Young Female Founder Layla Kaisi Shares How She Built An Ethical Bespoke Jewelry Brand In New Zealand Using Instagram

At 28, Layla Kaisi, founder and creative director behind five-year old company Layla Kaisi Collection (LKC), has achieved a level of success many young entrepreneurs dream about. With a focus on ethical stones, storytelling through custom design, and marketing through Instagram, Kaisi has quickly expanded her sales world from beyond her design studio in Auckland, New Zealand.

Originally from Iraq, Kaisi spent her early childhood in Malaysia, moved to New Zealand at 6 years old, and currently resides in New Zealand’s capital city. LKC bills itself as a “design house challenging all notions of fine jewelry, showcasing designs never thought possible, and telling customer stories through bespoke creations” she said during a recent Forbes interview. With no financial backing or formal training, Layla Kaisi Collection grew from a humble start to designing pieces for global celebrities. Here’s how Kaisi built her business, one upcycled or conflict-free stone at a time.

How did you get into jewelry design?

My entry into the jewelry design world was very unconventional. Originally a creative person, I was involved in the Arts and Design field in high school, but upon entering university, I changed paths to study Biological Sciences and Psychology for my degree.

Upon graduation, I found myself completely starved of creativity and could not imagine a life spent writing reports. I handed my degree to my parents and declared ‘now I want to go do something I really love!’. I started the brand fresh out of university with little else but a few hundred dollars, creating the most minimalist designs. I focused on designing pieces that were simple yet had an aesthetic unseen anywhere else.

With no formal training, I built my experience from the ground up designing with

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