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Blog

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

Filtering by Category: About Enji

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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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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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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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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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 Story Behind our Hashtag Earrings

Niki Grandics

Following the Golden Globes red carpet blackout, I saw so many articles covering the gorgeous gowns and stunning diamond and emerald jewelry the stars wore to the event. And for good reason, there were some truly out of this world amazing pieces to cover, but especially among jewelry publications, I saw nothing covering the reason for the blackout or its underlying message that time’s up.

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Miniseries Challenge Part Two: Buying Sustainable

Niki Grandics

Welcome back to the second part of our miniseries challenge. As you may already know I (Hilda) am trying something new each week for the month of January. Last week I tried lowering my carbon footprint by having what I like to call “No Drive Week.” While last week's sustainability challenge was focused on abstaining from a certain action, this week’s focuses on being proactive and mindful. I wanted to actively practice sustainability and thought the best way to do that is by making sure my money goes where it counts.

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Miniseries Challenge Part One: No Drive Week

Hilda Chang

With the turn of a new year, I decided that I wanted to make bigger strides toward sustainability. For this new year I pledged that I would try something new each week of the month of January. Follow me as I write and record my experiences every week on our new miniseries challenge. I will post my sustainable experiences every Wednesday here on Enji’s blog and small videos on our social media. This week to help me lower my carbon footprint on the Earth and to show our dependence on cars I decided not to drive.

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 Why is Enji Environmentally Conscious?

Niki Grandics

Many of you are aware that Enji encourages environmentally friendly practices such as recycling, reducing, and reusing. We also try to do our part to reduce our impact on the earth such as using lab created diamonds and only choosing ethically sourced stones. Although all our business practices take into consideration our customer’s needs and wants, there is more behind the reason Enji has chosen to be a greener company. Today we want to share our personal stories and reasons on why we believe that being environmentally conscious means.

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Why I Chose to Give Up Fast Fashion (And What I Learned Along the Way)

Niki Grandics

I feel infinitely blessed to be able to pursue a career in the jewelry industry and create pieces for women who want to change the world. I have always had a love for fashion and jewelry and like a lot of people my age, I would shop somewhat often and also shopped at fast fashion retailers like H&M and Zara. Ultimately it was the Rana Plaza collapse in 2013 that opened my eyes to this aspect of the industry and led me to begin exploring these issues and more ethical and sustainable paths. I set out on this path hoping to have a clearer conscience and maybe a few extra dollars in my bank account, it has led me to learn some unexpected lessons and ultimately helped shape the ethos of my business as well.

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Enji At The Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference

Niki Grandics

Ethical sourcing is something I began exploring before I started my business, when I began to question my shopping choices as a consumer following the tragedy of the Rana Plaza collapse. Prior to that, it wasn’t an issue I was aware of, but once I knew it wasn’t something I could ignore. That mentality carried over into starting my business and the pieces I design and create. Even though I’ve “done my homework” on the issue of responsible sourcing, I came to the conference to learn more from true pioneers in this field. And I can honestly say I learned a ton in those two short days.

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Inspiring Enji

Niki Grandics

As many of you known ENJI is about modern, minimal design that is made ethically and sustainably and gives back to the community of San Diego. ENJI is not like other jewelers or companies, each of our designs comes from the imagination of a single person with many pieces being a unique or one of a kind. You might have heard her story floating around in interviews, social media, or in magazines. I am not here to tell you what you already known, today we explore the inspiration behind ENJI and get a behind the scenes look at the process.

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How Millennials Can Save The Earth

Niki Grandics

Millennials have been at the end of various joke through the years, especially from older generations. But, recently Millennials have shown many amazing qualities which could save the world with sustainability. Being a part of this generation myself, I feel it is my responsibility to help change the world. We are one of the most charitable generations and are known for wanting our careers, lifestyles, and the products we buy to align with our values and sense of purpose. Despite all the articles saying we’re killing this industry and that industry, maybe it’s time to change things for the better. Here are some ways we’re making it happen.

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Designing a One of a Kind Ring for Kym Gold

Niki Grandics

PHX Fashion Week wrapped up a few weeks ago and one of my most memorable experiences and greatest highlights from their designer boot camp was winning the Kym Gold Challenge and designing a runway-ready piece of jewelry for her. For those who may not be familiar with her name, you’ve probably heard of her brand, True Religion Jeans. Kym was the designer of and co-founded True Religion Jeans, building it from the ground up into a billion-dollar business, which is pretty amazing. She is also a best-selling author and producer. (I also love that she kept much of their manufacturing in LA!). As a designer and entrepreneur, I definitely look up to her and admire her accomplishments so being able to design for her was a dream come true.

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All About Canadamark Diamonds

Niki Grandics

When we mention the word “diamond” most people think of the African mining operations, but there is another source many seem to forget. Today ENJI believes that we should bring attention to those who choose to be ethically and sustainably responsible. Canadian Diamonds are among some of the world's most sustainable diamonds and we feel that it is time you got to know why.

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