Interview with the Founder

Tell us a little bit about yourself

I was born in Cannes, France where I lived until I was 8 years old. I did not speak a word of English until I moved to Miami. I am a mother of three little humans and a dog named Max. I live in Haiti where I go from the city to the beach almost every weekend. I love to travel and visit new countries. My favorite up until now is Turkey because of its rich history, architecture, and I love getting lost in the Bazaar.

How did you start making jewelry?

My grandmother and mother always wore gold statement pieces and when I was 15, bored at home, I started making bracelets. Going through my mom’s box of turquoise and pearl stones I made a few pieces. Attention grew and my mom organized a small show, inviting a few friends in our garden. The jewelry sold out that day and I knew it could be something bigger!

How did creating jewelry go from being a hobby to business?

I moved back to Haiti after getting married in 2010. I got a job and quickly realized I could not stay there much longer.

With a push from my husband, I decided to do a show. My focus was the Evil Eye (the Nazar) from Turkey which I mixed with the remaining beads I used when I was 15 for my first collection. My entire family including my younger brother helped me create the bracelets for a whole month working until 2AM to prepare for my Christmas Jewelry show.

To my surprise, everything was sold out and the day after the show I quit my job. I ran back to my mom’s supplier who helped me choose the right beads to continue creating jewelry.

My first collection only consisted of colored stones. I only introduced gold later due to high demand.

How did you come up with the name 22 Jewelry?

On my way to the beach with my younger brother, he came up with the name instantly. The original name was Twenty-2 Jewelry which is still the legal name of my company. It is no coincidence that it was my dad’s birthday that same day: November 22nd.

My father always encouraged us to be independent and to work hard to get further in life. He insisted that nobody would give us what we want. Which is why I always worked hard and made sure to stand on my own. I always make sure to keep my father’s memory alive through my brand.

How did your jewelry evolve with time?

When I was 15, I made my first pieces with pearls and turquoise stones. The whole collection consisted of beaded necklaces for women.

  • After moving back to Haiti, the collection I presented for my Christmas Show consisted of colored beaded bracelets for women.
  • I introduced gold one year later in 2011 for which I had a very large demand.
  • I was approached by a store named Atysso in 2011 where my first collection was exposed. The collection was made of yellow gold beaded bracelets mixed with stones such as Onyx and Quarts. Our collections were still strictly for women.
  • Men jewelry was introduced in 2012, as they were getting jealous. This collection was made of onyx beaded bracelets.
  • I then got a demand for mommy and me bracelets in 2014 when I introduced beaded jewelry for children matching our women’s collection. This collection had yellow gold beaded bracelets.
  • When I realized the popularity of rose gold and silver, I decided to expand my collection and started making rose gold beaded bracelets and silver beaded bracelets which was a big success.
  • After Kendall Jenner was seen with the Choker in 2015, I decided to launch beaded chokers made of yellow gold, rose gold or silver beads.
  • In 2017, my older brother created a String bracelet which we named after him: The Misha String. This is when we introduced our Silk and String bracelets collection for men and women.
  • As for the rings, the idea came from me playing around with my jewelry.
  • As the brand was growing, I wanted to have a full body collection. I decided to design and sell Earrings made with beads. As I loved hoop earrings, I decided to go with this design to make my first pieces.
  • I got introduced into base superstore in 2017, my first store in the USA and in between we got into more stores in Haiti.

Today 22 Jewelry is in more than 20 stores around the world, we have more than 150 pieces to choose from. In addition to our current collections, we also help our customers find the perfect piece of jewelry by doing custom orders.  

Since 2012 22 Jewelry gives 10% of its yearly income to charity by distributing food in Haiti. This has been followed since.

What is your proudest moment?

Being featured in recognized publications such as Vogue, Vanity Fair, and GQ was truly one of my biggest accomplishments yet. I hope 22 Jewelry will become a staple accessory in the world of fashion collection.

What was your main inspiration?

I do not have a particular inspiration. I guess I am fascinated with gold and the way it brings elegance. I believe my pieces are casual yet add a touch of glamour to any personality. I decided to use beads because of the flexibility they bring. From choosing different stones to using the beads on string bracelets or on earrings. It is a world of possibilities. Despite being quite present on the market, we were able to do unique pieces that stand out from beaded bracelets you find with other brands.

I name all my jewelry pieces using my favorite names. I was only able to use 3 of them for my own children. If you need name inspiration, go look at my collection!

What ignited your passion for Jewelry?

I inherited my great grandmother’s jewelry at the young age of 12. Her collection was very eclectic and consisted of different kinds of stones and diamonds. She originated from Germany, grew up in Congo and moved to Haiti where she met my grandfather. I always liked expanding my Jewelry collection to continue passing it from generation to generation.  

Tell us about your team?

I only hire young women with different backgrounds. Having founded 22 Jewelry at the age of 15, my main goal is to surround myself with passionate, creative, and talented women. As my brand keeps growing, women empowerment will remain the essence of 22 Jewelry.

What is the next step for 22 Jewelry?

When customers purchase my Jewelry, I love seeing how they stack them and put them together. My focus in the future will be to encourage women to express themselves through our collections. Our motto is “Jewelry you live in”. Through our jewelry, we encourage women from different backgrounds, with different tastes to be creative and show us how they love to express themselves using 22 Jewelry.