necklaces while sailing, which inspired the unique aesthetic of my jewelry.
How do you source the materials for your jewelry-making process?
I started working with acrylic because I love its transparency and the mesmerizing play of light it offers. I source acrylic vendors based out of the USA and always search for new colors and innovative ways to incorporate recycled and reusable materials into my designs.
How do you ensure the quality of your handmade jewelry pieces?
As the sole creator behind CHOFA, I meticulously craft each piece myself, ensuring the highest standard of quality. Every detail is carefully checked, and it’s important to note that any slight irregularities or variations are embraced as part of the jewelry’s unique charm.
Can you share any upcoming projects or collaborations that CHOFA is currently working on?
Last week, I showcased my collection at the renowned Museum of Art and Design (MAD) in NYC, a project I have been working on for months. I am humbled by the huge success it was. I’m also looking forward to an upcoming pop-up event I’m working on in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which is special to me because that’s where I was born. The idea in Buenos Aires is to bring statement pieces in various colors and introduce summer pieces for 2024 in Latam. Alex Vargas, a friend from Guayaquil, Ecuador has been pushing my brand in South America working with influencers and various editorial campaigns. Lastly, I’m eagerly anticipating the next Mana Fashion Bazaar in November. It was an excellent opportunity to expose my brand to hundreds of ethical shoppers.
How has CHOFA evolved since its inception, and what has been the most significant challenge for the brand? How can our community support you in overcoming challenges?
CHOFA is ever-evolving, driven by my passion for creating new designs and collaborating with clients to create custom pieces. The pandemic presented a significant challenge as I had to transition from selling in stores to focusing solely on online direct-to-consumer sales. The Mana Fashion community can help support me by visiting my booth at the upcoming bazaar, sharing their love on social media, and if you can make a special purchase – do it! 🙂
Can you tell readers about any sustainable practices or initiatives CHOFA has implemented in its production and packaging processes?
Being innovative and timeless also means keeping an eye on the future. Our packaging has been thoughtfully designed to be more sustainable. Additionally, our “Seaglass” collection is crafted from 100% recycled materials and reusable acrylic, available in beautiful colors like purple and sea glass, reminiscent of the beach’s treasures.
Sofia Pagano’s journey with CHOFA reflects a true dedication to creativity and sustainability. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore her captivating jewelry collection and join the movement towards ethically crafted accessories this November at Mana Fashion’s Pop Up Bazaar event in Wynwood! Stay connected with us for the latest updates on events.
How does CHOFA ensure that its jewelry production is ethical and responsible?
I make everything myself, I sometimes need to laser cut a few pieces which is done ethically in the USA. I don’t have huge teams of people to manage the sourcing and production process. Therefore, being an “artist” is in a way part of the “slow fashion” responsible process.
Can you describe CHOFA’s approach to pricing its handmade jewelry pieces? How does the brand balance affordability with its products’ unique and high-quality nature?
The idea for CHOFA is to design statement pieces at an affordable price. I want people to have fun with the jewelry, to own several pieces in various colors, and not worry about high price tags. Being the one who manufactures the line I can be very reasonable with the markups.
How does CHOFA engage with its customers and build a community around its brand?
I’m active at Bazaars, Pop-up events, and Exhibitions in Miami, New York, and Buenos Aires. I love to meet and see my clients in person, see them trying on the jewelry, and guide them through the entire process. I especially really enjoyed the MANA Fashion Bazaar that was held in March. It was very well organized!
Please share with the audience how they can learn more about CHOFA the brand.
Unfortunately, my website is down at the moment. However, you can follow me on Instagram @chofajewelry where you will find all of the CHOFA collections. Feel free to DM, I am very active on this platform.