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I’m Niki, the founder and designer of Enji Studio Jewelry. We’re a sustainable luxury jewelry brand based in beautiful north county San Diego.

at Enji we’re on a mission to bring you meaningful, modern, ethical design that shows off your style, honors the journey of your life, and reflects your values. We craft each piece for you in our Carlsbad studio bringing new life to recycled gold and silver and using only FairTrade and ethically sourced diamonds and gemstones.

Enji was founded in 2014. We take steps toward positive change in our industry by practicing ethical sourcing and manufacturing and giving back to the local and global community. We create our pieces for everyday wear.

Enji is about modern, minimal design that is made ethically and sustainably and gives back to the community. As creators and consumers, our choices now have a global impact. This is why we consider how things are made to be important and this to be part of our responsibility as a business and global citizen. As a designer and jeweler, I only work with suppliers that share this view. This is why we make all of my pieces using only recycled gold and silver, ethically sourced and fairtrade stones, chains and findings that are made in the USA and Italy, and packaging and marketing materials made using recycled paper and clothing.

Niki is a GIA Graduate Jeweler. She was awarded the 2016 Halstead Grant Award and 2014 Windgate Fellowship Award by the Center for Craft, Creativity, and Design. She has exhibited in galleries throughout the United States and Europe and her work can be seen in the pages of Glamour UK, Basic, Evening Standard, National Jeweler, and more. To see her one of a kind art pieces and CV check out nikigrandics.com

Enji is about modern, minimal design that is made ethically and sustainably and gives back to the community. As a designer and jeweler, I only work with suppliers that share this view. We make all of my pieces using only recycled gold and silver, ethically sourced and fair mined stones, chains and findings that are made in the USA and Italy, and packaging and marketing materials made using recycled paper.

As a member of Ethical Metalsmiths, we hope to be among the first movers bringing transparency and sustainable practices into the luxury fashion jewelry world. Ethical Metalsmiths and Fairmined gold and gems.  All our pieces are made in our studio in San Diego and we use low-impact, environmentally conscious studio practices to lessen our footprint. 

We take steps toward positive change in our industry by practicing ethical sourcing and manufacturing, because it’s important. To us, to you, to the women and men who mined the stones we use to create our pieces. We also donate a portion of each sale to organizations that help empower women locally and globally and work to end domestic violence and human trafficking because that’s part of the future we want to see.

Ethical sustainable jewelry fairtrade fair trade fair-trade jewelry recycled gold recycled sterling silver San Diego Carlsbad ethical gemstones ethically sourced sustainable

Love leather and the environment? 5 things to look for in vegan leather alternatives

Niki Grandics

Can I tell you a secret? I’ve been vegetarian/vegan for about three years, but only gave up leather this year. While giving up meat and dairy was a breeze (I wasn’t really a fan, to begin with), my weakness for luxe leather shoes and bags, has made giving up leather way more of a challenge. But I can’t ignore the impacts of leather on animals, the environment, and the workers in the supply chain, so this year when boot season came around, I decided to do some homework and look for vegan alternatives that feel just as luxurious as the real thing.

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10 Things I’m Afraid to Tell You

Niki Grandics

We all have those things we might not want to admit—like an embarrassing fear of spiders or chapters in our lives we might not read out loud.

As a jewelry designer, business owner, and fair fashion advocate, I’m part expert and part student, since I’m always learning more about the industry and supply chain for both fashion and jewelry. But at the end of the day, I’m not perfect either.

Today, I’m going to take a risk. I want to pull back the curtain and get real with you. I’m hoping that doing so will give you “permission” to let go of any guilt you have about doing ethical fashion perfectly.

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The Gold Initiative at the Pyramid Mine

Niki Grandics

Have you ever wondered where your gems come from? With our Pyramids Capsule Collection, we know exactly where our gems come from, a single source in Bahia, Brazil, the Pyramid mine. The mine owner, Brian Cook, first formalized his claim and began organizing the miners over the course of 14 years and has created a responsible sourcing initiative that is unique in the industry. Unlike large tech projects like DeBeers blockchain platform which could further marginalize small mining communities that can’t pay to play, this initiative starts small scale with artisanal mining communities in Brazil.

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Transparent vs Traceable vs Ethical, is Blockchain the answer for ethical sourcing in jewelry?

Niki Grandics

If you can trace a flower or a single avocado back to a single farm or field, you should be able to trace a diamond back to a mine, right? Blockchain for the jewelry industry is actually already on its way, with large mining corporations like DeBeers and Alrosa investing heavily into their own blockchain programs. DeBeers is even testing out their program on diamonds 2ct and above and plans to expand it to smaller sizes in the future. These two mining companies on their own account for almost 80% of all diamond mined today. But what about the other 20%?

