When we first laid eyes on Misa Jewelry it was love at first sight. There’s just something special about it. Maybe it’s the nature inspired theme or perhaps that each piece is hand made, either way, the line has a very organic feel. From the earrings that look like branches to the coral inspired rings, you can make a statement wearing one piece alone, or piling it for an earthy look with some edge. We recently met with Misa Hamamoto, the creative brains behind the brand, to get you the inside scoop.
Tell us how you got started?
I grew up in Hawaii and in high school I took a metal class but during and after college I didn’t really do anything with the art background. After college I immediately went into finance, so it was completely far away from the creative. While I was in finance, I was bored out of my mind with the routine. I didn’t hate my job, I worked with the best people, but there was no creative outlet. So I started taking night sculpting classes. Everything came back to me from my high school years with the metal class and I merged the sculpting class together and then just formed this line on the side. Whenever I am wearing the jewelry, people want to buy it. It started off from that. A store owner had seen a girl wearing a piece and wanted to buy a big order of it, so it kind of launched from there.
All over Southern California. My biggest markets are California, Abbot Kinney, Hawaii does really well, and a lot of beachy earthy brides love it too so they’ll wear it on their wedding day, which is a very nice thing.
I started 4 years ago. A long time coming from when I use to make the jewelry in my dining room table to now having a studio in downtown.
The Journey oval ring in silver and gold. They both equally sell very well, and they’re always pulled by not just stylists, but celebrities, too.
How often do you design a new collection?
I do twice a year. I hand sculpt each design so it’s not like I have people designing for me. I do it all myself.
So then every piece is unique?
I have a team that helps me with the manufacturing, but even when I make a mold out of the design after I’ve sculpted it, it’s still not perfect so I have to perfect each one that comes out. Each piece gets individually molded so everything is slightly different. They are all very unique and handmade in LA.
How many total pieces do you have?
Oh my goodness I have no idea (laughing). I would say about 70-80 pieces or more.
What is next for Misa Jewelry?
I have a big upcoming trade show in Vegas at the end of the month so hopefully the buyers and editors will come for that. At the same time still trying to come up with new ideas, and I’m always inspired by different elements of nature. I’m always looking around whenever I travel.
Do you make special orders or custom pieces?
Absolutely. I actually make a lot of custom wedding bands and engagement rings because a lot of people want that unique original piece, the organic sculpted look. A lot of people give me their hand me down jewelry from their grandparents, and take out the diamond since the settings are a little outdated and I’ll make something that we both fit together. I can put as many diamonds as the client wants or color diamonds, sapphires, anything. It’s fun and they have fun making it, too.
Do you have any advice for women who are trying to break into the business?
Make a product that you truly love and you would wear yourself. Every time I make something new before I even put it out there on my website or line sheets, I always make sure I give it the test run and if I like it, then I’ll put it out. That’s the bonus of me designing it because I can see what’s comfortable and what works. There are some pieces that I don’t put out at all.
Anything else you’d like to add or would want our readers to know?
I put so much time and love into it. You see a lot of jewelry designers who are coming up and have common designs. But you want something unique, especially when you put so much money into it and especially in this market. This is why I sculpt everything myself. Everything is special and proud and made with love.
For information head to their website Misa Jewelry