Growing up on a small farm along the Oregon Coast, Kristen Robison revealed a nature-loving streak at a young age. It’s what led to her to the University of Oregon to study political science, tailored to her eventual goal of becoming an environmental attorney. But a four-month, post-college stint in India brought about a total change of heart. Kristen met a family of local jewelers creating intricate pieces without tools like torches or electricity, and, completely inspired, Kristen asked them for lessons. “It sparked a different side of me,” she recalls. When she returned to the U.S. in 2010, Minoux, her Portland based jewelry brand, was born.
Though she now fills her days crafting slim hoop earrings, chunky-but-minimal rings, and unfussy pendant necklaces, Kristen’s environmental-policy background still pushes her to find ways to do things differently—and as sustainably as possible. “The longevity of the pieces is really important to me. If you're producing something someone is wearing for twenty years, that can justify the footprint of making that piece,” she explains. “That’s what I try to keep in mind when I’m designing things— the deeper meaning beyond decoration.”