Host Spotlight: Jeweler Ayaka Nishi
Get to know NYC jeweler Ayaka Nishi, Japanese jeweler who now runs her studio in New York. Though she struggled initially to spread awareness about her brand, hers is an inspiring success story -- read on to find out more about her journey as a craftswoman and how her designs came to be featured in the latest Marvel movie, Avengers; Infinity War! While you're at it, sign up to make custom rings like this beauty.
Tell us more about yourself: what brought you into the world of jewelry?
One day my mother asked me to draw out designs for jewelry so she could have her friend take my designs and make them into real pieces I could wear. I was very impressed to see the completed jewelry with my design and that's when I got into making and designing jewelry.
What made you pursue your passion? What does your passion mean to you?
I love seeing beautiful things like architecture, shapes of nature and even art. Creating beautiful shapes by myself is really enjoyable and satisfying to me. My passion is seeing and creating more beautiful things inspired by the nature around me.
What are your major achievements/meaningful moments in your business thus far?
Opening my own store/studio in last year was one of my greatest achievements.
Also, our jewelry was featured in the latest Marvel movie, Avengers. Elizabeth Olsen wore our necklace. Being featured in Avengers was a dream come true for me, as well as a huge achievement for our brand.
What were the initial hurdles that you had to get through?
When we started as jewelry brand, we weren't extremely familiar with the business aspect. I was comfortable with the creative part of fine jewelry making but I had to learn things like social media, sales, and branding. We learn from experience. Looking back at each step we definitely hit some bumps along the way, but we wouldn't be were we are now without learning from them.
When it comes to the schooling portion of Ayaka Nishi New York, not many people knew we taught jewelry classes in the beginning. It took some time for people to start signing up for them, but now we have taught many students.
Do these challenges still exist now?
Always, if you want to develop something, you face many challenges.
We are currently developing a wedding collection of jewelry which is a fun challenge.
For school, we are teaching 6-7 students in each class, and co-operating with my assistants efficiently is challenging.