We’re big fans of Maison Miru, a boutique jewelry brand based out of New York. We’ve had the pleasure of working with Trisha at a super fun event in San Francisco, and our team immediately connected with Trisha and her bright spirit. She’s everything you’d want in a business owner: dedicated to her values, committed to quality and passionate about her creativity. When Trisha moved into her stylish new office space, we knew we had to share it with our audience! Read on to learn more about Maison Miru’s newest office and Trisha’s business journey.
Tell us about your new office space. What drew you to this particular space?
At the heart of Maison Miru is the concept of creative living. We’re a small, but mighty jewelry company designed by and for creative thinkers. We make jewelry building blocks; our earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings are all designed to mix and match, to create your own unique look and to tell your own story. So when we started looking for a new studio space, the number-one thing that I was looking for was a space that felt like it could nurture this creative spirit. We wanted a place where we could build something magical—from the jewelry we send out into the world to the ethos and structure of the company itself.
The studio is in the heart of New York’s jewelry and garment district, and you get some pretty classic views of midtown Manhattan, including a direct view of an architecturally stunning post office, where we hand deliver our parcels each afternoon. I love the feel of the garment district—the gruff hustle and bustle of the district fills me with such a distinct sense of possibility.
When I first saw our studio space, what struck me most was the openness and the light. High ceilings, giant windows and the open floor plan—it was exactly the kind of bare bones space that we could transform into something special. I also really liked the aesthetic of the exposed pipes and wiring, since I didn’t want a space that was overly precious. Being in a space that’s unfinished reminds us that what we’re building here is also not close to done: we’re just at the beginning of our journey.
We wanted a place where we could build something magical—from the jewelry we send out into the world to the ethos and structure of the company itself.
What’s currently going on with Maison Miru? Anything exciting we can look forward to in 2020?
So much is happening this year! We’re best known for our mix-and-match earrings, and we’re doubling down on our customer favorites: our no-piercing-required ear cuffs, along with cartilage hoops and flat-back earrings. In February, we’re launching a few new ear cuffs for Valentine’s Day, but really, it’s always cuffing season at Maison Miru. Our flat-back studs and cartilage hoops are selling so fast that it’s hard to keep them in stock; so we’re launching a bunch of new designs, along with a wider range of sizes—both in diameters and gauge sizes.
We love the open-concept vibe of your new space. What does “creative living” mean to you as a business owner?
Creative living is more than being a maker; it’s really more of an outlook on life. You don’t have to be a designer or an artist to live the creative life. It’s about thinking different, finding new ways to approach a problem, and fundamentally, not limiting yourself in what you think and do.
As a business owner, this translates into asking a lot of “why” and “how” questions as we build the company. I’m looking to build a company that does things a little differently, instead of just following the standard playbook. At the heart of Maison Miru is this concept of creative thinking—the freedom to try new things and see what works, to take ideas from other fields (including my former life in tech) and apply them to new opportunities.
We’re also built around our customer community, and so much of what we do is based on what our community wants and needs. This is how we decide to introduce new designs—our titanium flat-back earrings and cartilage hoops were by customer request—and how we decide to start new programs, like the customer events we run in our studio.
You don’t have to be a designer or an artist to live the creative life. It’s about thinking different, finding new ways to approach a problem, and fundamentally, not limiting yourself in what you think and do.
How did you go about decorating the space? Was there a certain style you were going for?
I wanted the studio to feel like a home. I believe that you do your best work where you’re comfortable, and there’s nothing more comfortable than home. Plus, our customers love the coziness of the studio; they come by to shop, but they often stay for tea and Cheez-Its (we have an office subscription).
Our living room area of the studio is a mix of vintage pieces from the Brimfield Flea Market and new mid-century modern pieces from Rove Concepts. I particularly love our Womb Chair; the bright red just makes me smile, and it’s a great place to nestle up and read.
Mark and I brought in some of our favorite pieces that formerly lived in our apartment: our marble table, our beloved Turkish rug, along with art that we had picked up at the Affordable Art Fair. We have a few pieces from author and artist Dave Eggers that are just so much fun. My personal favorites are the GLORY sloth (which I originally wanted to hang in the bathroom at home, but was nixed) and a flamingo who shares my values (“Oh my god, I thought there would be more of everything”). Chrissy at Framed and Matted helped us put together our two gallery walls; she has such an amazing eye.
