Mike Joseph Jewelry, is a name synonymous with femininity, creativity and timelessness. Two brothers, Mike and Joseph, born to a family of Armenian jewellers got together to create their eponymous label that grew exponentially. Their clientele now cover both ends of the world. Visit Stone Fine Jewelry to get a taste of the Mike Joseph experience. Read below for CIIN’s exclusive interview with Mike Saatji the creative brains behind Mike Joseph Jewelry.
1 || Armenia is such a culturally and historically rich place; did it have any influence on your designs?
I believe culture to be a very complicated thing; there is no doubt that it is deeply rooted in our beliefs and values and how we do things, but I try to create my jewellery based on a more global perspective. I create my pieces with today’s woman in mind; how she carries herself and how she influences others.
2 || Tell us a little about your apprenticeships and who had the most influence on you.
I literally grew up at a family jewelry store. I began learning the business from the bottom up as they say. I went from sweeping the atelier floors and cleaning the glass showcases to working on the bench and setting stones, to eventually starting my own manufacturing company. It’s hard to pinpoint one person who influenced me since I met and worked with great master jewelers, every one of them left a positive mark on me and I’m eternally grateful for each and every one of them.
3 || The jewelry market is such a competitive place, how were you able to set your brand apart in such a fast-paced environment?
I simply design what I love and steer clear of any obvious trends. Going against the norm has its challenges, but I want Mike Joseph to set trends not follow them. From the very beginning I made a conscious decision to create jewelry that reflects my personal lifestyle. I love fluidity, easy movement, and flexibility.
4 || Working with your brother Joseph must have its pros and cons what can you tell us about that.
Growing up we were blessed with a very loving household and environment. My brother Joseph knows me best; knows my strengths and my weaknesses, and shares the same values as me. We are practically two different personas sharing the same vision; he has the engineering mindset and he makes things happen. He is someone I truly trust and who has my best interests at heart. He might be reading this article so won’t go into any cons:) Joking of course:)
5 || What did winning first place at the “Gold Jewelry Below $20,000” at the Couture Design Awards mean for Mike?
It was a validation and a great honor to win the prize the first year I participated at couture. It got us the attention every new brand hopes for and gave us a major incentive to continue doing what we do best.
6 || You create jewelry that is both powerful and subtle, how do you create that balance?
The key is to let our jewelry portray our creativity, our concepts and beliefs, as well as our emotions. We invest time and energy in creating mechanisms that make the pieces comfortable to wear and easy to move around with. And I only use diamonds, as I’m fascinated by their purity and power.
7 || How does fashion and art play into your designs?
I try to create timeless jewelry that is both fashionable yet very contemporary. Art and architectural structures are always my main references. The problem-solving and engineering aspects involved in creating jewelry pieces are challenging yet very rewarding and are another integral part of the design process.
8 || You have a unique sense of style, what else can you tell us about Mike the person? Tell us one thing about you that might shock us!
While I follow the fashion industry religiously; my closet mainly consists of two or three brands.
I lead a very healthy lifestyle and I believe the mind body balance is the key for success. I love my routine; I practice yoga and meditate daily. I am not sure if this is shocking or not but I go to bed at 9:00 PM and wake up at 4:00 AM every day!
9 || A typical question, but where do you see your label in five years?
I believe in living in the moment. I do not believe in setting goals as there are no guarantees in life! I have a vision and my drive which is why I wake up every morning and give 110%. I hope I will be wiser and more mature in five years and I believe that what’s considered a priority today might not be even relevant 5 years from now.
10 || What advice can you give the ladies about purchasing and caring for their jewelry?
Invest in jewelry that you know you will wear everyday instead of buying pieces that will be worn occasionally and stores in a safe. Always make sure to store your diamond jewelry separate from the rest of your pieces, as diamonds will scratch the metals and other gems.
11 || You design for the strong, successful, unconventional woman, tell us who inspires Mike?
Everyday women around me! Women today are more involved in everyday family and business life than ever! They are strong, independent, creative, and experts on multitasking and raising a family while climbing the corporate ladders.
12 || How does the Middle Eastern market play into your plans for expansion?
The Middle East is a brand new market for us, but looks very promising. The women are very stylish, impeccably dressed and love to stand out. We are very excited with all the positive feedback we are receiving.