“My entire childhood is filled with memories of my father and his passion for diamonds,” shared the beautiful and passionate, Valérie Messika. Born into a family that sold diamonds, there was no doubt she would follow in their footsteps. Taught to always stay true to herself and faithful to the family stone, Valérie blends the past, present, and future in her jewelry pieces. Keeping her collections fashionable and comfortable, while wearing a piece of MESSIKA, you will feel light as a feather and shiny as a brick of gold! Keep reading on to discover more about Valérie Messika and how she found her own voice while staying true to the family legacy!
Share with us your family education about how it led to your current career. What was it like to be born into a family that sold diamonds?
My entire childhood is filled with memories of my father and his passion for diamonds. From an early age, he incited his passion to me and my brother, Ilan. As a young girl, I remember him bringing home incredible diamonds and letting me play with them. He taught me to look inside each stone and describe to him what I saw. That is where my attention to detail and my keen sense of observation comes from.
I worked alongside my father for five years and learned all of the secrets of the diamond industry. Even though his desire was for me take the reins of his business, I felt that something essential was missing for me: creativity. Naturally, I started creating my own jewelry brand and that is how it all started. Launching my own Jewelry House has allowed me to combine these two universes that have always fascinated me.
Growing up, do you remember a memory where you knew deep down that you wanted to continue the family legacy?
When I was young, my father and I used to do a lot of “blind” tests for me to find the best stone. He would give me a subtle hints and secrets to help me understand how to identify the perfect stone. My first real crush for diamonds was at the age of 12 when I found an envelope with tiny diamonds at my father’s place. I was fascinated by the light they emanated.
I am very faithful and will probably never work with another stone. The diamond is part of my family history and a genuine passion developed from it.
What are the most important lessons your parents taught you?
My father always taught me to keep true to myself and to remain faithful to the stone which our name is known for when focused on my creations.
Take us on your successful journey from your first store in 2013 to today. What does it feel like?
Since the inception of the Messika brand and Maison, I have been faced by many challenges. My first challenge was to turn diamonds in jewelry. However, I am currently living my biggest challenge. Messika is growing in many ways. The Maison now employs over 200 people. We also want to be internationally recognized. Today, we have 450 global points of sale, including 30 boutiques. I feel very honored by the continued success of Messika.
What kind of obstacles have you encountered and how have you overcome them?
When founding Messika 16 years ago, there was a real apprehension around the diamond. In fact, most women only wore diamonds on special events and occasions, or for their weddings. This is the reason why I created a company with the desire to desacralize the diamond.
I have been lucky to benefit from the know-how of my father, who is a diamond merchant. At the very beginning, imagining what I could possibly do with diamonds is what inspired me. I wanted to desacralize the idea of diamonds being untouchable, and to make them more contemporary with a younger and cooler look. I also wanted to make diamond jewels affordable, and most importantly, a part of every day life.
If you could go back in time at a specific time, which one would it be and why?
I will never forget the day that I opened my flagship store in Paris on Rue Saint Honoré in 2013. It was a great moment for Messika. It was also an incredibly yet deeply personal year as I was also pregnant with my second daughter, who was born on the same day of the opening.
Opening my first shop in Paris was a must and a great achievement for the House. This meant we were here and present as a Jewelry House.
What does jewelry mean to you? How does your brand stand out from the rest?
My goal was and is to create a new way of wearing jewelry. I have this vision where diamonds must be modern, innovative and easy to wear. Jewelry is an opportunity to express your personality. I like the fact that there are no more rules and it’s really about embracing your own personal style and making the jewelry “yours”. This is the spirit I wanted to instill into my collections. This is no longer a unique approach when it comes to jewelry.
I like my creations to be very comfortable. Women should be able to live their lives without being annoyed by excessively heavy jewelry.
Share with us why your latest collection, Lucky Move Color, stands out from your others.
It all started when designing the Lucky Move collection. This collection is particularly playful, but above all a link to luck as I imagined it as a lucky charm. Because of its design and its message behind it, I felt a desire to explore working with colored stones for the very first time.
My idea was to use ornamental stones as a flat gold hue (something I usually do). Essentially, I replaced the gold with the stones. The theme around luck with a turning medallion and changes of color tied to specific mantras was perfect with the design and the underlying message the necklace carries.
Where do you hope to be in 5 years?
Everything is moving so quickly for Messika! We just recently entered the Asian markets. We are also exploring new areas and offerings, such as bridal. I hope Messika will continue to evolve. We are still a young family brand and there is so much to do. There are a lot of exciting projects to dream about and come!
Creative Minds Valérie Messika @valeriemessika
Interview Alexandra Bonnet @alexbonnetwrites
Messika Paris @messikajewelry