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meet the designer... Misa Hamamoto


Misa's journey into the industry is one of risk, passion, and inspiration. she was first introduced to jewelry making in Hawaii as a teenager where she learned how to saw and solder metal. as she went off to college to study economics and computer programming, her creativity went into hibernation. working in the finance industry for many years following graduation, Misa slowly began dipping her toes back into the creative world, immersing herself in art and jewelry classes after work or on weekends. her love for the craft was ignited once more, and she immediately became hooked. 
 
Misa's knowledge as a goldsmith quickly came back to her, and she became more and more inspired by the natural organic landscapes of her childhood and travels. falling deeper and deeper in love with this craft, Misa began developing a business from her own dining room table. since then she has grown and developed a beautiful empire from her downtown LA studio, producing a number of stunning collections, and coveted favourites among celebrities.
 
from hand-carving designs to hand-selecting the stones themselves - Misa describes all of her pieces as being a balanced union of nature’s beauty, with the spirit of the modern city.

 
What should every woman try at least once in her life?
Swim in tropical waters. There’s something so healing about floating in saltwater while staring at the blue sky. You feel so deeply grounded, yet youthfully light.

What does love sound like?
Shima snores :) We adopted our mini pitbull Shima from the local animal shelter and she looked like she never got a restful night of sleep when we first got her, so now when I hear her deeply snoring sandwiched between my husband and me it sounds like true love. 
 
Why is jewelry important to you?
Jewelry marks many important moments in my life. My mom gave me a necklace on my first day of kindergarten to ease my nerves of making new friends and it still comforts me every day well into my 30's. The Lava Lariat and Hula Necklace I wear almost every day makes me feel connected to the Earth and also reminds me of my lovely island upbringing in Hawaii and Guam. My wedding ring stack (yes, stack. I love adding one every year.) represents my bursting love for my husband and brings a huge smile on my face thinking about our fun dance party wedding day. Wearing beautiful, natural gemstones also instantly uplifts me. Gemstones all have their own individual meaning but I always say it's what the stone means to YOU that really matters. 
 
What is on your nightstand?
Rose water spray, citrine quartz raw geode, and a picture of my husband and Shima running on the beach. 
 
What charity do you support and why?
Susan G. Komen because I've lost dear family members and friends to cancer and I will not stop fighting for a cure. Heal the Bay because our Mother Earth always needs our support and now more so than ever. 
 
Top 3 cities (or countries) you love and why
Tokyo — what other city has the most energetic nightlife and the most serene temples with zen gardens mere steps away from each other? Not to mention, the people are so helpful every time I visit and the food is just so delicious. 
 
Hawaii — each island is unique in culture, history and landscape and all of them embody PARADISE. See my aforementioned “What every woman should try once in her life” answer for why I frequent escaping to all the Hawaiian islands. 
 
Andalusia, Spain — I studied abroad here and it took my breath away the second I arrived. From the authentic tapas eateries hidden away in the alleys to the Islamic historical architecture preserved in the Granada neighborhoods, this region of Spain is so rich in culture and beauty. 
 
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I love randomly doing hip-hop dance moves around the house. Taking a cleaning break? Hip-hop dance moves. Watching the evening news? Hip-hop dance moves.
 
What song can you not stop listening to?
Here's an 80's oldie but a goodie for you: "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us" by Starship. So many things come to mind when this song comes up — hilarious fashion of the 80's (worn by yours truly and my sister), Andrew McCarthy driving a Kim Cattrall mannequin on a motorcycle, memorable karaoke nights, and all things fun!

thank you for being part of our wild ride, Misa!