Montreal-based MYEL is a special jewelry maker, with a wholehearted commitment to sustainability. The launch of its new Origines collection further drives this philosophy home, featuring ethical birthstones. We chatted with founder Myriam Élie to find out more. —Noa Nichol
Hi Myriam! Please tell us a bit about yourself to start!
Hi! I’m the designer and founder of MYEL, which is a fine-jewelry brand from Montréal. Everything is done here, from design concepts to final production. I studied business and arts in school and I always loved both—I had always dreamed of being a designer though I wasn’t sure how my path was going to turn out. During one of my travels to Europe, I had my jewelry stolen. From this experience, I wanted to recreate the pieces I lost and took an interest in jewelry making. I took an intensive jewelry-making course and I was hooked after I made my first ring. In this course, I learned about so many different techniques and I realized how difficult the craft was, so I made the decision to focus on designing pieces instead and finding people who were skilled at the trade. MYEL (pronounced like “miel,” which means honey in French) is a combination of my name (Myriam Elie). It’s feminine, and I really like the association and symbolism that a bee represents, such as being a hard worker and the importance of fine details (honeycombs). It’s a beautiful and strong symbol and was often used in ancient cultures. All of my collections are inspired by the diversity of people and countries, which I have visited or which I want to visit.
You’re getting set to launch your new Origines collection; what does the range include, and what’s the inspiration/meaning behind it?
The Origines collection is a small collection (earrings, pendant, bracelet and two rings) focusing on birthstones. MYEL jewelry has always been about pieces that are personal and that you keep for a lifetime. Being pregnant, I think I got inspired by the upcoming birth of my first child and wanted to create something simple with a meaning for the wearer.
What are ethical gemstones? How does working with them differ from other stones?
We only buy stones when we know where they come from and in what condition they are mined and cut. We are buying our birthstone for Origines from the supplier Columbia gemstones that is, like us, a member of the ethical metalsmith association and that created a Fairtrade protocol to measure the ethics of each stone.
What other commitments to sustainability does Myel make, and do these compromise (or enhance!) style/design at all?
We introduced last winter our first collection in certified Fairmined gold. It took us a few years to be able to purchase this gold and find a jeweler that wanted to be part of the team and help us with casting the gold. Since it’s a bit more expensive, we started with our collection of love rings (engagement and wedding) but customers can ask for any other design in Fairmined as well. I would say it doesn’t compromise the style or design unless some stones are not available in Fairtrade but we always find a beautiful alternative. Traceability is too important so for us it enhance the style!
What is your birthstone, and how will you be rocking it via the Origines collection?
My birthstone is the Ruby (July) that I love but I should give birth in the next two weeks so I think I will wait to see if my baby will be born in August or September and get the Origines studs or chain ring with her/his birthstone so I can give it to her/him when she’s/he’s older! (I still don’t know if its a boy or a girl.)
Win! A $280 Pair of MYEL Geo 1 Earrings in 10K Gold!
Congrats Rafaelle L. of Montreal, QC, who will receive a $280 pair of MYEL Geo 1 Earrings in 10K Gold! Please note: if you are the winner, you will receive a DM (direct message) in Instagram directly from @vitadaily.ca. Please be wary of fake accounts, which often use similar handles with an extra or missing letter, number or symbol. We will never ask for a payment or for your credit card number, and we will never ask you to click through a link. If you are unsure whether you have been contacted, via Instagram, by us or a fake account, email us before responding.