Zaiken Jewelry is brightening up the industry with new, fresh and unique designs! Sometimes designs all start to look alike, especially as of late…I love coming across really interesting pieces that have so much meaning behind them. The designer behind Zaiken Jewelry is Malak, who is just as passionate about her jewels as she is supporting fellow designers and giving back to her community.
The “Throwing Stones” collection made my jaw-drop the first time I saw it–she takes small gemstones and bezel sets them atop of a larger stone! Equally cool is her “Alter Ego” collection which employs a geometric motif that flips to reveal two different sides. I was so happy to have her contribute to Gem Gossip by answering some questions and I’m even more excited to meet her and her jewelry someday!
I am always working on the collection – I usually block dedicated time each week for design – I have a desk in my office dedicated just for that – it’s where I play, dream, erase, and cement stone layouts to create my “Throwing Stones” line. One especially fun project for ZAIKEN is being a brand partner with an innovation fashion app called “Covet Fashion” – think virtual closet (you should definitely check it out); our spring collection goes live any day now and its great to see how people are styling their ZAIKEN pieces with their wardrobes. And, as the Vice President of the CJDG (Contemporary Jewelry Design Group), our board is hard at work on the 2014 Couture show – we had an exquisite group of designers last year and will be returning with some extra oomph in 2014!
I have always had a thing for jewelry, and stories. As a little girl, one of my favorite activities was to look through and play with my mother’s jewelry – and hear how each piece came to be in the collection, whether it was inherited from her favorite aunt or gifted on her wedding day. She was great about letting me play with everything – nothing was too precious or off limits for my little hands. As an adult, my background is in professional services/consulting; I was telling stories with numbers and spreadsheets all day, so I went to jewelry for my creative outlet. I had it in my mind that I would pursue an entrepreneurial path once I honed my business skills, and jewelry was a natural leap because it tells a story, piece by piece, occasion by occasion. It allows me to make beautiful things and be part of people’s life in a unique way.
Like many designers, I am inspired by the world around me. I am particularly intrigued by contrasting ideas/themes and how they can come together beautifully. I love the juxtaposition concept, and always look for that in life around me, such as the geometric lines of a building and the organic shape of a tree’s branches in the front lawn.
I have been thinking about expanding into a larger office in NYC, and 2014 is the year for that. Beyond that, I just take it one day at a time, and stay focused on my top priority – unique, lust-worthy jewels!
This is a toughie – I love them all! I do have a particular soft spot for my “Alter Ego” ring collection though. It’s like a secret between me and the jewelry because I can play with the different sides. And for sentimental reasons this beaded heart pendant necklace – my sons made it for me and I keep it with my most precious jewels…sometimes they ask me to wear it to work so I can remember them, and I do!