Sunqu Misti Jewelry is designed and handmade by metalsmith Michelle Smith Meza.
Sunqu Misti means "Misti Heart". Sunqu is Quechua for "heart", while Misti refers to "El Misti" volcano in Arequipa, Peru, hers and her mother's birthplace and where she learned metalsmithing.
“I grew up around metal in my dad’s Tool & Die machine shop in Cerritos, Ca. I'd always play with brass remnants, pretending they were jewelry. I love the characteristics of metal, its color, its sound, its feel. I love the transformative process of creating with metal, just like my pop. It’s in my blood, I’m a Smith."
In 2009, she moved to Arequipa to learn hands-on in the workshop of master Silversmiths, The Daza Pacha family. Most of her stones come directly from the families of lapidaries (stoneworkers) who cut and shape them in Peru.