INYOKA is a modern alternative jewellery brand. Each piece is designed and hand-crafted by Marissa Engels in Toronto, Canada. Founded in 2016, INYOKA was born with the purpose of creating accessible and innovative fashion forward designs for both men and women. Marissa combines traditional jewellery parts with unconventional materials to create bold complex geometric shapes that gives the wearer something unique and of unexpected beauty. INYOKA loves living life large.
Raised in Victoria, B.C., Marissa Engels has always been creative with an eye for design. She has dabbled in many mediums such as painting and sculpting, but it wasn't until she went to fashion school at George Brown College and worked in the fashion industry that she discovered her passion for jewellery design. Self taught, Marissa works with patterns, textures, and colours rooted in her ethnicity and her love of contemporary architecture. Her roots have deeply influenced her designs and inspired the name of her brand: INYOKA is "snake" in Swahili. As well, it represents Marissa's Chinese Zodiac sign. It is a tribute to both her African and Chinese heritage. From formulating the idea, to sketching it on paper, and finally to the construction of the jewellery piece, each process is a form of meditation for Marissa allowing her to reflect and express herself creativity.
Informing her work is her love of contemporary architecture along with the layering techniques she has adapted from the fashion industry. Her unique perspective results in an edgy design that has purpose, form and function.
Marissa continues to experiment with her jewellery designs and learn new jewellery techniques to push the boundaries of the fashion industry world.