The beauty and exquisiteness found in the natural world provide the inspiration for Mai Flores’ designs. Her pieces celebrate and reproduce the symmetry and organic forms that nature creates.
Mai grew up in Takasaki, Japan, where she attended school through college. At a young age Mai’s mother Kikue, had a big influence on her, as she was very active and artistic. She taught Mai to sew and make her own clothes, and to work in the garden and grow many plants. Mai remembers becoming interested in jewelry since the age of 7 when she started making beaded jewelry for her friends.
At the age of 20 Mai made the big move to New York City. She began taking courses on jewelry making, while she continued her education in graphic design. Her jewelry courses consisted of metalsmithing but on her spare time she began to explore with wire-wrapping techniques. Mai loves constructing jewelry and enjoys working with her many tools.
The quality can be seen in the outstanding attention she gives to the details of her work using intricate and complex craftsmanship. In addition to the superior care in construction, Mai maintains the highest standards when personally selecting the materials used in her designs.
Mai likes movement in her pieces whether it is the glimmer or sparkle of a hanging gem or the shimmer of a dangling chain. Movement captures lights, it captures color but mostly it captures attention.
Mai wants anyone who wears her pieces to feel special. She says that one of the most fulfilling aspects of her work is when someone tries on a piece of jewelry and she sees them light up with that special glow of confidence and satisfaction.
Jesse Flores provides the marketing and public relations work for Mai Flores New York, the business he and Mai share. He has worked in communications, development and financial management in the social and public sectors.
Like Mai Jesse was raised by parents who taught him to value and appreciate the beauty of the natural world. He worked with his father on their large gardens growing many plants, and seasonal flowers and vegetables. His mother who is certified in homeopathic medicine used the many plants and herbs as teas and for various medicinal purposes.
Jesse spent many weekends in his youth camping and hiking at the rivers of the Texas Hill Country. His appreciation for rocks and gemstones began as a child on the long road trips his family took throughout the Southwestern United States. He loved stopping at the roadside Rock Shops that to him were magical places with giant crystals and rocks in every imaginable color. As he grew older and began to travel the world, he continued to collect rocks and gems as souvenirs. Mai’s work with gemstones sparked his interest to learn more about them.