Written by: Abi Koh | Photography by: Judy Suh
EGO Art Jewelry is a partnership between Chicago-based Judy Suh and her aunt Miwha Oh, who resides in Seoul, South Korea. EGO features a special selection of handmade work by Miwha, a metal artist. Judy, aged 23, handles the marketing and business aspects of EGO.
In her signature body of work, Miwha takes raw and primitive aesthetics, then refines them into a more modern look. EGO carries a limited selection of pieces from her broader range of work. The selection tends to exhibit a strong yet delicate, geometric, and minimalist vibe that suits women of all ages. Some of the pieces, such as the rings, are unisex and can be worn by men as well.
EGO is a new venture, having launched only this past November. Judy is running EGO on top of her full-time job. Since she doesn't have to make a living from this, she can have more fun growing the business without feeling pressured.
The process of starting an online business hasn't always been easy, however. Judy was originally unfamiliar with the jewelry industry and lacked connections in this field. Another challenge has been cultivating a consumer base. "I'm starting small, just telling the people around me using social media . . . but I'm still learning how to put it out there more." Nailing the packaging style is also imperative, as Judy believes it needs to match the aesthetic of the jewelry.
Although this is Judy's first foray into the jewelry industry, her aunt Miwha has been creating metal art for years. She completed her Bachelor's degree at Parsons The New School of Design and Masters at the Cranbook Academy of Art. Her love of art led her to Harvard University, where she continued her studies and focused on Museum Studies. Armed with bountiful knowledge and years of experience, Miwha moved to Seoul and now owns her own gallery, Gallery O. Gallery O features many other jewelry artists' works from around the world. EGO's name actually derives from the gallery's name as it stands for E-Gallery O.
When asked if she had any words of advice for young, aspiring female entrepreneurs, Judy said, "I think the essential thing is finding something that intrigues you." The process would then be more enjoyable, especially since a business is something that will take up a lot of time.
To learn more about Miwha's creative process, you can view the following mini documentary below. Judy shot it back in 2013 as part of her documentary series called Creatives Around Me.