I love pieces with a story; we picked up a few heirloom accent pieces from our friends at Meridian NY and St. Frank. The pillows and throws are beautiful, and they mean so much more knowing that they were handcrafted by artisans around the world.
We got to spend some time with you in 2019 at an event we hosted together, and we talked a lot about being an introvert, something we very much resonate with. How do you find that affects you as an entrepreneur?
We may live in a world that celebrates extroverts, but I love being an introvert. I feel like it’s a kind of superpower. I think that introversion can be such a catalyst for creativity. Your rich inner world can be such an inspiration as you bring new ideas into the world.
Because I’m an introvert, I have to be more focused with my energy. This is a gift as well. As an entrepreneur, focus is so important, especially when your job is to wear multiple hats. I know I can’t do everything, so it’s a forcing function to say ‘yes’ to the things that matter and pass on the things that don’t. I think my introversion makes me more deliberate about the way I run and grow the company, and it’s for the better.
What are some of your favorite ways to recharge?
Food and friends! There’s something so special about enjoying a good meal with the people you love. It’s New York, so we tend to go out to eat a lot here, but I love having a small group of friends over for dinner at the apartment. It’s so much more cozy, you can hear people talk (no shouting over the din at a NYC restaurant!), and you can actually relax and take the time to connect. We recently got an induction burner that we can use to cook at the dinner table. I had a pancake party for brunch (so yum!), and I’d love to do a hot pot dinner party next.
I’m also a voracious reader, and nothing makes me happier than curling up with a good book and a pot of tea.
You used to work in tech! What made you make the shift into the creative field?
I grew up in Silicon Valley, so it was a natural path to work in tech. I started my career in online media and ended up working for e-commerce companies large and small, from eBay Fashion to an early video commerce startup called JOYUS.
I always knew that I wanted to build a business in a creative field. My mom started her own real estate business, so I had a great role model and encouragement toward entrepreneurship since I was a kid. I tend to be somewhat risk averse, so I tested the waters while in school and in my early career. During college, while studying business and operations management during the day, I went to night school in San Francisco to study fashion design. And back in the infancy of fashion blogging in 2005, I started my own fashion blog dedicated to real style for real people—a kind of online magalog in the spirit of Lucky magazine. Still, I never felt ready to make the leap.
Luckily, life sometimes gives you a little shove to move you forward. Mine came in the form of a question from my now-husband (and co-founder) Mark asking me if I wanted to move to London for a particularly interesting job opportunity. It was 2012, and I was working at a small startup in San Francisco, which meant I would have to find a new job. Long story short, we made the move, and while in London, I started taking the jewelry classes that eventually led me to start Maison Miru.
After years of plodding away in PowerPoint and Excel, I found something magical in making a real thing that I could hold in my hands. It wasn’t easy—they’re not kidding about that 10,000 hours to mastery—and I may have sawed myself more than once! But the ritual of making and creating, kept me going as I honed my jewelry craft.
There’s something so beautiful and absorbing to creating something. You get into this state of flow when you bring an idea in your head to life with your own two hands. It’s a release and a rush, and you feel like you’re living in the moment…something that doesn’t always come naturally to me. I strongly believe that creativity allows us to be the very best versions of ourselves, and I wanted to share this magic with the world.
What is your biggest dream for Maison Miru?
Maison Miru is dedicated to jewelry for creative living, and my bigger goal is to inspire creative thinking to make the world a better, more just place, specifically through entrepreneurship. We are building a company that lives these values, and we aim to be a platform for creative entrepreneurship as we share our learnings with fellow entrepreneurs, especially women and minorities, to amplify our impact.
Who are some of your biggest creative inspirations?
I admire those who push boundaries, those who dare to think different. My creative inspirations span disciplines—writers like Rebecca Solnit and Rachel Cusk to artists like Louise Bourgeois to chefs like Dominique Crenn. We have a tendency to live our lives on autopilot, and I admire creatives who awaken our senses, who give us the heightened consciousness to switch off the autopilot and live life.
Like other entrepreneurs, I tend to be a nonconformist, and James Murphy’s quote “the best way to complain is to make things” really resonates with me. Why bother complaining about the status quo? Go ahead and make the change you want to see.
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