Business

'I am not a unicorn:' Karissma Yve, 26, works to disrupt jewelry making


November 11, 2019, 7:51 PM


Karissma Yve says she's "empowering jewelry designers worldwide." (Photos: Facebook)

Keep an eye on Karissma Yve, a creative young Detroiter with grand goals. She's a designer who started two local businesses -- an online lifestyle shop called Xenophora and Gildform, an on-demand metal jewelry manufacturer.

"I am self-taught in jewelry and tech," she posts a few days ago on social media. "I am doing this all in my hometown -- Detroit, the home and heart of American manufacturing and innovation."

Speaking with Amy Lange of Fox 2 recently at her west-side studio and production site, Yve said: "When I see these companies go from $10,000 to $100,000 in revenue -- that is exciting." (See video below.)


"I am self-taught," the Detroit entrepreneur says. (Photo: Nate Sturley)

In a longer interview earlier by The Neighborhoods, a city-run site, the entrepreneur says:

"To be creating and creating a life for myself, to have a full-service jewelry manufacturing facility in Detroit, my hometown, really feels good. I'm at home, and I feel like I have the opportunity to impact people that are like me.

"I find that a lot of people are like 'black jewelers, black women jewelers?’ . . . I am not a unicorn. There are billions of black women that are creators and creators of their worlds."

Her second company was born after Yve couldn't find a manufacturing partner to duplicate her metal bracelets, necklaces, rings and brooches. The Detroiter says she realized other startups had the same need, so she raised money to equip a casting and manufacturing shop on 16th Street near Grand River Avenue in the Core City neighborhood.

"We're the agile production partner you’ve been dreaming of," Gildform's site says. "We're empowering jewelry designers worldwide. . . . Whether you come to us with a sketch, reference images or a completed 3D model, we'll take your ideas and turn them into finished pieces."

Technicians use a 3D printer to create models for casting in whatever metal a client wants. Assembly and finishing services also are available. 

Customers have included Shinola and Marvel Studios, says the founder and chief executive. Her team includes Antonio Cannizzo, a jewelry artist in Brescia, Italy, with 3D design experience.

Here's what Yve tells Fox 2 and the City of Detroit cable channel:



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