Idunnu Tomori of Misayo House Jewelry: Five Things You Need To Build A Trusted And Beloved Brand

Fotis Georgiadis
Authority Magazine
Published in
8 min readOct 27, 2020


Create the best and safest products (within your financial capability). Don’t cut corners to keep more money in the bank. I’m a believer that the loss will eventually outweigh the profits if you do. All of our pieces are hypoallergenic and dipped in the highest quality gold or rhodium. We will always stand by our mission to provide the safest, most durable product without hefty price tags. If my young daughters and I can’t wear a Misayo House piece, then I shouldn’t be carrying it!

As part of our series about how to create a trusted, believable, and beloved brand, I had the pleasure of interviewing Idunnu Tomori, CEO/Founder of Misayo House Jewelry. She is also a wife, mommy, daughter, sister, friend, therapist, member of Fashion Group International (FGI) and so much more.

In 2015, Misayo House was formed out of her desire to share the love of classic, timeless and chic jewelry. MISAYO, which means “Beautiful Generation” in Japanese, is the middle name of her older daughter, Tara. After 10 years of working as a Mental Health Therapist, she made the decision to step away from her career after her younger daughter, Toni was born with Sickle Cell Anemia. Within a year of her hobby becoming an actual business, the buzz about their pieces was out…they even had some pretty cool magazine and blog features!

In 2017, Toni had a Bone Marrow Transplant which is the only cure for Sickle Cell complications and big sis, Tara was her donor! During Toni’s 5 weeks of isolation on the BMT unit, she began raising money to help provide support to other families at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorder Center in Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, where Toni was being treated. As someone who has always been passionate about giving back, a percentage of profits from ALL sales at is donated to the Aflac Center. So far; Misayo House, her family and friends have raised over $30,000 for the center who has treated Toni since she was 10 days old!

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I have my Master’s in Mental Health Counseling and worked in the field for almost 10 years. The plan was to get my PhD). Then came marriage, a baby, husband’s job moving us to South Africa, and I couldn’t work with a spousal visa BUT I also couldn’t sit still doing nothing, so I ordered some wholesale jewelry and started hosting private sale events and really to meet others. My husband’s job moved us to Nigeria, and I was able to work as a Mental Health provider to the U.S. Embassy and the American International School.

After our 2nd daughter (Toni) was born and diagnosed with Sickle Cell Disease, we made the decision to return to the U.S. Due to Toni’s medical condition, we agreed it would be best if I did not return to the workforce. Once again, I decided to go into the jewelry business but this time, cut out the middleman by creating my own pieces. Someway, somehow the buzz got out, we got featured in a few publications and Misayo House became what it is now (and is still growing).

Can you share a story about the funniest marketing mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

The funniest was also the hardest lesson. I got carried away and “invested” into advertising/marketing VERY EARLY in the game BUT I personally was not prepared, nor did I have to resources to keep the momentum going. Basically, A LOT of money gone!

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

We are a small, young company that operates and presents itself like a large, established one. Our focus is on the customer experience, which goes from the quality and price of our pieces; to the interaction we provide in person or virtually; to our presentation/packaging. I personally interact with all of our customers because I know I’m probably the only one who can guarantee that pleasant experience.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

I am currently planning a Virtual Shop for A Cause event with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA). As a chair of one of the hospital’s community Fundraising groups, we had so many events planned to begin in the spring. Well, they have all been canceled but COVID does not stop the needs patients have.

This year’s goal is to raise funds to provide Patient Support Services for the precious children and families of the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorder Center at CHOA. This is near and dear to my heart as its where my younger daughter, Toni was treated for Sickle Cell and cured with a Bone Marrow Transplant. My older daughter, Tara was her donor!

Ok let’s now jump to the core part of our interview. In a nutshell, how would you define the difference between brand marketing (branding) and product marketing (advertising)? Can you explain?

Branding is your “Who, What & Why” as well as what you represent; your principles.

Marketing helps others (your target) learn those things about you.

Can you explain to our readers why it is important to invest resources and energy into building a brand, in addition to the general marketing and advertising efforts?

