Living in Myanmar, there is no shortage of evocative imagery to inspire the imagination - teeming local markets, colourful traditional clothing and a stunning natural environment that spans from ice tipped mountains, to lush jungles and pristine white beaches.
But when creating the next range for Mia Ruby, I just couldn’t look past Myanmar’s stunning orchids. I confess I do have an obsession with orchids here, having amassed a fair collection over the last few years. I love starting my day sitting on the balcony in Yangon with a cup of coffee checking out which new buds are coming. And now that we have entered ‘cool season’ in Myanmar, there are lots of new flowers to find.
Whether you have a green thumb or not, it is impossible not to appreciate the beauty of these blooms. Due to the country’s decades of international isolation under the previous military regime, Myanmar has a spectacular range of rare native orchids. Sadly however these are increasingly under threat due to farming, logging and poaching from native forests, including illegal smuggling to neighbouring China. Local organisations such as the Royal Myanmar Orchid are working hard to do something about this though, including replanting native orchids back into wild forests.
Orchids also have a unique place in Myanmar culture. They are traditionally worn by women in their hair as a form of adornment. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the National League for Democracy, which came to power this year after decades of opposition to the previous military regime, is particularly famous for wearing orchids in her hair.
Mia Ruby’s new ‘Wild Orchid’ range is inspired by these beautiful flowers. The collection includes elegant drop earrings and bold statement rings. Each piece is cast in 9k yellow, white or pink gold and set with rubies or sapphires. As with all our jewellery, these gems are sourced from non-military mines from Mogok in central Myanmar, and are untreated and hand cut.
I am looking forward to showing these new products to you when they're available at the end of November!