Canadian jewelry brand Mejuri is shaking up the status quo

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The Canadian jewelry company has been called a disruptor in the jewelry industry.

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When the Toronto-based brand Mejuri set up a temporary pop-up store in Vancouver in March, the wait to enter the store was long. As in, hours.

Located at 4386 Main Street in the Small mountain shop space, the week-long pop-up offered a curated selection of the brand’s fine and semi-fine jewelry that customers could try on, touch, and layer. Salespeople, iPads in hand, were then available to place orders, with next-day shipping to customers’ doorsteps, of course.

It was the first opportunity for Vancouver shoppers to see and feel the pieces in person offline, as an online direct-to-consumer channel at Mejuri.com is its main commercial channel. Unless, of course, they’ve already visited the company’s existing showrooms in Toronto and New York. And, judging by the unwavering dedication of those willing to line up to visit the store – more than 500 people signed up to get their ears pierced during the pop-up period alone – many had it. done in advance.

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From the clean, minimalist-chic decor of the space to the ease of exploring (and ordering) the products, the pop-up shop seemed perfectly in tune with the young Canadian brand that has been labeled a disruptor in the realm of high. jewelry. .

“We wanted to create a brand where women can buy fine jewelry for themselves – a brand that connects with women not only through products but also through values, aesthetics and experience,” Noura Sakkijha, co-founder of Mejuri, explains her philosophy.

“It’s modern, sleek, versatile, minimalist, with a touch of fun. Meaningful but never cheesy – designed to be worn every day and with any outfit. Our creations are all handmade and made with precious and ethical materials, in a very delicate and subtle way”, comments Justine Lançon, artistic director of the brand, about the pretty pieces.

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Four years ago, Sakkijha had the idea of ​​creating a company offering refined, chic and accessible jewelry creations. Realizing that more women were buying their own pieces rather than waiting for the items to be offered, she decided it was time to embrace her family tradition of working in the jewelry business (she is the third generation to do so). ) and provide consumers with what she felt they really wanted.

“I’ve always been exposed to the ins and outs of the industry – from design, to production, to retail – and that’s when my passion for jewelry began. Well that I love every aspect of it, as a Millennial I thought the industry was too traditional for our generation,” she says. “Traditional jewelry brands talk to men about buying for women, collections are barely changed throughout the year and there’s this huge assumption that jewelry is a purchase that requires an occasion.”

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Mejuri co-founder Noura Sakkijha (left) and creative director Justine Lançon. Photo by Tyler Hayward /Document/Mejuri

Sakkijha’s response to this slow-moving, male-focused monolith was to imagine a company offering timeless pieces, such as thin stackable rings, pearl earrings and “everyday diamonds”, with quality materials and construction, while being significantly cheaper than others. bricks and mortar jewelry deals. And, with new designs available every week.

“We are vertically integrated and this gives us the power to rethink the design and production processes. We also use technology and 3D printing in our prototyping and production processes, which helps us shorten the path from design to production,” Sakkijha says of the incredibly fast three-week turnaround time from design to production. the production.

Every Monday, a new collection of pieces is offered to consumers, many of which sell out within hours.

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“When we first decided to do the Monday editions, we were really worried about the pressure that would come with it. But, in reality, we like that pace,” says Lançon. “Faster doesn’t mean less thoughtful or intentional – we only introduce a few pieces each Monday, unlike traditional brands that introduce dozens at once. Having continuous declines means we’re always designing for the actual season we’re in, as opposed to the next 18 months. And we can continue to be creative, agile and iterative.

The constant “drops” – a term that has been popularized by streetwear brands such as Supreme, which are known for their limited collections that land in stores surrounded by hype and backed by huge lineups – don’t not only served to boost the buzz around Mejuri, but also to build its loyal online shopping community.

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“They know we take their feedback seriously and in real time. We used the see now, buy now format that many traditional couture designers are now turning to,” says Lançon.

Mejuri recently launched a collection of pearl pieces featuring delicate chain necklaces with a striking baroque pearl and delicate hoop earrings adorned with a milky white orb. Teased with the help of a few key Canadian influencers, the collection sold out immediately. The popularity of pearl pieces, according to Lançon, came as no surprise.

“Our pieces are still worn and tested by our team, and they loved that particular drop…Every design we create is inspired by the fun, real, smart, and conscious women around us. Sometimes we are surprised by certain pieces that resonate with customers, but not in this case,” she says. “When we first shared the designs there was electric excitement in the air – and now there are over 5,000 people on waiting lists for them.”

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It’s this excitement around the brand – from consumers, publishers, influencers and others – that has increasingly spotlighted Mejuri. While many other historic jewelry brands struggle to connect with the elusive millennial demographic, the Toronto-based brand just seems to be getting it right.

We create stories and experiences around our pieces; and most importantly, a genuine relationship with our community,” Lançon said.

And the Canadian fashion industry has certainly taken notice.

The company is nominated in two categories at the Canadian Arts and Fashion Awardsaccessories designer of the year award and The Joe Fresh Fashion Innovation Award. The event, which takes place May 30 in Toronto, sees the industry’s top designers, designers and creatives honored for their excellence in fashion, beauty, photography and more.

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“We are honored,” Sakkijha said of the two nominations. “Justine, (my husband) Majed and I are all first generation Canadians and very proud to be part of a diverse group of designers and businesses that are evolving and innovating here in Canada.

While the company is still in its formative years, when it had the opportunity to consider whether it would have done something different or not, Sakkijha was quick to reply that she wouldn’t have changed anything.

“I believe the company and I have walked the path we were supposed to take to get to where we are today, so I wouldn’t change the journey, even though there were some tough times,” says -she. “It’s all part of it. »

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