Midori Jewelry

What is your role at Midori?
I wear many hats!  I design all of the sample pieces.  My artisan gals will handcraft all the pieces for all the store & retail orders. I source all of the gemstones, pearls, shells & other unique finds that comprise our creations.  I work with wholesale buyers on collections that will suit their target customers in style, color & prices.  I also sell our jewels at different hotels, art shows & special retail events.  I do all of the finances -- bookkeeping, accounts payable & receivable, the taxes, renewals of licenses & insurance and all the "unglamorous" things that a business entails.  Most of our customers think I sit around and make jewelry all day.  In reality, I spend most of my time doing paperwork!  My most favorite part is creating new pieces & meeting our awesome customers.  I have hundreds of long-time customers that have been buying from me for over 15 years.  Without them, Midori wouldn't be where it is today!  The best part is getting emails, texts & pictures from them.  Normally it's during the winter when it's cold.  They will don a piece of Midori Jewelry Hawaii and feel the love and warmth that it's imbued with, and they are filled with sunshine and aloha...all from thousands of miles away.  It sounds so corny, but I love it!

Tell us about Midori's values:
Since I live on an island in the middle of the pacific ocean, I care very much about recycling and renewable resources.  About 90% of our metal findings & chains are made from recycled metal.  I also collect every single scrap of wire, every botched bezel ring, every misshaped bangle along with all our post-production metal "waste" to be recycled.  I use a lot of mother of pearl, which is a beautiful by-product of the pearl industry.  It's the scrapings of the inner lining of the oyster, and helps ensure that as much of the oyster is used as possible.

I donate a portion of our profits and do some volunteer work for dog rescue.  I cannot imagine this stressful world without the furry comforts of a dog throughout the day.  Tens of thousands of dogs are euthanized in kill shelters across the US.  Even typing that out breaks my heart!  In all honestly, when I retire from jewelry one day, my goal is to be able to open my own rescue and sanctuary.  

What is your favorite Midori product and why?
My favorite design is the Na Pali coast necklace.  I do a new colorway every year, and with each new season that comes and goes, the style also proves to be so popular and classic.  I have had customers send me pictures of them wearing the necklace to a wedding with an evening gown and then photos of them wearing the same necklace a few days later with a white t-shirt & jeans.  It's delicate enough to wear with an open-neck sundress, but substantial enough to wear over a crewneck sweater.  Women continue to reach for it and it has became a staple in their wardrobes!  That really is the highest compliment that we can receive -- when something we made, with intention in our hands and aloha in our hearts, becomes something precious that is appreciated time and time again!

Where are Midori products made?
My home studio is a ten-minute drive to kailua beach.  Yes, the same place President Obama vacations every winter. I have even witnessed the secret service sporting aloha shirts down the road from me, and I've seen the Obama family at a restaurant in town!  Every artisan who comes to create with me gets to see the wind blowing in the coconut trees and smell the salty ocean air right outside the studio window while they create.  There is no better place to be inspired to make beautiful jewelry than here!

Tell us something you’ve learned in your sustainable fashion journey that was a surprise to you:
I was surprised by how much people would support me, just by knowing how much I care about the environment.  From production, to printing, to packing; we always make sure that we re-use & recycle in EVERY way we can.  At first I thought people would think that I was a Hawaiian treehugger, but then, people started telling me how much they appreciated the extra steps I go through to re-use something.  So, if you ever get a piece of jewelry packed in a re-loved bag or box, please understand that every piece of waste that is saved from a landfill is a extra piece of joy for our planet!

Where is your favorite place to be and why?
My favorite place to be is curled up on the sofa with a new book (purchased from the local used bookstore) with my two dogs, the ocean breeze wafting in through the windows, my two boys eating late night snacks while watching a movie and my boyfriend giving me a foot rub.  It encapsulates everything that I have sacrificed to cultivate this beautiful life that I live.  When I started Midori Jewelry Hawaii, I just dropped out of law school.  My life took a complete 180 degree flip.  Now, I Know that I am exactly where I should be, and there is nothing more comforting than that!