Samira Baraki knows that luxury jewelry doesn’t have to be out of the question. The CEO of covetable just-launched brand MIRACO wants to not only offer beautiful pieces that she wished she could have accessed while growing up herself, but also to make others feel seen both in terms of price point and marketing. Here’s how the business-minded founder and creative is making strides in the category already.
Where did the inspiration for MIRACO come from?
I have always had a big passion for jewelry as a form of expression and style. Wearing pieces that you love, especially ones that have been passed down from previous generations, can change the way you carry yourself. My parents are from Ethiopia and I’m a first-generation American, so I have also used fashion and accessories as a way of expressing my own identity growing up. The inspiration for MIRACO came to me during my travels abroad to Istanbul last year. I discovered a local atelier while I was exploring and fell in love with several pieces I purchased there. When I returned to the U.S., I had these items appraised, and to my surprise, they were valued much higher than the purchase price. This ignited my curiosity to explore the opportunity to make luxury pieces more accessible and inclusive, allowing a broader range of people to enjoy and resonate with luxurious beautifully made jewelry creations.
What does the name mean?
The brand name intertwines my first name, taking the last four letters (MIRA), and fusing them with ‘CO’ to symbolize the collaborative team of creative minds and experts who contribute to bringing my brand’s vision to life.
Did you always plan to launch a jewelry brand before meeting with a jewelry atelier in Istanbul?
I’ve always loved jewelry, but [it was only] when I met with the jewelry atelier in Istanbul that I saw an opportunity to bring a new approach to the luxury category, both in price point and representation.
Tell us about your backstory before launching the brand. What has your career journey been like so far?
I obtained my B.S. from Loyola University and subsequently pursued an MBA from Jack Welch at Strayer University. Over the years, I’ve taken on various corporate positions with notable companies such as United Airlines and The RLJ Companies, exploring different industries and learning so much along the way. I also ventured into acting, but the launch of MIRACO marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter, and it has been the most fulfilling one yet. As a lifelong jewelry enthusiast, the idea for MIRACO consumed my thoughts ever since we began to build it, and I’ve been so driven by the excitement of bringing something new to the jewelry space.
What marks MIRACO apart?
Our strategic approach to the jewelry market. In an industry that has seen the rise of several direct-to-consumer brands, discerning customers still face the same challenge—the luxury jewelry sector remains exclusive, with prices that only a select few can afford. Coupled with this, many brands compromise the essence of true quality and craftsmanship despite high costs. MIRACO sets itself distinctly apart through its strategic partnerships with manufacturers in Istanbul and Milan. While these partners are the same used by some of the leading luxury jewelry brands, they enable us to produce high-quality designs that exceed market standards, all while providing a significantly lower price point and avoiding the traditional production constraints that often limit other brands.
Can you talk us through what goes into each piece and the materials used?
MIRACO’s jewelry is meticulously-sourced and handcrafted in close collaboration with our manufacturing partners who share our commitment to producing high-quality designs. I’m highly involved in each part of the design process, working hand in hand with our factory partners to ensure every piece embodies our commitment to craftsmanship and exceeds industry standards. Our jewelry is crafted from solid 14K and 18K gold, never plated, and incorporates other precious metals along with Kimberly-certified diamonds and other ethically-sourced gemstones. Our signature lightweight design utilizes hollowed gold materials, allowing our customers the freedom to wear and layer our jewelry without discomfort or tugging. The practice of hollowing 14K gold jewelry remains largely unexplored by mainstream brands, primarily due to the common misconception that a product’s value is solely tied to its weight. Part of MIRACO’s role in the jewelry landscape is to help reimagine the notion of value of gold commonly characterized by weight.
Now that you’ve launched, what do you hope the next 6 months – a year look like for the brand?
Our immediate focus is on building a strong foundation for the brand. While we have ambitious long-term goals, our primary objective is establishing a brand for the long haul. Over the next 6 months to a year, we aspire to see MIRACO jewelry adorning customers across the globe, and introducing more individuals to the world of luxury accessories with pieces that everyone can see themselves in.
Will you focus on DTC or selling through third-party retailers? How often will new pieces come out?
Right now, we’re focused on our direct-to-consumer channel and learning more about our customers and how they prefer to shop for us—this will help us navigate future opportunities. We feel this is an important decision in supporting our belief that women should have access to exquisite jewelry no matter where you live or spend your time. Given MIRACO’s strong relationship with its manufacturing [partners], we have flexibility to roll out products on a customized cadence that does not necessarily adhere to the traditional fashion calendar. While we are focused on our first collections and launch, our customers can expect to see more from us very soon!
What do you want prospective customers to know about the brand and its values?
I want customers to know they are receiving value for what they’re paying for when they purchase MIRACO pieces. They can enjoy the beauty of the luxury jewelry through our designs, but it doesn’t come with the hefty price tags we’re used to seeing in the market. Additionally, as a woman of color-founded brand, MIRACO will always be driven by diversity and inclusivity at its core. These values will continue to remain a guiding principle in everything our brand does. It is essential to the brand that both its internal team and visual marketing materials are built around diversity and inclusivity, including race, gender, age, and ability so our customers can always seem themselves reflected in our jewelry pieces.
What pieces are you wearing most at the moment and how are you styling them?
Our Rumi Earrings and Serene Bracelets are especially important to me. These pieces embody our vision of creating timeless, thoughtfully-designed, and artful statement pieces. What I love about these pieces is that they are easy for transitional styling from day tonight—they elevate more casual looks, and are the perfect accessories for bolder formalwear. The Rumi earrings are rounded rectangle-hinged hoops, available in both yellow and white gold, some with two large diamonds and some with 14K diamond pavé embellishments. The Serene Bracelet is offered in yellow, white, and black-oxidized gold. It features two hinges, a centerpiece with a line of 14K pavé diamonds, and an adjustable lobster claw closure.
What female brand owners always inspire you?
I’ve always really admired what women like Rihanna and Emma Grede have done thus far with Fenty Beauty/Savage X Fenty and Good American, respectively. They have both built such successful businesses all while breaking down barriers in the fashion and beauty markets, championing the essential need for inclusivity and innovation in these spaces.
What’s your greatest hope for the future of MIRACO?
We created a brand that I wish had existed when I was growing up. Our greatest mission at MIRACO is to lower the barriers to entry in the luxury jewelry category, making it a more inclusive space both in price point and how brands show up in the world–because we believe that everyone should revel in the transformative power of jewelry.