A while back I featured my old friend Jared’s company onetribe on here. Readers seemed to appreciate an in depth look into one of the many organic jewelry companies. So when the, ever so likable, Cyrus showed up in my shop carrying a selection of gorgeous organic jewlery from Maya, I told him to tell his boss I’d like to do a feature on her company. Due to prior commitments on both our parts, it took a while to get it together, but I am pleased to have it ready now.
For many more images and a brief interview, keep on keeping on.
Why don’t we start with a brief history of Maya Organics.
In 2006, body piercer, Corey Lolley set out to create a line of jewelry inspired by her travels, indigenous culture, street fashion, graffiti, architecture, and attitude. She has been an active member of the piercing community since she got her start in the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area in 1994. Utilizing her knowledge of industry trends, standards, and aesthetics both modern and ancient, she expanded her focus to developing the freshest designs from the most luxurious materials. Each Maya piece is a reflection of an aspect of the community that inspired them, and an offering back to that same community.
As a piercer I have always been inspired and moved by indigenous cultures, their preserved traditions and how they embody adornment. It was the people of the island of Borneo that first inspired me to travel to distant lands. Their nomadic and primitive lifestyles somehow made sense to my young mind that struggled with how our modern society claimed its roots to humanity. It was on this first trip to SE Asia in 2000 that I first visited the mystical island of Bali in Indonesia where I now work. I stumbled upon its cavers, world renound as the most gifted hand carvers on the planet.
I feel that Maya was a natural evolution for me, my dream career manifested. Maya has allowed me to integrate traveling, indigenous culture, art and business while remaining immersed in the community that I feel most connected to. I think that these things go hand in hand. Our way of life is expelled from ancient cultures, when I say this I do not just mean how we look, these ways manifest in how we choose to live our lives.
What impact you feel your company plays on the modified community as well as the community surrounding your carvers.
When one experiences the Maya collection they get a sense of a more of a fine jewelry experience, this is the angle as a designer that I want to bring to the table. Maya offers a collection that feels elegant and sophisticated.
We put great effort into how we display and promote our jewelry. For the past 3 years, we won best booth at the APP’s annual piercing convention in Las Vegas. With many shops beginning to boutique their studios we realize the importance of display, customers need to see how special these pieces are. Our experience has been that the more elegantly shops display this jewelry the more likely it is for clients to understand just how exclusive it is.
I feel Maya organic to be a sincere representation of the evolution of the body piercing industry. When I started piercing the only thing that was available for stretched ears was steel captive bead rings. As I evolved with the industry so did the jewelry that is available for stretched ears.
My desire is that Maya servers as an inspiration for other body piercers and body modification enthusiasts, that they too are able to bring their ideas from a thought to a manifestation. I hope that they are able to find the root of their passion and what draws them to this community and them act on it, to make it bigger then themselves, push boundaries.
When I first began working with the carvers and metal smiths in Bali 4 years ago there were 7 carvers and 1 silversmith chipping away at this dream, I now work with over 40 carvers and 15 metal smiths. The vision of Maya has not only been an immensely life changing experience for me but also for those I hold so dear on the other side of the world. Although it is sometimes overwhelming for me to think about the colossal responsibility that I have when I think of all those people and their families that are relying on my success it is also immensely gratifying. All of the jewelers who I work with in Bali challenge and push me to be more creative. During the design process we often work together and bounce off of each other, I enjoy nurturing their ideas. I really feel grateful to work with such remarkable artists, many of my carvers are third generation, this is in their blood like it is in mine.
What separates you from the other organic companies?
Maya was born from the mind of a body piercer and all of those who work for Maya are experienced piercers all stemming from some of the countries most reputable studios. In addition to being piercers, we are all creative and passionate people. We understand the industry and its clients, what works and what does not.
We are extremely committed to the quality of the jewelry that we put out. Also, we have a very fast turn around on orders.
I feel that we offer a very personable experience. This is rooted in the fact that we are all so immersed in the piercing community. It is not just our way of life and a way to make money, but in many ways it is the foundation that we are all built on.
Our customer service and presence with our clients here in the office also translates to our door-to-door sales. We have an incredible team of conscious individuals who work on the road. When we are on the road it is more like we are traveling the country visiting our friends and family than working. Our industry is so inimitable in this way. We are keeping the gypsy way alive, traveling from city to city and allowing out clients the opportunity to hand select their wares. I am so proud to be a part of keeping this way of life thriving. I hope that people find inspiration in what we do.
Want to adorn yourself with some beautiful pieces by Maya Organic, the best place to start is their website mayaorganicjewelry.com.
PS: I’d like to do some more features on jewelry companies, so if anyone wants to showcase their stuff (John, I am looking at you buddy) hit me up.