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Buji Bijoux

Buji Bijoux

One Designer’s Personal Touch of East Meets West

Designer May Chen is not your typical jewelry designer as she earned a Chemical Engineering degree from Northwestern, and an MBA from Yale. Searching for something more fulfilling that she would feel passionate about, she took an aptitude test and discovered she had high artistic aptitudes that were not being fulfilled by her current career path.  Her next step was signing up for jewelry classes at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she ultimately realized she really enjoyed what she did – “merging the technical and artistic aspects of jewelry making.”  May is the sole creator and launched Buji Bijoux in 2006.   May describes her style of jewelry as a “distinct East-meets-West style” because “it melds playfulness with sophistication and nature with city chic.  I often shop at vintage stores to find unique materials to incorporate into my designs.” 

Buji BijouxHer ideas for designs emanate from her current surroundings and childhood memories of the Asian countryside to lovely items in her antique shop.  May named her line Buji Bijoux because “buji” (means “chubby girl” in Japanese) was a reference to herself as it was her affectionate nickname as a toddler.  While May always loved anything that was visual growing up, she never had a chance to explore her creativity since she chose the demanding and competitive paths of engineering and finance.  For the first time in her life, she had the chance to fully use her creativity when she launched Buji Bijou.

May’s personal favorites include the Dual Eclipse Necklace, Dream Boat Earrings, and Skipped a Beat Bracelet.  She loves the Dual Eclipse Necklace for the uniqueness of the piece as it features two layering pendants, laying side-by-side and off center, as opposed to sitting atop one another like most designs on the market.  May finds the Dream Boat
Earrings sophisticated with a touch of elegance as the cloud filigree hoops are a modern take on the classic hoops.  She likes the Skipped a Beat Bracelet because this stretch bracelet of round purple jade or pearl beads with an elegant link is “fun and easy to wear year-round” as it can be dressed up or down. 

Buji BijouxOur picks start off with the Take Me Higher Earrings, featuring disco link earrings with a polished black onyx bead hanging from a gold disco link.  These are fun and flirty and perfect for a casual evening out.  If you prefer more color, these earrings are also Buji Bijouxavailable in green jade, purple jade, pink pearl, and red shell beads.  A lovely yet modern necklace that matches perfectly with these earrings is the Puppy Love III necklace.  This is made with gold oval chain links throughout with a section set aside for a string of black onyx beads.  The blending and contrast of the bold ebony orbs against the rich gold disco links shouts city glam and modern luxury.  This is excellent for pairing with a work suit or a simple dress. 

Buji Bijoux showcases various collections, each with unique pieces that have been inspired in different ways but based on modern interpretations of classic techniques and vintage pieces.  Her first collection, Starry Night, focused on “reinterpreting the classic filigree technique through light-handed spiral patterning.”  Next, she tackled the early liquor tags from the 1900s, transforming them into unique necklace charms for her line Gatsby Tags.  Then, in her collection, Swing Time, she “conjured up the fluid grace of the Big Band era through free-flowing patterns and sweeping lines.”  Lastly, her Lovenotes and Lovestruck collections were “inspired by all of romance’s vicissitudes—and the styles range from pie-in-the-sky blue bead bracelets to powerfully passionate cuffs with engraved designs.”

Buji BijouxAnother stunning set we love is the String of Suitors bracelet and necklace from her Lovestruck collection.  The String of Suitors bracelet features gold plated wide rolo chain links with three small and elegant interlocking squares.  The squares display diamond checkered etching with noticeable detail while the linking round rings are small and thick.  The matching necklace is choker style featuring the same gold plated rolo chain links and three detailed squares. 

As an avid traveler, May finds that various Asian countries have been most influential in her life.  Growing up in Taipei with frequent trips to Japan and different parts of Southeast Asia, she was blessed with being exposed to diverse cultures rich in history and symbolism.  May notes that her “collection has evolved with time, but always with the same ideal - modern interpretation of classic techniques or vintage materials.”  Through her pieces, she hopes to share happiness and her sense of beauty with others.  Buji Bijoux has also caught the eyes as celebrities like Hillary Duff and Ashley Tisdale, as they have purchased her pieces.  May selected a touching quote by Joseph Addison for her readers, which says “three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.”  Buji Bijoux is sold at various boutiques nationwide and online at


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