An Unexpected Path to a Deeper Practice

An Unexpected Path to a Deeper Practice

How I changed the narrative of the pandemic into one of opportunity and affirmation.

Derek Mirabilio An Unexpected Path to Deeper Practice

Based in Gloucester, Massachusetts, Derek Mirabilio is the artist behind the Mirabilio line of handcrafted jewelry, featuring pieces designed to connect people to nature and affirm their personal experience. Photo: Courtesy of the artist.

Like so many people across the country and globe, the coronavirus pandemic completely transformed my professional life. From one perspective, my main occupation in the healthcare industry came to an abrupt end. From another, I was presented with the opportunity to invest completely in my more fulfilling work as a jewelry designer. Nearly one year since the onset of the pandemic, I find myself more invigorated than ever in my craft practice. I’ve built my brand around the notion that handmade objects can affirm who we are as people, and arriving at this place is a journey I would hope to share with others.

 

Since 2012, I worked in healthcare administration while moonlighting as a jewelry designer and slowly creating my brand. My days would begin at 3:45 a.m. to go to the gym and finish my workout before most people were even awake. After my 9 to 5, I would be at my workbench until 11 p.m., or later if the spirit moved me. This was my schedule Monday through Friday. The only change would be on nice days I would squeeze in a mountain bike ride after work before getting to my bench. On weekends were truly what I aspired my life to be: gym, ride, and jewelry.

Derek Mirabilio at work

Photo: Courtresy of Derek Mirabilio

When COVID-19 hit, many private practices eliminated their administrative staff, and I was swept up in the mix. After cycling through the emotions of losing my job, I did what I’ve always done. I shook it off and flipped the proverbial coin over. My mantra was that I didn’t lose anything—I was given an opportunity and, most importantly, time. I am an artist. I have been my entire life. The pandemic provided the opportunity to take what I had done up to this point and set my vision into hyperdrive.

Throughout 2020, I began to listen to the challenges of people around the planet. I realized one thing that connects all our stories is our cries to be recognized for who we are as people. Your collective voices touch my heart. I believe each and every person has a depth to their spirit, who they are as an individual, and the many ways in which they express themselves. Similar to how we define ourselves in many layers, my jewelry brand’s vision is to help people look inward and find [a] deeper meaning.

Derek Miribilio at work outside

Photo: Courtesy of Derek Mirabilio

If you’re an artist facing similar challenges or adversities, I would encourage you to focus on helping others. When I made this shift, people began to connect with my designs and understand my work. When you create or design something, ultimately it is for someone else. So make it about them. It is easy to get trapped in the circular conversation of me or my. If you are creating out of desperation, pain, sadness, etc. you will only open yourself up to more of that and other people will feel it, too. Instead, I encourage you to “turn the coin over” and create from a place of giving, kindness, and abundance. What you will find is the universe will open up and reciprocate these back to you.

I am an artist. I have been my entire life. The pandemic provided the opportunity to take what I had done up to this point and set my vision into hyperdrive.

Although working through the changes of the past twelve months has been challenging, the transformation has proven to be equally rewarding. I’m grateful to be fully engaged in a craft that allows us to express or interpret ourselves as individuals, something we need now more than ever. We give our designs to the world, so others can identify with them and express who they are. If it speaks to you, then that means we share something, and that is truly inspiring. A strength of the craft community is that our talents influence people's thoughts and emotions. It is from this greatness that I encourage everyone to know we are all united by craft.

About the Mirabilio Brand

My story begins between the forest trees. North of Boston, Massachusetts, are the fabled trails of the North Shore. You will typically find me along the miles of challenging climbs and rocky descents. This is where I set out with a curiosity about our own “human” experience—with a fascination for how we express our identity and how our mood influences the way we perceive life. As a mountain biker, I’ve always felt the presence of nature as I ride through the woods. I feel joyful and free. This mindset in combination with being in nature led me to see how closely connected we are to the natural-world. I then began to integrate elements found in nature with style, as an expression of personal identity. In creating the Mirabilio brand, I held a vision in my mind that I want to change the way people look and feel about themselves.

Derek Mirbilio on a bike beside his jewelry

Photo: Courtesy of Derek Mirabilio

I believe one can achieve lasting change through introspection, positive affirmations, self-awareness, gratitude, abundance, and faith. My designs are grounded in the belief that, “our thoughts create our reality.” Knowing what we wear portrays an image that influences our thoughts and perspectives about ourselves, then as a designer my purpose is to use my gift to help others design a positive change in the way they see themselves.

What evolved is a brand distinctly unique for the introspective soul seeking to express a personal identity, one that is spiritually powerful and physically grounded. Mirabilio is a collection of one-of-a-kind natural elements and individually hand-burned wooden accents that connect you with the outdoors. The entire brand is centered around a deeper connection to “self” and the connections we have to the natural world. You will discover the Mirabilio brand is more than high-quality, handcrafted jewelry. My goal is for each piece to be meant for self-reflection. Every aspect serves as a conscious observation of both the design and the individual. This starts with my craftsman philosophy of selecting high-quality raw materials and a continued commitment to the environment. I am solely responsible for the in-house design and manufacturing of the entire line. As a guide on your journey into awareness and consciousness, the name of each design is an idiom that represents a larger/deeper meaning. The descriptions relate to both the physical elements and spiritual meaning, drawing upon esoteric facets of science, history, math, theology, astronomy, nature, and beyond. Often these facets will be hidden in the patterns or burn marks throughout the design. The psychology of my brand reveals a playful balance between high-quality handmade designs, a greater connection with nature, and the intrinsic value of being human.

Learn more about Mirabilio at mirabilio.com or on Instagram @mirabilio.

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