Takayas was recently interviewed by VoyageLA, a publication dedicated to sharing the stories of Los Angeles’ independent artists, entrepreneurs, and other risk takers who they feel make our city exciting to live in.
If you’re curious to know more about Takayas himself, continue reading to see the interview in its entirety…
Meet Takayas Mizuno of Takayas & Co. in Jewelry District
Takayas, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I came to the United States from Japan when I was a student at Illinois State. It was a huge change of scenery: wide, open countryside, lots of space to think. Having that environment to think led me to the decision to start creating jewelry. My father was in the fashion industry, so it’s something I was familiar with while growing up. I had always liked creating, so it was a natural move to try creating jewelry.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It definitely hasn’t been a smooth road! I’m self-taught. After I decided to design jewelry, I moved to California to attend a jewelry institute in Orange County. Two months after I started, the school shut down. As I already had bought the design equipment for school, I rented an art studio and started to teach myself how to design and create jewelry. Little by little I learned about CAD designing and gained my reputation as a custom jeweler. I’m still learning to this day.
Please tell us about Takayas & Co.
My company specializes in making custom engagement rings. We’re known for translating a customer’s inspiration into luxury jewelry, using principles of art and composition derived from Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging. I get a great sense of satisfaction in crafting pieces that are so symbolic and important in our customers’ lives, and am dedicated to making the custom design process enjoyable and fulfilling, making sure our customers are 100% happy with their designs. I’m also proud of my new signature collection, which will be released soon.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I don’t think I would do anything differently – I don’t have regrets, because every mistake I made along the way taught an important lesson about how to run my business. I would say the most valuable lessons I’ve learned are all about establishing trust and good communication with customers. I learned early on to prioritize social media and communications with my sales staff, as these are the avenues that potential customers first connect with our work. Successful custom design is about listening, and establishing that sense of trust from the outset carries through the entire process.
Photo Credit: Elio Tolot