Misa Hamamoto’s eight-year-old jewelry design business casts branch motifs and organic-looking surface textures in 14k gold, an aesthetic that nods to formative years spent in lush Hawaii. The artist behind Misa Jewelry is now based in Los Angeles and learned metalsmithing—sawing, soldering, and polishing—in high school before shifting gears to study economics in college. She worked for an investment firm and in finance for a Major League Baseball team before yearning to rekindle her jewelry roots through a lost-wax carving and casting class. People began buying her designs, and when a buyer approached a colleague wearing one of Hamamoto’s necklaces about a wholesale purchase, Hamamoto decided to switch careers. Opals, moonstones, and labradorites remind her of her “beautiful island upbringing,” she says. The jewelry is made in L.A.
Jewelry designer Misa Hamamoto
Starting retail price: $210 for a single Lava Drop earring in 14k gold
Accounts: Fifty including Fred Segal in Los Angeles and eight abroad including Bluboho in Toronto
Trade fairs: Capsule New York and Coeur LA
Retailer buy-in: $1,000
Contact: Misa Hamamoto of Misa Jewelry, Los Angeles; 213-896-0252; misajewelry.com
Sunrise necklace in 14k gold with 0.03 ct. round-brilliant-cut diamond, $490
Evolve Mermaid ring in 14k gold with opal and aquamarine accents, $615
Branch ear crawlers in 14k gold with 0.14 ct. t.w. round-brilliant-cut diamonds, $1,125
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