You have to invest in establishing your brand. It’s what will keep you around for the long-haul.

I remember when I started with Misayo House, some people had “unwarranted” suggestions from what type of pieces I should carry to where I should sell them. I’ve always stayed true to the Misayo House classic/chic branding and although, it may require more marketing than some of the trendier companies…it is also why we’ve maintained the solid reputation we have now.

Can you share 5 strategies that a company should be doing to build a trusted and believable brand? Please tell us a story or example for each.

First of all, YOU have to trust and believe in your brand. I had to ask myself “would I support/promote this brand if it were founded by someone else.” Discover what will make your brand stand out amongst others and BE HONEST about it. What would make customers come to you over the competition?

Our pieces are created to look like luxury, so most people get “sticker-shock” when they realize they can actually afford us! Invest in providing the best for/from your brand. Create experiences for your customers. That has changed for us since the pandemic caused the cancelation of physical events, so I had to move the focus to how to achieve it digitally. From our online boutique, to the packaging, I want everyone to have a positive experience.

Create the best and safest products (within your financial capability). Don’t cut corners to keep more money in the bank. I’m a believer that the loss will eventually outweigh the profits if you do. All of our pieces are hypoallergenic and dipped in the highest quality gold or rhodium. We will always stand by our mission to provide the safest, most durable product without hefty price tags. If my young daughters and I can’t wear a Misayo House piece, then I shouldn’t be carrying it!

Your time is everything when establishing a trusted and believable brand. Remember, YOU are the brand! So in a lot of circumstances, you’ll get out of it what you put in. I spent a lot of time researching ways I can improve the company. From the materials used, to the website, there’s always room to improve and that requires invested amount of time.

Remember that you are the brand? So from how I dress to the way I engage with others; I’m a representing something very valuable to me. The same way I wouldn’t embarrass my parents is the same way I wouldn’t embarrass the Misayo House brand!

In your opinion, what is an example of a company that has done a fantastic job building a believable and beloved brand. What specifically impresses you? What can one do to replicate that?

Target! They made it cool to shop on a budget and their products are actually good quality. As their popularity grew, so did the quality of the brand…instead of doing the opposite; like some companies who cut corners once they gain a following.

In advertising, one generally measures success by the number of sales. How does one measure the success of a brand building campaign? Is it similar, is it different?

I think they’re both similar and different. I view advertising for sales as a way to generate immediate revenue; however, a brand building campaign will be more geared towards generating a following.

What role does social media play in your branding efforts?

Prior to COVID-19, I didn’t really see the benefits of having social media accounts. I only had them because it was the modern-day business card.

With the pandemic forcing all of our in-person events to get cancelled, I was forced to focus on social media. It has been frustrating because there are millions of other brands out there; yet rewarding because it allows us a further reach than we had before.

What advice would you give to other marketers or business leaders to thrive and avoid burnout?

Stay true to yourself, stay true to your brand and drown-out any noise that will make you lose sight of that.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

Women Supporting Women needs to be more of an act, than a hashtag. I’ve lost track of how many Female conferences I’ve attended and the hosts/speakers, charge money and then “preach” how we all need to do better but then there’s no act or action plan afterward.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“There’s No Time, Only Opportunity” by my father, Ade Ademola. This is something he’s said for over 20 years BUT it wasn’t until when the COVID-19 pandemic brought everything to a screeching halt that I finally grasped the lesson in the quote.

There are things I had the opportunity to do prior to March 13th, 2020 but I put them on hold because I thought I had time.

We are blessed that very prominent leaders in business and entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world with whom you would like to have a lunch or breakfast with? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. :-)

Michelle Obama…absolutely! I admire her as a strong, educated, beautiful black woman who worked hard to be accomplished in her own right. She is also the epitome of a “ride or die” woman in how she supported her husband, cared for a family and a nation! However, it still does not deflect from just how awesome and influential she is!

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Instagram and Twitter: @MisayoHouse

Facebook: Misayo House



Fotis Georgiadis
Authority Magazine

Passionate about bringing emerging technologies to the market