Original article by Siglo Nuevo
Mani Maalai means 'gem necklace', it is a name imported from India that already gives a specific clue about the specialty of this business project.
Sisters Alejandra and Gabriela Morales are Mani Maalai and their motto is “Jewelry inspired by the earth.” The interest in developing their own designs and manufacturing the pieces was born from fruitless searches. They founded the company in 1999 and their business started on the right foot: they knew well the market niche they were going to enter, they knew what type of products were absent in catalogs and displays, they were clear about the direction to take.
No firm, no artisan, had made the jewelry they had imagined.
Attractive jewelry not only has gold, silver or a precious stone, it also has a starting point and a symbolic charge. The Morales sisters understand, from their own experience, that to move the attention of those looking for a particular object, innovation is the lever, while classic elements serve as support points.
Mani Maalai's production line pursues an ending in which both a vocation for the emergent, the unusual, and certain characteristics of common places are fixed; The latter do not define the whole, on the contrary, they contribute to highlighting the novelty.
Mani Maalai means 'gem necklace', it is a name imported from India that already gives a specific clue about the specialty of this business project. However, necklaces are not the only way their concepts are manifested; The mission is to connect with customers on various levels, providing diverse satisfaction to those who view their catalogs.
The beginning of everything is the observation of the environment, of both organic and inanimate beauties arranged as a fuse to ignite the creative process. Then comes the translation towards material existence, towards the body emerged from the metal goodness or shaped to highlight the mass of the gem.
Commitment to manufacturing is one of the keys of this Mexican company; Its founders are aware that ideas hardly come to fruition without the appropriate work and knowledge to formalize what they have glimpsed or imagined or dreamed of.
But not everything in the process is the coldness of the technique. Instinct collaborates, creating is passion and this has the habit of opening the door to glimpses of something new or explorations of unknown terrain. Sometimes these phenomena occur from the moment the materials are selected and finding the shape of that valuable metal or precious stone becomes a journey that is more instinctive than rational.
If gold acquires a sophisticated appearance, if silver unfolds with a stylized image, it is not that the concept demands it, it is also thanks to artisanal work, to the different temperance granted by careful treatment.
Giving the material a precise dimension, faithfully portraying what only existed as an idea, has allowed Mani Maalai to attract the attention of various specialists in the world of fashion. In 2015, the Morales sisters' 'necklace' was chosen as a semi-finalist in Who's On Next, a contest organized by Vogue to “promote the next Mexican designer internationally.”
The brand brought from India has become one of the favorite accessories houses of the glamor press.
Not bad for a business that arose from a simple purpose: to offer women like them items that they envisioned for their jewelry box without any correspondence with the available stock.
Last year the company was part of the Mexico Fashion Design delegation that traveled to Germany to show its proposals within the Premium Fair, one of the emblematic activities of Fashion Week in Berlin. The sisters wore jewelry made of silver and other metals, some pieces with gold plating and natural stones.
A guideline that has earned them important results to attract the attention of clients, promoters and critics, is the continuous improvement of their processes.
Conservative pieces or daring pieces, items inspired by the high tremor of the constellations or the tiny life of insects, jewels whose symbolic implication begins but does not conclude in geomysticism, these are some ways, from lesser to greater emotional implication, to enter in the orbit of Mani Maalai and his catalogues.
Its inventory shows accessories that adopt the generality of a symmetry whose lines point towards a center in which the apparently irregular detail is found, but coined with the beautiful charge of a symbolism that is in some cases ancient.
They recently took on the challenge of expanding their field of action with the Ornamento series, which is distinguished because the pieces are unique creations and are not made for the epidermal platform but to decorate the interior of a room.
The trajectory of the 'pearl necklace' is based on concepts such as Geomística, its collection dedicated, for the most part, to astronomical principles: earrings, bracelets and rings as representations of the cosmos, the moon, the stars, or that denote the peculiar irradiation of his aura.
From there arises a title that combines geometry, that branch responsible for the study of the properties and measurements of a figure on a plane, and mysticism, a spiritual activity that aspires to achieve the union of the soul with divinity through various means. As everything converges in the same place, pleonasm is discovered.
The creation of jewelry that even transcends aesthetic and utilitarian purposes to become amulets with their protective function, with the energy reserve, is another aspect of the creative activity at Mani Maalai. The Morales sisters pursue a goal in which an emotional bond is created between the person and their jewelry. However, these designers leave room for a playful element, one that is discovered whenever attention is paid to the nature of the pieces. The key to achieving that certainty is provided by themselves and is summarized in the fact that life is too short to wear boring jewelry.