GIA, Rappaport, have tried creating industry-wide blockchain networks for traceability, however, DeBeers has made it perfectly clear that their blockchain network is only theirs and won’t connect with any industry-wide traceability initiatives. And unfortunately they’re DeBeers and they’re huge and influential and ultimately they do what they want. Large (expensive) tech projects like this may be no big deal to a company that large, but what about the artisanal miner? The Tanzanian Women Miners Association certainly doesn’t have the funds to compete, and ultimately any traceability solution we come up with needs to take small-scale miners into account, or we risk further marginalizing some of the most marginalized people on the planet.

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5 Tips for Ethical Jewelry Buying This Holiday Season

Niki Grandics

Can I tell you a secret? Gifting is my favorite part of the holidays. And jewelry gifts to me have always been such meaningful and emotional gifts that carry stories and memories with them. I’ve loved fashion and jewelry since I was kid, but my passion for fair fashion and sustainability started in 2013. Since then, I’ve turned my passion for jewelry and fair fashion into a career and have been designing under the Enji name since 2014.  As a jewelry lover, fair fashion advocate, and Ethical Metalsmiths member, I really believe you vote with your dollar, so even with my love of holiday gift giving, I try to shop according to my values and buy gifts that do good. While it seems like a lot to think about and a lot of research, here are a few quick tips that will make it easy to buy amazing jewelry and shop your values this holiday season:

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How to Shop Your Values During the Holidays

Niki Grandics

Can I tell you a secret? I really love giving gifts, and I’m always a little bit of procrastinator when it comes to my holiday shopping. Anyone else in the same boat? Last year going into Black Friday, I wrote about why I gave up fast fashion (you can read the post here), and since then I’ve come up with a list of shopping guidelines I go by and I won’t go too into detail (but you can read the details here *link post*) but I buy things that generally fall into the categories of vintage, vegan, fairtrade, or recycled/upcycled. At the end of the day, I really believe you vote with your dollar, so as much as I love holiday gift giving, I try to stick to this with my shopping too. While it seems like a lot to think about and a lot of research, here are a few quick tips that will make it easy to shop your values this holiday season:

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Talking Fair Trade at the Jewelry Industry Summit LA

Niki Grandics

Fall seems to be all about ethical sourcing and sustainability at Enji with the Jewelry Industry Summit in Los Angeles this past week and Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference coming up at the end of the month. Speakers, Cristina Villegas from PACT (the largest non-profit you’ve never heard of), Monica Stephenson from Anza Gems, and Stuart Grice of Hoover and Strong (one of the largest precious metal refiners in the country) spoke about various parts of the mining sector for gold and precious gems around the world.

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Change is happening- the Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference

Niki Grandics

I’m writing this from my Southwest flight back home and leaving Chicago so inspired after the Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference. This is only the second year of the conference and the second time I’ve attended, this year with almost twice the turnout of last year. The conference brought together everyone from designers, gem dealers, NGOs, nonprofits, gemstone cutters, representatives from the State Department, and even artisanal gold and gemstone miners from South America and East Africa to hear each other’s perspectives and come up with solutions to complex issues in the jewelry supply chain.

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Beat the Summer Heat

Hilda Chang

If you can, investigate making most of your meals outside. Elect to use a propane grill if you can, or low emissions and clean coal. Electing to cook outside is not only a great way to enjoy your summer, but to also reduce energy.  This will help keep your house from getting too warm and help you save the money and trouble of turning on a stove and air conditioner at the same time.

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Birthstone of the month: Moonstone, Alexandrite, Pearl

Hilda Chang

Summer is officially starting this month and it's arguably the best month according to June babies. We all have fond memories of summer vacations and sweet treats. June babies are lucky to be born such great weather and to help them celebrate their special day Enji is sharing 10 fun facts about their birthstones.

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Save Money and Reduce Your Waste

Niki Grandics

With so many natural disasters recently it is almost undeniable that climate change is real. Many people, especially those who hold power in government, deny the fact that our world is changing and that eventually, our own way of life will have to change as well. However, power doesn’t lie in a single government or even a single person. California has already made plastic bags illegal to reduce waste and help aid in the fight against climate change. But helping in the fight against climate change and reducing waste does not have to be hard if you are willing to take initiative and here are some of our suggestions.

