Trisha Okubo on engineering her inclusive jewelry brand – JCK

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Growing up, Trisha Okubo had an incredible role model: Her mother was one of the pioneering female engineers in the 1970s in California’s Silicon Valley, and the family lived down the street from tech giants like Apple.

Location and talent led Okubo to Stanford University, where she studied industrial engineering and earned her bachelor of science and master’s degrees. His first real job was in the media, working in the digital arm of the country’s second-largest newspaper chain. This is where Okubo says she discovered the power of community: blogs and forums gave people a place for dialogue and feedback.

Fast forward a decade, and Okubo longed to use everything she had learned from the world of technology in a new way. She loved photography and fashion.

“I could really feel that glass ceiling,” Okubo says. “I could feel that my aspirations were bigger than the career paths available to me, and I thought, ‘Why waste energy fighting the system when I could create a whole new world somewhere else? ?’ ”

Maison Miru earrings
Maison Miru makes kits with a wardrobe of earrings as well as individual pieces so the wearer can create any look that matches their personal style, says founder and designer Trisha Okubo.

This world has become Miru House, Okubo’s New York-based jewelry company, of which she is the founder and creative director. The direct-to-consumer brand resembles a Silicon Valley startup in some ways, says Okubo, but it also sought to follow its own happiness to find something that blended its personality and artistic vision into one.

Maison Miru is known for its signature nap earrings (a “poke-free” flat back earring style that you can wear all day and night) and piercing earrings, designed to allow the wearer to create a unique style in hoops, cuddles, earrings, and unexpected shapes. The brand also specializes in nose rings, non-piercing earrings, rings, bracelets and necklaces.

Miru is the Japanese word ‘see.’ We want you to open your eyes and reimagine the world,” says Okubo. “Our jewelry gives you the pleasure of creating. It’s a jewelry system that you can endlessly remix and reimagine, and I design for kindred and creative souls.

One of his favorite pieces reflects precisely this idea.

Maison Miru Necklaces
Okubo’s jewelry is unisex designs that can be easily layered. From left to right : Rebel necklace ($90), Explorer necklace ($110) and the rebel bracelet ($70).

“Items that serve more than one function make my heart race. It might be the utopian California girl in me, but I don’t like waste and I like things that are duplicative,” says Okubo. “That’s what inspired our signature infinity necklacethat you can wear a dozen ways out of the box and endlessly expand with our other chains.”

As an engineer, Okubo says she is drawn to sculpture and architecture. Translating that into jewelry made sense to her, because the industry is all about creating something with your own hands that is wearable art. More importantly, anyone can wear it and feel…anything they want to feel, says Okubo. Its goal is to provide the beautiful tools for self-expression.

“What I love about jewelry is that you don’t have to have a sample size to wear it. I’m definitely not! You don’t have to have a sample size. look or be a certain person,” says Okubo. “Jewelry loves you for who you are. That’s why I create jewelry for everyone, regardless of gender, age, or build. personal.

Okubo says launching her own brand was risky, but she cherishes it.

“Startups are full of possibilities, that’s what has always attracted me. I have adopted and adapted the startup spirit to Miru House. We believe no idea is too crazy, we are action-oriented and ok with figuring it out as we go,” says Okubo.

The company’s mantra reflects this: Maison Miru is truly for dreamers, thinkers and creators.

“Unlike a traditional startup, however, we believe in creating a work environment that celebrates you as a whole. Each of us has passion projects in the office, and we try to keep work at work, so that we let’s each have the time and space to recharge in our personal time,” says Okubo.

Top: Trisha Okubo says she sees her jewelry brand Maison Miru as a mix of a Japanese company and a Silicon Valley startup in that she hopes to build a long-term culture that uses innovative thinking (photos courtesy of Maison Miru).

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