Calling all jewelry lovers! Today, we're introducing you to a maker whose adorable enamel earrings, necklaces, and pins are the ideal accessory for fashionistas who want to add a touch of whimsy to their wardrobe. From her mismatched boba earrings to Texas flags and mummy cats, Casey from Miss Modi creates the most fun accessories!
A big thanks to @choosehappinessco for the great images in this post!
Hi Casey! Thanks for chatting with us today. Can you please tell everyone a little about yourself?
Hello, my name is Casey Yui, and I'm a first-generation Taiwanese American. I came to the US with my parents when I was 17. I studied interior design in NY and was a corporate interior designer for nearly 20 years. I love dancing, traveling, and being a foodie!
You're in good company— we're total foodies, too! The past couple of years has been tough. Can you share something good that has come out of this time?
While I had high hopes for 2020, COVID-19 threw us and everyone else for a loop. I only conducted one pop-up show in 2020 in Sacramento before the ongoing Covid crisis shut the country down. But we didn't give up and pivoted to a stronger online presence, and we received an enormous amount of support from different communities such as SFEtsy and TaiwaneseAm.org, which kept my brand relevant and alive.
It's so great to hear about organizations that supported you during the pandemic— raising others up when you can is important! Tell us about Miss Modi! What do you make, and how long have you been doing it?
My business is called Miss Modi and this is our 4th year in business.
I do have a fun story to tell you about our brand name. Originally, I wanted to follow my career path as an interior designer and start a business for handcrafted furniture, so I registered my business as Modernity Industries. During my market research phase, there were many obstacles including obtaining an URL that I liked. While I have passion for handcrafted jewelry making, I decided to follow my heart and create beautiful, whimsical, and colorful enamel jewelry that reflects who I am as a person and what represents my ethnicity and my culture.
I shortened the name to Modi and added Miss since the style of my jewelry is cute and missy = Miss Modi. Not knowing anything about the name, I later found out from an Indian friend, Modi is a very common surname in India!
What an excellent origin story! We're so glad you followed your heart and your passion! Why did you get involved with MMC?
I was lucky to be introduced to MMC during AAPI Heritage month by Kathy at Kathy Phantastic. It's always been my goal to partner up with someone who is deeply passionate about makers and artists and an opportunity to showcase my beautiful jewelry to more people.
We're so happy to have you as part of our community! What is the most memorable response you've had to your work?
There have been many, but the most memorable one was when I received an email from a customer who recently put down their family's bulldog in November of last year. As part of their daughter's Christmas wish list, she wrote down "bulldog earrings." Upon receiving our bulldog earrings, the mother was brought to tears when she opened the package. We were touched by the message and glad we could be a part of her daughter's healing and good memories of their bulldog.
It's such a privilege as a maker to be part of some of the biggest moments (happy and sad) in our customers' lives. What is your favorite part of your job?
Each collection takes approximately 3~6 months from start to finish. The best moment is when I get the package from the postman and the anxiousness I feel when I open the box. But then I'm overwhelmed with excitement when I finally see the final products and hold them in my hands.
It's so awesome to see your designs come to life! If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
I'd go back to Taiwan in a heartbeat. COVID cancelled many things, and the ability to freely travel without restriction and a quarantine period stopped our travel plans. I miss Taiwan, visiting old friends, relatives, and of course, the world-famous night markets for 3 years now.