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Enji’s Favorite 2018 Engagement Ring Trends

Hilda Chang

Spring has just arrived in San Diego and just like the flowers, love is about to bloom. It’s wedding season here in southern California where our weather permits us to start the wedding season early and end later than most cities. But every wedding has a humble beginning and you cannot get to the most important day without asking the most important question. 2018 has already been filled with love and many newly engaged couples share their unique rings. Enji has made our top favorite engagement ring trends that we are absolutely in love with.

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Light Pollution: The pollution no one talks about

Hilda Chang

When people talk about pollution they usually will think about either plastics and oil being dumped into the ocean, or tons of carbon emissions being released into the air. These pollutants have very severe consequences not only for our environment but to our health, as we are now realizing. Many people will advocate their voice when it comes to the threat to their physical well being and often is successful in obtaining some type of pollution regulations. However, there is one type of pollution that isn’t openly talked about.

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Jewelry Care Mythbusting

Niki Grandics

Jewelry has always been a form of expression, tracing all the way back to the earliest civilizations, but jewelry has come a long way since then. Jewelry trends have risen and fallen and with each passing of time, more people improve their craft. As jewelry become more complex and diverse, there are bound to be a few miscommunications and misunderstandings along the way. We want to clarify a few common misconceptions about caring for jewels. Enji is all about honesty and transparency and we want to make sure you don’t fall for any of these common faux paus.

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5 Believable Myths about Hybrid Cars

Hilda Chang

Driving is one of the first privileges we have when we come of age. The first thing we usually do when we become 16 or 17 is ask your parents to teach us to drive because driving means independence. It means we are old enough and wise enough to handle a big responsibility, even if we are still young. However, the modern cars of today might not be the same from those back when we were learning to drive. I for one, remember being taught to drive in a 2008 Toyota Corolla, and now more than a decade later, the 2018 Corolla looks like a spaceship compared to the 2008 model. But as we progress in our technology, so do the cars as newer models emerge. The hybrid and electric cars of this era have been gaining traction like never before, and Enji feels it is time to start a conversation about them by dispelling our top 5 hybrid car myths.

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Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Niki Grandics

With the arrival of May, comes Mother’s Day just right around the corner. Enji has the perfect gift for the invincible one of a kind woman in your life who loves and care for you unconditionally. Whether it for mothers, grandmothers, or the motherly figures in our lives, Mother’s Day is all about celebrating these strong and unique women. Find something special for your loved one with Enji’s Mother’s Day Gift Guide. Whoever the woman in your life is, these one of a kind gifts are sure to leave her stunned.

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The Bittersweet Truth: Is Chocolate Extinction Possible?

Hilda Chang

Chocolate is one of the most integral parts of our lives. Most of us have fond memories of eating warm chocolate chip cookies with milk or having a nice cold scoop of chocolate ice-cream on a hot day. Although chocolate wasn’t always a part of American history, today it is one of the most commonly sold luxury goods. However, with this increase in demand came consequences. It is estimated the world’s chocolate supply will not be able to meet the consumer’s demand by as early as 2020, driving chocolate prices sky high. This scares many consumers who have a strong affinity to chocolate. Enji like any other person wants to know if this apocalyptic future is possible. Is there a way to prevent this? What can we do to keep our coveted sweets?

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Mercury Use in Gold Mining

Hilda Chang

It is not a secret that recent ethical movements have put pressure on mining companies to become more sustainable. We have previously discussed traditional mining impacts on a global scale and with Enji’s founder recent trip to the Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference, we felt it was time to revisit the topic. Mining is filled with controversial issues and while almost everyone can agree that slave labor and inhumane practices are unethical, there is a gray area when it comes to understanding the technical side of mining. Consumers who are not well versed in traditional mining practices and terms can often confuse whether a practice is sustainable or ethical. We wanted to take the opportunity to shine a spotlight on a mining practice that doesn’t always get the required attention, mercury.

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The Underwater Wonder: An Inside Look Of The Great Barrier Reef

Hilda Chang

Often revered as one of most breathtaking scenes in nature, the Great Barrier Reef dances with life in the Pacific Ocean. This magnificent reef is one of the most visited tourist attractions home to colorful marine life. Not only does this reef provide a home to animals but also stimulates Australia's economy. The dense crowds of tourist provide a steady income to many of the local stores and shops that rely on the reef’s beautiful attractions. Climate change, however, has taken its toll on this mesmerizing ecosystem. Enji wants to try and reveal just how extensive this damage is and how it compares to previous years. We want to tell you an unbiased opinion of just how grave the circumstances are in the Great Barrier Reef.

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