“Meirako” means to give light, and that’s what Kate Ko hopes to do with her jewellery.
Ko started Meirako, then known as Tiny Zen Memory, in 2018 after giving birth to her daughter. At the time, she was working full time as a pharmacist, but wanted to do something creative, so she took up metalsmithing in her free time.
“I started making silver jewellery for friends, and then my friend lost her dad a few years back, and I made a necklace inspired from his last letter to her that said ‘proud.’ So I took the word and made a handwriting necklace,” says Ko. “My friend loved it so much, she even cried.”
Ko was inspired by her friend’s emotional reaction, and wanted to give more people the same sorts of joyous and heartfelt experiences. She eventually quit her full time job to grow Meirako and now has a studio and staff of two.
Meirako offers ready-to-wear and personalized necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings and anklets. Some personalized collections include handstamped, handwritten and initial jewellery. Ko says the most popular is the Fur Baby collection, where customers can customize necklaces with silhouettes and paw prints from their pets.
The ready-to-wear pieces are updated every Wednesday, so Ko is always working on new designs. Each piece is handmade in Edmonton.
“We are still small, but we are growing every year,” says Ko.