I launched my website, HisanoTakei.com in 2007. I was fresh out of grad school scrambling for a jewelry related job. I applied for couple of renowned and not-so-much craft shows to see if I can sell my felted work. To my surprise I was accepted to all of them. I decided to try out with one in Westchester NY. I had moved back to Los Angeles from NY right after graduation and took over my parents’ garage and made it into a one person sweat shop making about a hundred felted scarves all by hand.
Before I went to NY to sell my scarves I had my website built. The sole purpose was to showcase all of my wool artwork but I still had a passion for making metal jewelry. Since I wasn’t making any jewelry at the time I decided to have a place on the site that I can put in all my jewelry stuff for the near future. Jewelry making was the core of my art career and was always a significant part of me even when I was immersed in felting. I called it little h and the section sat quietly and sheepishly told visitors that it was coming soon for a few years.
By 2010 I’d been brewing some jewelry designs in my head and I would doodle some sketches here and there for over a year. I finally gathered all my drawings and started working on my Silhouette collection. I have been in love with the obscure shapes of Tahitian and South Sea baroque pearls. The unique shapes were attractive and I wanted to bring more attention to the outline of these shapes. I sketched out individual pearl silhouettes and sawed them out from sterling silver sheet. I oxidized the silver to make them look dark like the body color of Tahitian pearls and strung the pearls with these cutouts.
After one long strand necklace was finished it opened up to many more designs including the use of semi precious to precious stones. Now the collection has expanded to Golden South Sea baroque pearls with 14K yellow gold and canary diamonds. The simple Silhouette styles with precious stones have been particularly popular and have been worn by Olivia Wilde and Miranda Kerr. The collection is still growing and my next endeavor is to complete the collection using White South Sea pearls.
The next little h collection that was created was the Baby Freshwater Collection. I LOVE tiny pearls. I especially love tiny pearls that are lustrous and round. Most consumers associate higher prices in pearls as the size of the pearls increase. Small pearls in Akoya (5 mm and smaller) are very difficult to make and often times more expensive than the standard sizes (6-7 mm). Smaller Freshwater pearl prices vary with quality but round lustrous pearls under 3 mm are not as easy to find and they are not cheap. We found few vendors in Hong Kong that carried 2-3 mm pearls that have excellent luster and close to round shape. I started making multi strands for myself and ended up with an entire collection with them. The Baby Freshwater pearls are easy casual wear that you can layer with other gold or silver accessories. It works well with turquoise or corals during the warmer season or can be layered with onyx, smoky quartz, black diamonds or other darker colors for winter. The Baby Freshwater collection is dedicated to all the petite pearl lovers.
The Knot Collection began when I was designing for our wedding bands. Jeremy is twice as big as me and when he hugs he can wrap his arms around me 1.5 times. We’ve called it “pretzeling”. My thin wedding band was designed from a pretzel shape and his band was inspired by the trip to Greece. We saw various ornaments and jewels decorated with Hercules’ knot and Jeremy loved it. His band is a wide Hercules’ knot in 18K white gold. I was inspired to work with various knots and I introduced the first collection of Bows for Spring/Summer 2013 line. The bow necklace is suspended on 2-3 mm white freshwater pearls off center. Taylor Swift was spotted wearing the bow bracelet stacked with Baby Freshwater pearl bracelet. The Knot collection is a growing collection with more to come.
The Colorful Pearls Collection began when we made a five strand torsade necklace using multi-color and shape freshwater pearls. The stylist we work with had an opportunity to style the First Lady, Michelle Obama. Mrs. Obama wore the torsade on numerous public appearances and became a popular item of little h. The collection has expanded to using ribbons and findings to layer pearl strands in a versatile way to style from day to evening.