Handmade in central Tokyo, Harajuku Omote-sando, ileava jewelry is a Japan based brand by Maya Nishimura.
From the world where a teddy bear and his friends await to hug your finger, various elements are picked out to become ileava's jewelry.
"Jewelry is meant to be worn at all times. I wanted to make special pieces for everyone. It doesn't necessarily have to mean anything to anyone else, as long as it has a special meaning to the wearers.
When you're pooped out...you look down at your hand and you see a teddy bear hugging your finger...
He's poking his head out between your fingers and he's cheering you up..."
Born in Tokyo, raised in Northern California. Growing up in a multi-culture environment, she was exposed to both Japanese and the western art since she was very young. She came across and immediately fell in love with the art of jewelry making after receiving BFA in furniture making and architecture at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. In 2003, Maya launched "ileava jewelry," a word describing the highest quality of something that is pure. In 2014, Maya opened her studio and store at the current location in the heart of Tokyo.
"One of my first pieces was a Teddy Bear.
There was a Teddy Bear that my sister would take everywhere we went when she was little. He was always with the family.
As she got older, he would be left there on her bed all the time.
The idea of making a Teddy Bear as a ring that you can always share your experiences with, even as a grown-up, was the beginning of ileava.
The bear now takes me around the world he lives in.
I take out different elements and images from this world and turn them into pieces of jewelry or miniature sculptures that everyone can wear."
ileava jewelry's studio at ileava & co.
Our jewelry at ileava & co.. is all handmade. The world or "ileava" is reflected in the store itself. When you enter ileava & co., you'll notice a big tree greeting you. As you walk through the store, you'll find handmade forest trees and shadow boxes that illustrate the world of "ileava".
Handmade jewelry made by other designers from the U.S. and Japan are also displayed in the store.
Every time you step into the store, we want you to have a different shopping experience, discovering something new.