My story (so far)

While in university studying commerce, I performed a number of case studies on jewelry brands and (naively?) thought, "I could do that!"

Once I graduated, I decided to take a 2 year metal-smithing program to understand the production-side of jewelry making. It was 2013, I had just finished the metal-smithing program and felt confident, prepared, and determined to start my own brand. I dropped in to local retailers to sell wholesale and get my designs out in the world. Some liked my pieces and others not so much—either way, I gained so much insight through this process that consistently pushed me to create more. What that would be, I didn't know, I enjoyed the process of discovering.

In 2015, we were picked up by Urban Outfitters, which was an incredible feat and created a lot of business for us! At the time, we shifted our focus on making more accessible pieces, keeping the price point low. However, that limited what we could create.

Now, after more than 10 years in the jewelry design business, I have been able to alter my collections to reflect my personal identity, creating pieces I would want to wear.

I'd say my aesthetic is a mix of west-coast laid back with an eye towards nuanced proportions and mixing softness with structure. I'm consistently drawn to East-Asian minimalism, and Japanese design philosophies like wabi sabi, but sometimes I get a kick out of that 90’s/Y2K North American maximalism. Throughout my design process, I enjoy referencing vintage pieces and pop-culture motifs.

I focus on making transitional pieces that fit with our everyday lifestyles. They can be easily worn for special occasions, casual moments, the workplace, travels etc., and are made to be cherished for years to come.

We are planet-conscious, using recycled metals and limiting our impact on the Earth as much as possible.

I'm extremely grateful that we have a high reorder rate—I love knowing that our community keeps checking in and supporting through various collections. I think this is due to our values, lifestyle fit, and quality standards. We’re currently in over 100 retailers worldwide!

I grow as a designer, business woman, and collaborator through each collection. Thank you for tagging along as we continue to experiment and create at Kara Yoo!

Sustainability Matters

We have an extensive sourcing program, receiving sustainable materials from local and global partners.