Mini Mini Jewels is an affordable luxury jewelry e-commerce business that can boast a celebrity clientele including Jennifer Lopez, Taylor Swift, Emma Stone, and Megan, The Duchess of Sussex.
This January, I caught up with the jewelry designer Tracey Kahn, founder of Mini Mini Jewels. Kahn launched Mini Mini Jewels in 2018. She and her team are based in New York and their manufacturing and e-commerce are out of Los Angeles. Other jewelers have jumped in scaling down the size of their jewelry to offer a better price point as using less material does bring down the price. For Kahn, it was first and foremost a choice of aesthetics. She feels a lot of jewelry today is about the rocks and not the details and intricacy. The world within a world of dollhouses with everything scaled down to miniature caught Kahn’s eye in her childhood and it never stopped. Her love of all things miniature extended into jewelry. Her parents encouraged her interest in art as her mother was an artist and both parents collected art. Kahn studied at Rhode Island School of Design in Providence and at The Royal College of Art, London, England.
The beauty of miniature jewelry is one can wear it alone or layer it. The discreetly sized dog tag measures a mere 18 mm embellished with an initial in print or script. The dog tags are dotted with a single gemstone or with a halo of diamonds. The collection includes stackable rings and earrings. Kahn has created a youthful look - one that is contemporary, light and collectible.
What is your fantasy project?
To create a miniature museum collection.
Do you hand render or digitally create renderings of your jewelry?
Everything I do creatively starts with drawings. My art background is very helpful in translating my design thoughts which are then executed in a digital format to help the artisans who create the molds for the production process.
You mentioned your favorite artists are Modigliani and Renoir. I remember that you’re attracted to the abstract component of impressionism. What do you find in Modigliani’s paintings so compelling?
So many artists influence and inspire me every day. I love Modigliani and his expressionism. I am fascinated by his surreal elongation of faces and necks. I find inspiration from various artists which expands over so many different periods. I am currently obsessed with John Currin I adore his technical skill and also I love the style of Yayoi Kusama. Kusama is a rare combination of many different attributes and I find her work fascinating.
What living person do you most admire?
Anna Wintour is my style icon and is a guru. She is beautiful, bright, and totally unique. She is the bomb and an absolute original.
Which fashion designers are your favorites?
My love for various fashion designers is expansive. I adore Isabel Marant and her patterns. I also am awe-inspired by the designs and style of Dries van Noten. He is brilliant and creates incredible patterns in unexpected non-traditional fabrics. His designs are truly works of art; they are framable. I love Chloe - also one of my favorite go-to designers - as the collection is uniquely feminine, and beautifully made.
Do you keep a something special on your desk?
I love crystals they are full of energy. I have a beautiful blue crystal I always keep on my desk. I particularly love the blue crystal because it reminds me of fine jewels and puts a smile on my face. The Larimar crystal is stunning; the blue reminds me of the ocean something I cannot get enough of.
Do you have any advice for someone who is interested in pursuing a career in jewelry design and or the arts at large?
First and foremost, I would say to anyone who would like to be involved in jewelry design and decorative arts, they must feel a strong passion for it. They are very difficult fields as there are many competitors. One must have a drive for success, but also the ability to persevere. It takes a lot of determination and at the end of the day, there also is the need to understand the genre and be different to separate from the pack.
I can never have enough of Paris.
Looking ahead to a post-Covid world, Kahn wishes to return to two of her favorite destinations - Paris and Mauritius. They are both connected with her desire to be close to the water. In Paris, she enjoys going for long walks along the Seine or at her favorite museum, the renowned Musée de l’Orangerie and its breathtaking Claude Monet’s Water Lilies paintings amongst its collection of the preeminent impressionist and post-impressionist painters. Kahn stays at the prestigious and recently renovated Ritz Hotel in Place de Vendôme. After a long day of museums, walks, absorbing the city of light with its magnificent architecture and fashion, she may enjoy a dip to rewind at their beautiful pool.
Kahn appreciates the beauty, serenity, positive energy, hospitality, and local organic cooking of Mauritius. It’s an idyllic place for an island vacation that includes horseback riding along the shore and days filled with scuba diving, sailing, and snorkeling. Kahn comes back to work feeling rejuvenated.
For the time being, Kahn may not be able to travel and yet she may indulge in the simple pleasures of enjoying a gumdrop or two or a delicious mini-financier she may have baked herself. Interestingly, both sweets have a look that nods to jewelry with the gumdrop with its gemlike colors and financier like a gold brick. I look forward to seeing where Kahn’s passion for all things miniature takes her next.