Design Talk: An Interview with Mina Caragay

How did you get into jewelry design?
Well, I’ve always considered myself a crafty gal. I’ve been dabbling in fashion and art since I was playing with Barbies and coloring with crayons. Being an avid thrift store shopper, I find myself rescuing random odds and ends that always end up coming in handy later down the road. This was the case when I came across a bag of scrap leather. Almost a year later, I rediscovered the leather and made my first leather necklace.

Where do you find your inspiration?
I find a lot of my inspiration in nature. Whether I’m gazing into the night sky trying to make out constellations or going on walks in the park with my dog Rocko, my jewelry is always on my mind.

What trends to do you see coming up?

Everything that goes around comes around, so let’s see…We just went back to the 70’s with a bohemian flare and before that the 80’s. So next, I see fashion going to the more recent 90’s with that rockin’ grunge appeal.

What is your favorite thing to wear during the summer season?

When the weather allows, I love to throw on a pair of boyfriend shorts, a simple tee and accessorize with one of my statement necklaces. Just something real easy and comfortable.

Describe your current collection and what you were inspired by...

My current collection, Castaway, is greatly inspired by nautical and oceanic images. I used tower and conch shells, fresh water pearls and blue agate to incorporate the sea inspired theme. One of my favorite necklaces of the collection is called Shipwreck which features Botswana agate wrapped in miles (not literally) of copper chain. I envisioned these semi-precious stones as sunken treasure entangled in rusting chains, being hauled from the bottom of the ocean.

Do you have a personal soundtrack or favorite album that you listen to when designing?

I usually leave my tunes up to Pandora, but I have to throw in the Brazilian Girls and Lyke li somewhere in the mix.
What area of your work do you enjoy most?
I love the hands on work of creating my pieces. There’s something so satisfying about being inspired, then bringing that vision to life by creating a new piece of jewelry.

What area is a difficult aspect of your job?
I would say actually letting go of my pieces once they’re created. I get so attached to each one, it’s sometimes hard to sell them.

How would your describe your personal style?
Like a true fashion gal, I think my style has changed over the years (not all that I am proud of…flashback to when I thought it was cool to rock a 5 year old’s martial art jacket with yellow pumps) but at the moment, I guess you could say I’m loving the 70’ inspired bohemian feel with an edge.

What are your favorite places to shop?

I’m pretty thrifty when it comes to spending money on clothes, so I usually mix thrift store finds with forever21 and h&m.

Do you cook, if so what is your most delicious dish, if not, what do like to order:
I love to cook! I guess my bf would say my best dish is a homemade chicken pot pie.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment:

My greatest accomplishment so far was actually having the courage to take a risk and start my own business. I was in a comfortable job with a great company for 10 years, but it just wasn’t enough for me. So I guess just having the guts to follow my dreams.
Do you think there is life on other planets, explain:
Yes, definitely! I think it is very narrow minded to believe that we are the only ones in this universe. There’s been enough evidence of life on other planets (ufo spottings, abductions… just google alien implants) for me to be convinced. There are just somethings that I don’t need to see to believe and alien life is one of them.

What can you hear right now:
It’s 6:30 in the morning and I’m lying in bed, so other than the sound of the keyboard, it’s pretty quiet around these parts right now.

Is the cup half empty or half full:
Definitely half full! Enjoy life and live it to the fullest. If you’re not happy with where you are or what you’re doing…Change!!

You can find Dear Mina jewelry at various boutiques in San Francisco as well as online at Dear Mina Big Cartel. Keep an eye out for her designs in some big name magazines this fall too. And don't forget to check out her inspiration blog at I Love Dear Mina.


MarieStella :

beautiful pictures dear!! your style is so awesome!!

Clio :

beautiful pieces!

Ashley :

Awesome interview! Thank you for posting this:) xx

Catherine :

Great interview (nice post!). She sounds like a great person and I love the photo's :) Thanks a lot for your comment!


Catherine :

Great interview (nice post!). She sounds like a great person and I love the photo's :) Thanks a lot for your comment!


Irina Lori :

Such a great style! I'm a big fan of accessories and I would like to own all of them! So pretty! :)

Bre :

Very inspiring interview, great pictures and pieces.

Meghan :

wonderful inspiring interview!!

thanks girls

Mariana :

Great interview and amazing pics!
I love your blog, it´s super cute :)

check out mine if you want xD


elanor, :

wow! her jewelry is beautiful! love it.

Kellie W. :

Great interview! I love her jewellery!