“I don’t think I have any opinions about a piece of jewelry that everyone should own. I do however believe in quality over quantity”
This week, award winning jeweller, Mimaya Dale takes us through the process of discovering her true passion and her amazing journey as a business owner.
When you were studying to be a gemologist, were you planning to own your own jewelry business? What was your career plan and did it change once you graduated?
When I was studying to be a gemologist I had a vague vision of starting a jewelry brand. My passion for jewelry started after graduating from Simon Fraser University a long time ago. I thought psychology was my passion when I was at university, it turned out it wasn’t. One day I was looking for jewelry to buy and I just could not find anything that I liked. It was my mother who said to me” why don’t you make your own jewelry?” and I thought to myself, “well that sounds like fun”. So I directed myself to study goldsmithing shortly after that. I have always been artistic but I never thought I could be a designer. My family on the contrary thought I was born to be a designer. Sometimes your family can see your potential, and gradually I started to realize my talent and passion, and I was able to come this far. I do think all the studies I have done in the past have definitely helped me. Studying psychology, piano, goldsmithing, and gemology have all added up and mixed up with my experience and interests that all came together.
What is your creative process for coming up with jewelry designs? How many designs do you come up with, and how many make the final cut?
I have design sketchbooks that I have been using since probably about 10 years ago. I still go through the books to get inspiration from time to time. Designing is like a puzzle. Sometimes a design comes close to perfection but will not quite be finished because it just does not feel right. I just leave a design like that and I will come back to it after some time. Sometimes that is how my designs make the final cut. There are many designs that have not come to life yet but I am sure they will one day with more experiences and inspirations.
What do you love about Victoria? Would you live anywhere else?
I have lived in many countries in the past including the USA, Italy, Australia, Japan, and South Korea. My husband is a touring pilot and he can live anywhere in the world. So we have been fortunate enough to travel and live all around the world. We are so lucky we found our magic spot on Vancouver Island. We are less than 1 hour away from Victoria. Where we are is perfect for us. We have two boys and we are surrounded by the west coast nature. I feel very relaxed where we live and I get very good inspiration to design. For now, I think we will stay here.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love exercising, cleaning the house, playing piano, hiking and walking along beaches, watching funny movies, talking to friends, but on the back of my brain I always think about my brand/ designs no matter what I do, I think I am a workaholic.
Where does your biggest inspiration come from?
My biggest inspirations come from Japanese culture and art which have symbolic meanings.
What do you miss most about Japan?
I miss Japan terribly. The culture and art are the main things that I miss the most. I wish could go to Kyoto tomorrow, I wish I could live there.
What is a piece of jewelry that everyone should own?
I don’t think I have any opinions about a piece of jewelry that everyone should own. I do however believe in quality over quantity!
How did you react being on Vanity Fair UK and British Vogue?
It was a great pleasure being on Vanity Fair and Vogue UK. When I first started my business one year ago, I was wondering how people get on those magazines! So I guess it was one of my dreams come true.
What’s a classic in your line of jewelry?
My Ohgi ring which I won an International Gold Design Award with.