Photo Courtesy of MikindeLos Angeles models, and newly minted jewelry designers, Miki Black and Davida Sullivan just launched Mikinde haute couture jewelry line this month.
The pieces make a statement without saying a word, with its whimsical lines with names like "live," "love" and "dream," which are inspired by nature, spirit and fantasy. Miki Black is known for her West Coast laid-back charm, uniqueness and exotic look. Davida Sullivan for her warm smile, professionalism and stunning looks. Their backgrounds are reflected in their jewelry designs. Since each piece is handmade, no one piece is the same. We caught up with Miki in Los Angeles:
You grew up traveling the world. How has that inspired you and your line?
Miki Black: I grew up both in the Midwest and overseas. Traveling so frequently as a child opened my eyes up to so much in life. I'm pretty open-minded because of this and appreciate and find beauty in many things of this world that most people might find unusual, be fearful of or even dislike, which is reflected in much of my art.
How did Mikinde come about?
MB: Davida and I originally met while both modeling for Trashy Lingerie a few years back. We started out with the goal of creating a charity organization between six girls, but over time it dwindled down to just the two of us and we made the choice to just run with it. We got our first taste of charity work by helping in the Los Angeles community with local charity groups through L.A. Works, a community action-based charity organization, so we could become more familiar with the needs of the community.
We served the community for the first couple of years before we felt that our creative needs were being a bit neglected, which is when Davida came to me with the idea of starting a jewelry line, hence Mikinde was born.
Currently, we create each piece by hand, making each one unique in it's own way. We put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into our work. The line is very dear to us because we literally built our company by hand from the ground up. We create all the original designs and graphics, shoot the photography and hand-make each individual piece.
Where did the name Mikinde come from?
MB: The name "Mikinde" is actually a combo of both our names, "Miki" and "D" for Davida.
What is your favorite accessory?
MB: Miki's favorite accessory is an electric guitar. Davida's is a handsome, intelligent man.
What are your favorite luxury items?
MB: Davida likes vintage-inspired clothing. Miki loves vintage cars.
On your website you have a page titled "Giving Back." You support the Foxes Charity Organization which supplies a unique program in school systems by giving five dollars per order to them. Why is this organization close to your heart?
MB: Foxes Charity Organization is very close to our hearts because it's actually how the entire Mikinde brand came into existence. We founded the organization and our main goal has been and always will be to assist men, women, and children who are in need within the U.S.
You just launched. What's upcoming for Mikinde in 2011?
MB: We plan to expand the brand and get the word out because it truly is something we believe in and are very passionate about. We go out of our way to make our pieces eco-friendly by using as many organic materials as possible.
We currently offer all of our pieces in fine silver and plan on venturing into other mediums such as copper and bronze in the near future. It's not only jewelry with a unique meaning, it's jewelry supporting a meaningful cause.
To see more visit www.Mikinde.com.