Catching Up: Ginger13 Celebrates Fifth Anniversary at Downtown Shop
Local jewelry designer Cindy Yokoyama appeared in many of our stories when we first entered the editorial fashion world. Fourteen years later, she’s still one to watch. From her days at craft fairs to celebrating five years at her shop, we chatted with this industry veteran to see how she survives it all, with a smile.
Photos: David Croxford
HONOLULU Magazine: The shop’s five-year anniversary is this November—congrats! How does it feel?
Cindy Yokoyama: Good. I don’t know if you remember, but when I first started at craft fairs I was into out-of-the-box pieces—mismatched earrings, spray-painted animal charms, colorful kukui nuts. Over the years, the direction of the jewelry has changed. I’m more into gemstones and the metaphysical properties they carry. I feel a connection to my pieces now and help others find the right gemstones for their own healing.
SEE ALSO: Meet the Shopkeeper: GINGER13
HM: Do you still carry your iconic mismatched earrings?
CY: Yup! It’s my signature style I’ve been trying to perfect for the past 14 years. The intention of each mismatched earring is based on a focal stone and the powers it vibrates. I studied painting at UH and fell in love with abstract art and wanted to incorporate that in my jewelry work. It’s the style I feel that is most myself.
HM: What advice would you give to jewelry designers just starting off?
CY: Jewelry is individual, personal and sentimental. Making jewelry and art should be the same way. Find what inspires you, make that your focus and put LOVE into each piece. It’s easy to make jewelry, but finding your personal style and having it reflect in your work is key!
HM: Besides your jewelry, there are lot of vibrant plants in charming ceramic pots living in the shop. Are they top sellers?
CY: Haha. Yes, there are a lot of plants. I do have a floral design background and I was a florist before opening the store, so it’s just another extension of who I am as a creative. People come in weekly to shop everything from plants to crystals and artwork.
HM: So, with the addition of plants, home décor and stationery, has the store transformed into more of a lifestyle store than jewelry shop?
CY: Definitely. I carry my jewelry, of course, but I also have fair trade pillows and home goods from Africa and Vietnam, ceramic pots, handcrafted teas, art prints and small gift items. Everything I carry comes from my roots as an artist, florist and designer.
HM: You and your jewelry have clearly grown in a new direction.
CY: I love the direction that the shop is going, especially with the gemstones and their healing benefits. This place is my sanctuary and my (second) home. It’s where my heart is and I love coming here.
HM: You’ve helped shape the jewelry industry here, how do you celebrate your success?
CY: I'm truly blessed to be able to have unconditional loving support from all my loyal customers, family and friends. Without them I really wouldn’t be here. I've learned over the past years that in owning a small business it’s all about the connections you create with like-minded creatives and relationships with clients. Being able to help find the perfect gift for themselves or their someone special, sharing knowledge and having an exchange of our life stories is what makes the shop so special for me. I enjoy having a good chat!
HM: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
CY: I would love to see my shop continue to thrive and expand on my jewelry and art! I want to get back to my painting roots and carve out more time for it. I recently posted one of my works on social media and the response was overwhelming. I think it’s time to explore that and share the painter side of me.
Ginger 13 is located in Downtown Honolulu at 22 S. Pauahi St., (808) 531-5311