Vancouver designer Kara Yoo is the youngest of three sisters, and her older siblings didn’t just lend her clothes—they also helped her figure out her career. “All the women in my family had a lot of a jewelry, so I was always rummaging through their stuff. One of my sisters is super crafty, so she showed me how to start playing around with my own pieces,” she remembers.
Kara backed up her DIY start with some serious training: first a biz degree and then a two-year metalsmithing and jewelry course in Vancouver, where she still resides. In 2012, all the puzzle pieces were finally in place for the launch of her prolific namesake line, comprised of slim, often-delicate studs, ear climbers, and necklaces made from bent shapes that catch the light just so. Hollywood stylists are among her superfans—Kara Yoo pieces have shown up on the likes of Jennifer Lawrence (in Mother!) and the cast of Quantico. “My jewelry is very simple, like my personal style. It can be mixed and layered, and it’s a fit for women of all different ages, with all different tastes,” Kara explains. Everything is made in her bustling workspace-meets-gallery, which she shares with a slew of other creatives and her own growing team. It’s just the kind of success that would make even the coolest elder sister swell with pride.