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Crafting Connections with Maisey Zamra

Time & Space

Crafting Connections with Maisey Zamra

Posted on 12/07/23

In this feature, we explore the journey of Maisey Zamra and her creation, DALMATA. Born from a unique vision of choker designs in Los Angeles, DALMATA has evolved into a notable jewelry brand that embraces empowerment, creativity, and in our own experience with our Time Ring collaboration, the nurturing concept of Found Family.

Hailing from Los Angeles, DALMATA stands as a testament to the fusion of artistic vision and the strength of community. Founded in 2015 by Maisey Zamra, the brand has evolved from a unique vision of choker designs into a celebrated modern jewelry line, embodying discovery, connection, and empowerment. This ethos resonated with BREDA, leading to our collaboration on the Time Ring. The success of this partnership and the formation of a 'Found Family' was an unexpected, yet cherished outcome.

Maisey's journey into the realm of jewelry design began at a crossroads in her life. Having dropped out of college, she found herself searching for direction. It was during this time that she experienced a pivotal moment: "I just knew I wanted to be involved in art and design so when jewelry making and design clicked for me, it was monumental. I never stopped running with it," Maisey recounts. Her discovery of stainless steel as a medium was a significant turning point, offering her a material that was both affordable and durable, allowing her creative visions to come to life, however, she has since added multiple metals into her designs.

Central to DALMATA's ethos is the concept of Found Family. "The people in my life who mean the most to me came into my life because of DALMATA," Maisey explains, encapsulating how the brand has become a vessel for meaningful connections, a found family. "If one of us is having an off day and can only give 20%, someone else will happily come in and give the remaining 80%." In this environment, work transcends its conventional boundaries, “I never had a work environment where there was compassion and understanding when it came to our respective struggles so it is vital for us that we accept each other as we are each day with no judgment and pure love. It has made “work” feel like love and play.” Having fun and being respected in the workplace is paramount to the success of any business.

The influence of childhood joys, particularly the film 101 Dalmatians, continues to shape Maisey's creative direction and business philosophy. (Dalmata is dalmatian in Italian.) This early aesthetic love affair has evolved into a guiding principle of "do what feels good", a mantra that permeates every aspect of DALMATA. For Maisey, Dalmatians symbolize a childlike joy, a reminder to align with what brings happiness and fulfillment, both in life and in her designs.

Despite her passion and success, Maisey has faced challenges, particularly in balancing the creative and administrative aspects of her work. Rather than losing joy in creating, she found herself overwhelmed by the less creative facets of running a business. As a woman leading a brand in a competitive industry, Maisey has faced underestimation, particularly from male counterparts, stating, “The biggest challenge and most consistent challenge is men underestimating me and how smart and aware I am.” Her response has been one of resilience and self-advocacy. She emphasizes the importance of advocating for oneself and ensuring protection and respect in professional dealings. “I have learned to advocate for myself and my nonnegotiables and best of all, to get it in writing so that me and my business are protected.”

Which is great advice for anyone entering any industry, and to that point, if you’re looking for advice in entering the fashion industry, Maisey has that advice for you as well: “Just do it, babes. Let yourself obsess over the idea, fall in love with the idea, dream about what could be. Try your best to take small steps often towards bringing the idea into reality. A friend told me yesterday that some people are growing onion plants, and some people are growing olive trees. Onion plants take about 14 weeks to grow, and it takes an olive tree about 10 years to grow. We’re all growing at different paces and growing things that will take different amounts of time to grow. I truly believe, as long as you're working towards it as often as you can, you’ll get where you’re trying to go. Oh, and prioritizing getting to know yourself and your soul will accelerate your growth. That’s the key for me!”

DALMATA's commitment to inclusivity and empowerment is evident not only in its designs but also in its business practices. The brand's approach to size inclusivity and the use of durable materials reflect Maisey's desire to empower her customers, encouraging them to expect fairness and quality in all their transactions. In her own words, “We try to be as size inclusive as possible by offering three different sizes and all with adjustable chains for added versatility. Energetically, I think and hope it comes out with how we treat the people who give us their hard-earned money in exchange for our pieces. We price everything as fairly as possible. We prioritize using materials that will last for a lifetime if taken care of properly. So I hope that practice empowers people to expect that from other businesses or to at least know it’s possible.”

Reflecting on her favorite creations, Zamra admits it's challenging to choose just one. However, she holds a special fondness for her initial designs, emblematic of empowerment and the boldness to express oneself authentically. This sentiment ties seamlessly into her collaboration with BREDA on the Time Ring, a venture that has profoundly influenced her approach to future partnerships and the cultivation of deep, family-like connections in professional environments. When asked about this collaboration, and becoming a Found Family, Maisey enthusiastically shared, "Love this question because it is so true! I hope other collaborations can be as special and fluid as ours was. You all really held space for me to show up as I am, which fostered a sense of freedom so vital in a collaborative creative process. The BREDA team provided me with an experience of safety, love, and joy, akin to what I had only dreamed of. This experience has been transformative, enlightening me to the possibilities within collaborations and motivating me to seek similar connections in future endeavors. Thank you for turning my dreams into reality."

Maisey Zamra’s DALMATA is a story of finding one's path, building a community, and empowering through creativity. Her journey, marked by challenges and triumphs, serves as an inspiration, demonstrating the power of vision, resilience, and the enduring bond of a Found Family. Maisey and her team will always be a part of BREDA’s Found Family but before we close, Maisey has a special shoutout: “Ruben, Kendall, Efrain, Heba, Payton and Eduardo, you are magic, and I am so lucky to have collaborated with you! Thank you, Amir, for the amazing company you have built and letting me be a small part of it. Thank you, Kat and Tina, for all that you are and have done for DALMATA. Shoutout to Eliana for believing in me and DALMATA! Thank you to my mom who has helped DALMATA in immeasurable ways. <3“