While Kaleiya as a kaleidoscope company was founded in 2017, the idea for the company began in 1989. While purchasing a kaleidoscope as a gift for a family member at a swap meet in Costa Mesa, California, we became aware after a few minutes of viewing the kaleidoscope that this was a gift that was not getting sent. There was something about the small lucite scope that brought about feelings of nostalgia and wonder for us that has kept a grip on us to this day.
We have spent nearly thirty years collecting scopes from some of the greatest living artists in this genre of art; marveling at the myriad designs and images that were being created from the likes of Craig Huber, Charles Karadimos, Don Doak, Peach Reynolds, the Straubs, Dominique Stora, and many others. Our guide through the forest of possibilities was a quiet zen inspired shopkeeper named David Wallace at a boutique in Soho, NYC, called After the Rain.
As real estate brokers in NYC, we would treat ourselves after each completed deal to a new kaleidoscope, feeling that if we had spent the money we made on the deal, at least we would have a kaleidoscope to show for it! in the back of our minds though, we always knew that someday, we would try to make our own version - a kaleidoscope that would use only the finest materials. it would be our contribution to creating the most
exquisite, luxury kaleidoscopes that would be heirloom, collector, art grade pieces. We just needed to figure out how to get it done.
In June of 2017, we looked up and old friend of ours who created gold coin jewerly in NYC, Leonardo Efron. Leonard was a former chief designer at Cartier and was still in business with family members now at the helm. Leo said he could make any scope, so we set out together to source the finest materials to make it all happen. With Leo on board, and a solid 18 karat gold tube on order, it was time to find gems. We called on a few friends. Phil Reider - whose family had many years in the jewelry business - Ami Chandi from AOA Diamonds, and Don Waisman, a gem expert from Austin, Texas with 30 plus years experience, to push our dream of a gem scope further.
Gems were purchased from exotic locales: Alexandrite from Brazil, Sapphires from Sri Lanka, Emeralds from Zambia and Columbia, Rubies from Burma, African fancy vivid yellow Diamonds - only the best. Non treated, non heated, only the finest stones available. We wanted something that was gorgeous, timeless, and unique; a gift that would be shared with future generations; one that expressed both intrinsic value along with a small view of the world inside of an optical chamber of a kaleidoscope, which we hope you agree with us, conveys such a magical message.
Some say kaleidoscopes are a reflection of and metaphor for life in their ever changing patterns, constantly rearranging themselves like each new day. We like to also think of them as that toy from our childhood that brought a moment of calm to the day with its simple beauty. We find the images to reveal perfectness of symmetry, and our eye looks forward to the new images of beauty that are always a turn away. To see the beauty of a kaleidoscope pattern and acknowledge the many gifts of each experience, from visual to metaphysical, is to capture that childlike joy once more.
It is our hope that Kaleiya Kaleidoscopes will be something you will cherish forever, and for generations to come; that you and your family will appreciate the harmony, balance, joy and passion which these wonderful kaleidoscopes allow you to experience. Life is a collection of precious gems; may they bring you calm and peace so that each moment can be more beautiful than the last.
All our best, always,
Jayme & Michael