It’s not every day we at Sparkle Plenty Designs chat with Prince, or a Prince, but even better is Matteo Rawas, also known in the world of everything bling as
PRINCE RAZZLE DAZZLE!
If you love sparkle, we know you’ll enjoy reading about him as much as we had fun asking him all about his awesome mega-sparkling life!
Matteo, please tell us about yourself and your bling business:
My name is Matteo Rawas, but everyone who knows me calls me Prince Razzle Dazzle because of my crystallization work. I am a regular 23 year old guy, but I still act like I’m 16. #youngatheart.
I am currently in my third year of Linguistics and Advanced Japanese at York University. I go to school two days a week and I spend the other 5 days of the week working full-time at Swarovski’s flagship location in Toronto. I love my job because I am surrounded by bling 8 hours a day and I get to add sparkle to people’s everyday lives. I love styling people and giving tips on how to wear jewelry differently. It’s fun working with Swarovski crystal and discovering the endless possibilities you can do with them.
Advanced Japanese? IMPRESSIVE! So, why not study fashion and design since your very creative?
I am very fashion forward. I loved fashion ever since I was a little boy. I loved going shopping for clothes with my mom. When I was little, most boys and girls my age were playing outside but I would be doing arts and crafts indoors, watching Fashion Television #iloveJeanneBeker and sketching designs. Since then, I have kept my interest in fashion strictly a hobby. I decided to study languages because I am very fond of the different cultures of the world, especially since I have been exposed to several different cultures whilst living in a diverse city. I was inspired to learn Japanese at the age of 14 because of manga comics and anime. In high school, I signed up for Japanese classes on the weekend in Grade 10, 11 and 12. After high school, I grew out of the anime stage, but I did not want to throw away what I learned and decided to continue studying it in University. I’m in my final year studying Japanese as my minor but you never know what the future holds; there is always time to learn new things.
What made you decide to do bling items?
When I first started working at Swarovski around 3 years ago, we used to sell packages of crystal tattoo stickers. One day, I bought a pack for fun and wondered what can I do with it. So I added a touch of sparkle to little things like my business cards and to “Thank You Cards” I wrote to clients. It was my little way of adding a touch of sparkle. I even crystallized my resume by adding a crystal border, crystal bullet points, and a crystal name. During an interview, the interviewer was very impressed and told me that it was the shiniest resume he had ever received. After that, I decided to start blinging sunglasses, then shoes, and then moved to blinging bigger things like the stem of my Pasotti Skull Cane, my Burberry leather bag, my iPad case, and lastly, my Beats by Dre Studio Earphones. Of course, you can expect more blinged items to come. But, one day, I really want crystallize my Fiat 500; I probably need to win the lottery for that.
Another reason why I decided to bling my own items is that it is much cheaper than buying things already crystallized. For example, I googled where I can buy crystallized Beats by Dre Earphones and I got crazy prices between $1200 – $2000. That is super expensive! It’s not like you can walk into Best Buy and buy them off the shelf. You have to order it online some coming from the UK or China and you have no idea how authentic the crystal is or how they will look like, if you can return it, if a crystal is missing. So I decided to do it myself which is much cheaper than the prices I found online. It only cost me $800, which is reasonable to me. Especially having something I made more resilient by adding Swarovski Crystal. Also, I will be my own warranty, if a crystal ever falls off I have plenty more to stick back on. I have to say these crystals stick on extremely well! I never had to re-glue anything and I go out clubbing with some of my crystallized pieces, that should tell you how durable the adhesive is on the crystals.
Your work is simply AWESOME! How long did the process take to bling the Beats by Dre and your iPhone 6 Case?
Once I start I can’t stop! Crystallizing my stuff is my addiction. I honestly don’t know where I find the time but I feel like something takes over me. I sit on my bed with tweezers peeling each crystal 1 by 1 and carefully setting it onto the piece. It took about 8 ½ packages to completely crystallize my headphones. That is roughly 3,400 crystals. I did it in two days, 11 hours total. My iPhone6+ case took me around 4 ½ packages, which is roughly 1,800 crystals. Crystallizing my case took me around 5 hours and by the end of the project, my right thumb and right index finger was killing me! I needed 2 days to recover, I couldn’t use my pencil to do my homework or even use my eating utensils properly.
Crystallizing is a pretty cool addiction! Do you listen to music while you work, or is it more of a meditation process?
I like to stay entertained. I have my laptop beside me on my bed playing Techno/House music when I crystallize my things. It keeps me focused and pumps adrenaline through my body and keeps me energized so I don’t fall asleep. You can hear the type of music I like to listen to in the background of the video. I also play my favorite comedy/action movies and watch them one after another; Mean Girls, The Hot Chick, Legally Blonde, White Chicks, Clueless and Kill Bill.
Kill Bill is a personal fave of ours! So, when people on the street see your bling, what is their usual (or any unusual) reactions?
A lot of people I see on the street point at me and say something to there friend. I have no idea what they are saying because I am listening to my music. But I can read lips pretty well most people say “Wow”, “Look at that”, “Ohh cool!” Today, Jan 7th, 2015 was actually my first day wearing my Beats by Dre. I had a lot of people tap me on the shoulder while sitting on the subway on my way to work asking me questions like “Where did you buy your Beats?”, “Did you make that?”, “How many crystals is on your beats?” “Is that rhinestones?” etc. I like attention and I am a very social-able person, and I don’t mind people asking me questions I feel happy sharing my work and talking about the process of crystallizing my stuff to others. I have not had unusual encounters with anyone yet, everyone I meet seems to be just curious and friendly
Where can you purchase these genuine Swarovski crystals?
At Sparkle Plenty Designs of course!