In Conversation With Miki Nora Christopherson
What made you decide to start a brand?
I don’t think I had a brand in mind when I started. I just really wanted to make things and hopefully turn it into something, which then spiraled into something I'm now obsessed with and can’t get enough of, both as a business and as a creative outlet.
Does Mikinora have a message?
Always try to find the playful in the minimal… To find the wonderful in the ordinary.
What or who were your influences in starting Mikinora?
As far as jewelry designers go a current jewelry designer I admire is Quarry. I also love exploring modernist jewelry works by Hans Hansen, Georg Jensen and Betty Cooke.
Right now I have also been exploring the shapes and forms of sculptors such as Isamu Noguchi, Jean Arp and Constantine Brancusi.
And outside in the world I take inspiration from shapes and forms everywhere, with all their simplicity to their vast possibilities.
What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your brand?
It’s a constant journey, with lots of mistakes that one can learn from. I would say to take it slow and pay attention to those mistakes. Try to perfect it the first time, with time. Be patient and if possible delegate and spend time on the things you like and are good at.
What advice/warnings would you give someone looking to start their own brand?
It's hard work and it will take over your life. It will be your life. I suggest having outside of work interests or an escape that really consumes you (preferably other than drinking ;)). As much as you love what you do, one has to give your mind a little break from work so you can restart again refreshed and full of new energy.
What’s the most recent book you read?
My friend gave me the book ‘Seven Brief Lessons on Physics’ by Carlo Rovelli that I enjoyed immensely. He explains major concepts in physics in a way that is easy to understand for non-scientists. The beauty of the book though, is how poetic and philosophical physics it self is.
Did it feed into your creative process?
I’m not sure if it directly fed into my creative process but it definitely excited me, heightened my curiosity in general about everything and was comforted, knowing that there are still big mysteries and secrets in our universe.
What motivates you?
My daughter, independence and my customers. I would like to be able to teach my daughter that there is not just one way to get where you want to get.
Meeting or receiving comments from customers who appreciate your work really makes your day and some.
Is there a brand out there that you wish you had started?
There are many, many brands I love. I don’t think however, I would have started it, because I am not them. Whoever started the brand is doing a fantastic job because it is their brand and something unique to them. It would end up being a totally different brand if I was to start it, even with a similar concept, it would end up as something else.
That said, the brands I love and wish I was a part of are Rachel Comey, Quarry, Marni, Celine’s jewelry team, all of whom I feel explores shapes and forms in whimsical ways.
What goals do you have as a designer?
I would love to be able to better create meaningful and timeless (without losing the playful) things that one wouldn’t want to easily discard or dismiss and could be passed down for generations. Hopefully this also means I can work on more personal and collaborative custom orders as well.
Metals are great since they can be recycled easily, and I am constantly moving towards working with 100% recycled metals. I would like customers to understand that metals are durable and with care will last forever, and that they are easier than some other materials to recycle, especially when they are not plated. So one can keep a piece forever, or otherwise, turn it into something else!
I would like to also create other products in other mediums with the same philosophy above … and already might have a little something in the works.
What are the best and worst parts of your job?
Some of the best and worst parts might come from the same place. When I come up with an idea for a design, it can either come out just like I had imagined it or better, or not at all like I imagined, in which case I have to start again from the beginning.
That said there are many other wonderful moments and many other difficult moments in the everyday of a maker and business owner, but right now that I’m working on a new collection, and the above is definitely consuming my current everyday.
What is your life motto?
Whenever you get the chance dance like your life depends on it.