Jewellery company Dimure Misi – how Tongan designers mum inspired Auckland passion project

Her mother’s love for beautiful rings has led to one young woman’s passion for jewellery and the dream to create.

Valeti Hoeft’s own passion for jewellery began at a young age and eventually grew into the art of making pieces herself.

“My mum – she’s obsessed with rings, and growing up she wouldn’t let me touch them. So when I got older, I started getting my own rings.”

A few years ago, as Hoeft was planning her wedding, she and her partner had decided to seek out a Pasifika jeweller who could make their rings as another meaningful connection to their wedding bands.

“But we couldn’t find anyone who could do it,” she said.

One day, she decided to enrol in a 10-week workshop on jewellery-making. The only thing she wanted to know how to do was to create rings.

“We learned how to hammer a flat piece of silver and learned how to sand and polish a piece. And I never saw another brown person.”

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Hoeft started to make unique rings in the family garage, in Ōtara, South Auckland.

She began sharing photos of her rings on social media – and then someone asked if they could buy one.

A new venture begins

Within a few weeks, Hoeft had launched a business and has since made several collections of unique rings and earrings.

“I see a lot of side hustles now, due to the lockdowns. But I think I see myself as bigger than a side hustle.”

Her designs reflect the minimalistic and simple, yet elegant, pieces she aims to create and can be seen in the name of her business, Dimure Misi – a play on the reserved meaning behind the word demure and the Tongan word for dream.

Hoeft is incredibly connected to the pieces she makes and sees the rings as vessels that carry meaning.

“The pieces that I make are about finding empathy. I name each kind of ring and the words I choose come from little snippets of biblical stories.”

Corin, Reign, Fren, Solomn, Sonrise and Trinity are some of the titles she has used for her pieces.

“They’re words of affirmation and also reflect my faith journey,” she explains.

“My dad’s a pastor and my mum’s favourite hymn is What a Friend We Have in Jesus. That’s why I named one ring Fren – it’s a fish symbol.”

Moving forward, the 25-year-old says she hopes to one day have a jewellery line of her own and turn her dream into a bigger career that will ultimately help her whole family.

“I used to worry a lot about what other people thought about my life. But now I’m excited.

“I looked around and saw no one else – no brown face in this space. So I thought: ‘It should be me’.”

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