Bespoke suits, customized cars, made-to-order furniture in a material world, we like our possessions to reflect our personalities. And Ayano Kimura wants to help. As chief designer and managing director of Bling My Thing (www.bling-my-thing.com), Kimura and her team specialize in customizing products with hand-painted Swarovski crystals. Based on the Japanese trend for adding a unique touch to personal items, decoration denwa or deco-den as it's known is catching on fast in Europe. That's mainly thanks to Kimura, whose Berlin-based company has been making stuff sparkle since 2005. "We can literally bling anything," she says.
For a starting price of around $475, you can have your cell phone or iPod covered in crystals of any color you choose. But it seems nothing is too small (pencils, sunglasses, power tools) or too big (motorbikes, cars) for the company to bling. Other firms can give your loot a similar look, but having secured exclusive endorsement and certification from Swarovski, Kimura's team developed their own superstrength glue and experimented with smaller crystals to get a smoother finish. That attention to detail has attracted the interest of big clients like Sony, Microsoft and Apple. The folks at Bling My Thing are fast becoming the go-to guys for limited-edition marketing products such as the Macbook Air Golden Age, which was released in March, and is covered in 12,000 crystals, each with its underside coated in 24-carat gold. "I'd like to make the world a more sparkly place," says Kimura.
The flashy Macbook retails for $40,000, but if that's out of your price range, you can always make your own with Bling My Thing DIY kits. For around $100, you get 450 crystals in a selection of colors, plus glue, application stick and instructions. So grab what you can, and get blinging.
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