Last week, I was scanning my jewelry box and came across a pair of handmade wire earrings that I bought from Osaka, Japan, a few years ago. They are timeless and I receive innumerable compliments each time I wear them. These earrings evoke such beautiful memories of that trip that, over the years, they have become more precious to me than any picture in my phone, shot glass on my bar shelf or magnet on my fridge.
We all draw inspiration from different aspects of our lives. While some of us are influenced by people, be it a family member, a celebrity or a historic figure, most of us find inspiration in experiences and the things around us. In my case, it is a combination of both - people who have deeply impacted my life and events that have motivated me in their own ways. And it is my inspiration from those experiences that formed the core of Michezo.
The experience, which has shaped my inspiration for my jewelry, lies in my tales of travel across the globe. Travel is the essence of my life, it's my way of connecting with nature, meeting new people, learning about life, being adventurous or just escaping reality to unwind. And I miss doing that so much right now. Just the thought brings to mind reminiscences of past trips and canceled plans for this summer but more than anything, the hope to resume that journey as soon as the world settles down again. After all, that bucket list has so many things that I still need to check off!
Every time I travel to a new city, I am amazed at how each part of the world is so distinct, wholly defined by its people, cultures, traditions, heritage and local activities. My travels have left me with innumerable memories that will forever be etched in my heart. Whether it was marveling at the architecture of Sacre Coeur in Paris, dressing up as a geisha in Kyoto, squealing with joy surrounded by the giraffes in Kruger National Park or being hypnotized by the live jazz on the streets of New Orleans, there have always been little things and moments that have stuck with me. They are tiny pieces of a larger puzzle that I always hoped to put together since I was a little girl.
Initially, after each trip, I would wonder about the best way to keep those moments alive – a travel journal, a photo book or a memorabilia showcase but somehow nothing seemed to do enough justice till it struck me to turn them into wearable pieces of art. Holding my favorite earrings from Japan one day, I realized that if a piece of jewelry could remind me of my trips, I could convert all my travel memories into jewelry! So, I sat down and began working on my very first piece – the Wheels earrings – inspired by the London Eye from my very first independent trip to the UK. And that’s where my ‘idea of this vague product’ came from.
When I started Michezo, my aim was to have jewelry for everyone. And when I say everyone I mean everyone - people from different backgrounds, cultures and walks of life all having diverse preferences. So, converting my travel experiences into jewelry seemed like the best way forward. I knew that if I was attracted to certain things, there must be other people who felt the same way. Of those some who would connect with my love for nature while others who would relate to the cultural characteristics I wanted to highlight in my pieces.
And fortunately, it worked out perfectly for me. It’s been about a year now and I have had people come up to me often and express how they relate to the different designs I have to offer. I’ve had Europeans adore the Art Deco Fans & Crescents and Canadians who couldn’t leave without getting the Falling Maple pendant. Pet parents who wanted customized Kitty Cat pendants and giraffe fans who loved my take on the twilight Savannah Grazers earrings. My customers attach significant emotional value to my designs and it fills me with so much joy. I love the fact that, through Michezo’s jewelry, people can narrate a story, relive an experience or gift a memory.