Women’s History Month: Yokabid Worku of YOKI


Yokabid Worku

When Ethiopian born, Yokabid Worku launched her fine jewelry collection YOKI in 2008, her maternal Aunt said, “I am not surprised that this is the path you chose. When you were a little girl, you cut the biggest flower from my garden and held it against your ear and said to me ‘one day, my jewelry will be this big’.” Although Worku’s pieces are large in scale and are imbued with presence, they never overpower the wearer’s own character. Instead, Yokabid describes her designs as “conversation starters—they allow the wearer to make her own statement without ever detracting or overwhelming their personal style.” Here collection is a magical array of cocktail rings, pendants that turn into brooches, day into evening earrings. She explains, “The idea of combining seemingly disparate inspirations and shaking things up, results in pieces that are unexpected and some of the most successful since I launched my jewelry.” Yokabid smiles at the thought of her days as the young girl her grandmother’s garden.  She says, “I believe that life is somewhat of a circle when you have a vision or an interest, you find your way back to it or it finds its way to you. This confirms how I wound up exactly where I am supposed to be.”










When did you first realize that jewelry made your heart skip a beat?

“Growing up, I remember watching my mom style herself to get ready to go to an event and volunteering to pick her jewelry for her. Then totally forgetting  what I was assigned to do because I was mesmerized by the sparkling nature of her faceted colored gemstones and the craftsmanship of the gold jewelry pieces. I felt like “Alice Through the Looking Glass” where she transforms by climbing through a mirror into the world where everything was brighter, more vivid and came to life.”

What type of jewelry first caught your attention?

“Mostly rings and necklace also, gold bangles.”


gold rings Yokabid collected


What was the first gift of jewelry you every received and at what age?

“Gold ball earring studs in 18K gold when I got my ear pierced. I was five years old.”


When did you get into the jewelry business and had you been in another business before?

“I started in the science field and then earned a master’s degree and had a successful career in the management field. Then in 2008, I began slowly chasing my lifelong passion. The first few years were dedicated to learning about the centuries old global jewelry industry. I thought it was important to first learn about it in the grand tapestry of ancient civilizations, world culture and international lifestyles. Launching my collection has allowed me to express my creative side to the fullest and now I could not dream of being in any other business.”


Who are you designing for?

“Mostly for the self-purchaser building her own collection that she mixes and matches to express her style and personality. She is confident in making unconventional purchases with wide-ranging taste for style. I’ve also seen couples purchase statement rings as their engagement rings which brings me a lot of joy since I’m a huge fan of outside of the box approach to wearing/styling jewelry.”


What is your favorite piece you always wear?

“These days, I alternate between my mini marquise-cut yellow diamond 18K studs that and small colored gemstone studs that I designed for myself.”

Yokabid’s small gemstone studs that she trades out daily for other gemstone studs



What are some of your favorite pieces you designed?

“An Iranian sleeping beauty turquoise ring enveloped with over two hundred Burmese rubies,  a green amethyst and diamond brooch-pendant. and a pair of textured gold and diamond earring studs. All three pieces have one thing in common; each one sparks happiness in me.”

Yokabid’s Sleeping Beauty Turquoise and ruby ring


Yokabid’s green amethyst aind diamond brooch/pendant

Yokabid’s textured gold an diamond textured studs


Your most cherished inherited or sentimental pieces?

“My first 18K  gold charm bracelet and rings with charms, both gifted to me by my parents.”

Yokabid’s charm rings that her parent’s gift her.

How do you wear your jewelry?

Part of Yokabid’s collection which she collected and when she wears rings. She might wear earrings with these but tends to keep her day looks minimal

“I love mixing up my jewelry styles each day depending on my mood. During the week, I usually opt for a subtle look with a unique pair of colored gemstone or diamond studs and occasionally a minimalist ring but never a necklace. I tend to be a bit more low-key but it’s all about finding the perfect balance between accessorizing and keeping it minimal.  But I’m also part extrovert so when I’m ready to sparkle,

“I’m totally comfortable embracing the attention that comes with accessorizing my outfit from ear to wrists. Jewelry is the perfect way to show off your personality and create a fashionable outfit that you feel great wearing.”

Yokabid expressing her personality through wearing a mix of different jewelry when the mood strikes