Calista Tanaka’s passion for jewelry was sparked in her early childhood, growing up in Bali, Indonesia.
“As a three-year-old girl I loved dressing up as a princess for most occasions. I also remember being very picky about what I wanted to wear and how I would match my clothing to my accessories,” said Calista. “As I grew up, I got more exposed to the world of jewelry. I was an assistant to my mom for her small boutique, which then expanded to 2 amazing stores! As a teenager, I started making jewelry for my friends at school – beginning with friendship bracelets which was the trend at that time.”
Now, after working and living in the Greater Toronto Area for several years, Calista pursued her lifelong passion and realized her dream in 2020.
“Love, Calista was started about a year ago, in May 2020. It was kinda the start of lockdown and I was working from home, had a little bit more free time and was facing boredom from not being able to go anywhere,” said Calista. “The idea of opening my own business had been on my mind for months and that became the perfect time to start.”
Keep on reading to learn more about Calista and the mission & vision behind Love, Calista.
What led you on this journey of jewelry making?
I’ve always loved jewelry and accessories since I was a little girl. My journey began back in middle school when my mom told me to stop spending her money buying these jewelry and accessories (cause I have lots!). My friend and I then started to make our own stuff from very simple materials, starting from a simple friendship bracelet that we would then wear ourselves and sell to our friends in school. My mom also owned a boutique back then, I also started selling stuff to her employee! Then, I started stamping metals and do some personalized pieces back in my college years simply because I was too broke to get gifts for my friends. Gradually, my passion for jewelry evolved to the collection that I do today.
Is there anyone in particular who has inspired you along your journey?
My mom is and has always been my inspiration. The whole journey got started because of her in fact! However, what inspired me the most about her is her attitude in life. She taught me a lot in life that enables me to become this Calista today. She is always positive and hard working no matter what challenges she faced along the way. Even when faced with failure, she’s a person who would rise and stand up and just keep going. She’s a mother, a wife, a business woman, an entrepreneur, and somebody who’s very active in her community. Sometimes I wonder how she does all that?! Along the journey of Love, Calista, obviously not everything is as easy as it seems. Every time I face challenges, I just remind myself about my mom and her journey.
What’s the mission behind Love, Calista?
With Love, Calista, I always want my brand to bring positivity to those who wear the pieces. My mission is to design and create minimalist everyday jewelry with a fun twist, that would remind women of how beautiful they are and empower them to be strong and independent.
What do you love most about making jewelry?
I love making personalized pieces. Personalized jewelry always means a lot to the person wearing them. It carries stories about their life and what’s meaningful to them. I love the fact that what I do can be a reminder of something that’s beautiful and meaningful for other people.
Do you have any favourite pieces? If so, which ones and why?
My favourite piece is the Wildflower Ring. I’m always fascinated with wildflowers and its story, comes out of nothing and grows into something beautiful. It holds a special meaning for me.
Future plans for Love, Calista?
When I built Love, Calista, I had never thought it can become what it is today. However, I’m definitely not done and would like to come up with more new collections, be more accessible to my customers in store and online, and certainly want to better at everything that I do (from designing and making, quality and materials improvements, to always be there for my customers). I’d love to spread more joy, love and positivity with Love, Calista. I want to make someone’s day brighter when she receives jewelry from Love, Calista!