Wednesday, July 27, 2011


18-Karat Gold Vermeil Constellation
Cocktail Ring with White Sapphires
Located in Washington, D.C.’s National Mall stands the grand structure known as the Lincoln Memorial. 

The structure was designed by architect Henry Bacon and sculptor Daniel Chester French created the stunning marble statue of Abraham Lincoln that is flanked by 36 majestic columns.  

Washington, D.C. is also home to featured jewelry designer Michelle Guest.

A native of Orinda, California the UCLA graduate put her creative drive in neutral while focusing on more practical pursuits that included a bachelor’s degree in communications.  Upon graduating, however, she began creating jewelry as a hobby while tossing around ideas for possible career goals.

Setting her sights on film production (her older sister Jani co-owns a production company in London) Guest decided to visit with her sister who lives in London.  Her reunion with her sister’s two daughters would be the catalyst to reconfigure her jewelry making hobby into a full-fledged business.

“I saw my beautiful nieces and I felt inspired to make them something I knew would make them feel like princesses,” she recalls.  “I took two pearls from a broken pearl necklace my sister, some gold chains and I made two elegant bracelets.  They loved them!

18-Karat Gold Vermeil Fish
Pendant Necklace with White Sapphires
Jani told me she had spent a lot of time in London trying to find jewelry for girls that wasn’t super expensive or cheesy but she couldn’t find anything.  She encouraged me to create children’s jewelry believing it was an untapped market.

In the fall of 2006, I launched my company MIJAJewelry.  The name MIJA is a composite of the first two letters of Jani’s and my name. So I started a children’s line that has since evolved into additional collections. 

I sketch designs and specify every millimeter of the designs including gemstone sizes to our metalsmiths in China.  They are extremely meticulous and careful with their work.”

Working with lush components that include 14- and 18-karat gold, sterling silver, 18-karat gold vermeil and beautiful gemstone accents of rhodolite, Swiss blue topaz, iolite, and white sapphires MIJA’s team of artisans also create women’s/mother’s jewelry, birthstone rings, bridal and charm jewelry.

Constellations, Grecian landscapes, the almost mystical symbolism of fish and pomegranates inform Guest’s sleek and classic fashion and fine designer jewelry collections. 

Rings highlighting checkerboard faceted semi-precious gemstones outlined by tiny white sapphires; classic gold hoop earrings with hammered textures; and the soft wave pattern of bangle bracelets are signature designs.
18-Karat Gold Vermeil Thin Flower
Bud Bangle Bracelets with Gemstones
“I love seeing people who are thrilled with a piece of jewelry I designed.  Every woman can find a piece that she loves in this collection. 

Even though I have expanded my collections; at the core of my brand is giving women a little luxury and also to their little ones.”
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