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Valentina Juncaj: The Heart Behind Vajzë & Burrë’s Timeless Jewelry


In a candid and enriching interview with ATLANTIKU, Valentina Juncaj, a Montenegro-born Albanian-American from Detroit, shares the tapestry of her experiences that led to the founding of Vajzë, a brand that celebrates the dynamism of womanhood. The successful entrepreneur and designer at the helm of Vajzë draws inspiration from her dual heritage, crafting pieces that transcend mere fashion to become statements of strength and femininity.

The cultural richness of Valentina’s upbringing has deeply influenced her design philosophy. She explains, “My upbringing directly influenced my brand, designs, and aesthetic in creating VAJZE & BURRE. Being a young girl, I was inspired mostly by the women in my culture—they truly exemplified being multifaceted, showing they can be the caregiver, supporter, beautiful, and feminine.” Her words underscore a narrative familiar to many Albanian-American women, reflecting a vibrant heritage that harmonizes resilience with grace, characteristics that Valentina has woven into the fabric of her designs.

Vajzë‘s success lies in its universal appeal, achieved through meticulous design. Valentina shares, “When I design, I mostly design with versatility in mind—I want that piece of jewelry to be able to be worn casually or for an occasion, while also transcending trends.” Her approach has garnered admiration from women across the spectrum, from diverse cultures and generations, making her creations a mainstay in wardrobes that value timelessness over transience.

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Discussing the essence of her pieces, Valentina recounts, “I really love to make designs with strong angles and shapes so that they do finish with the most amazing shine in the process.” Each Vajzë piece narrates a story of its own, championing the ‘strong, sparkly, fierce, and feminine‘ ethos that is emblematic of Valentina’s vision.

The creation process of Vajzë‘s jewelry is a testament to the brand’s commitment to craftsmanship. Valentina elaborates, “Each part of the design and creation process is touched and inspected by a human hand.” From sketches to 3D-printed wax models to hand-poured casting, every piece is meticulously brought to life through a symphony of traditional and modern techniques.

Vajzë’s counterpart, Burrë, designed for men, echoes a similar respect for heritage. It embodies the fortitude and time-honored values seen in Albanian men. “The designs in BURRE are more refined, classic, stronger masculine shapes and metals,” Valentina describes, indicating a thoughtful and targeted approach to her men’s collection.

Valentina’s message to young Albanian-American women is as empowering as her designs. She encourages them to “step into who they are, using their culture, values, and uniqueness as a strength.” She believes that embracing one’s individuality contributes to the ‘high vibration of this world‘, an affirmation that resonates with her audience and clientele.

Valentina’s story and the ethos of Vajzë shine as beacons for the Albanian-American community, celebrating their dual identity with pride and elegance. Her dedication to craft, commitment to inclusivity, and her celebration of individuality not only reflect her personal narrative but also chart the course for aspiring designers and entrepreneurs within the diaspora. Vajzë, through its embodiment of the multifaceted nature of women, has not just created a brand but has also fostered a community that uplifts and resonates with the spirit of every woman who chooses to adorn herself with a piece of Valentina’s vision./Atlantiku

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