Anna-Mieke Anderson- MiaDonna & The Greener Diamond CEO/Founder
Anna-Mieke Anderson (pronounced Annameeka), originally from the South Pacific (born in New Zealand and raised in Sydney, Australia). She currently resides in Portland Oregon USA and is the Founder and CEO of MiaDonna & Company.
She started out in the fashion world - as a kid she grew up “back stage” with a mother that modeled and a film art director for a father. Her teen years were spent on stage and as an adult she returned backstage as a high fashion makeup artist. Now she is a mother, philanthropist and entrepreneur.
Anna-Mieke was a woman passionate about learning the origin of her earth-mined diamond – what she found was startling. She became so haunted by what she learned about the trade of illicit diamonds, that she took off her own diamond wedding ring and didn’t look back.
"People need to know that the unethical harvesting and trading of diamonds is still damaging communities and lives." says Anna-Mieke
She started by sponsoring a child in Liberia, Africa and then set out to find a diamond alternative she could live with. In search of a conflict-free diamond, she soon realized that the only true conflict free diamond was a man-made option. The female entrepreneur knew there was a better way and quickly discovered she wasn’t the only one in search of a beautiful, ethical diamond alternative, that was also affordable – MiaDonna & Company was born.
Pushing boundaries in an industry heavily dominated by men and old traditions, Anna-Mieke offers consumers an alternative to mined diamonds: a man made, eco-friendly, beautiful and affordable diamond.
“We can now make diamonds in a modern-day lab environment, that are more beautiful and affordable than earth-mined diamonds; without the conflict that is associated with getting them out of the earth,” states Anna-Mieke.
Fueled by her passion to give back, Anna-Mieke has built her eco-friendly empire from the grassroots level creating one of the greenest eco-friendly jewelry boutiques online. And it wasn’t long before Engagement101 crowned her, “The Queen of Eco-Friendly Engagement Rings.” While humbled by this title, she considers it a true honor to be seen as an industry leader.
She has taken her efforts a step further - Anna-Mieke founded The Greener Diamond, which is MiaDonna's charity foundation dedicated to rebuilding communities negatively impacted by the harvesting and trading of earth-mined diamonds. Passionate about her foundation’s work, she has personally visited West Africa to oversee the 100-acre rice farm in Sierra Leone and is currently planning a community farm in Liberia, all funded by MiaDonna® consumers.
The work Anna-Mieke is doing has captured attention around the globe by creating a conversation among diamond consumers. MiaDonna® has quickly built a strong reputation and loyal following with their jewelry designs going viral on social media outlets, creating an overwhelmingly positive consumer demand for MiaDonna's eco-friendly offerings. MiaDonna® has received a spot on the Portland Business Journals’ Fastest Growing Private Companies with an impressive growth rate, now for two years in a row.
“We’re dedicated to making a difference” explains Anna-Mieke, “We don’t just write checks to foundations, hoping they do a good job. Instead, we create our own projects that restore diamond-mining communities – and visit those communities, to ensure we’re making a serious impact. It’s a good feeling.”
The Dali Lama once said, “Western women will save the world” and Anna-Mieke is proving that he might be right.
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The Name - MiaDonna®
The name MiaDonna® came from her daughter's name Mia and her mother's name Donna. Together they can be translated “My beautiful lady,” which Anna-Mieke feels is a fitting description of the products she offers.
Anna-Mieke and Ponpon
The idea for The Greener Diamond and MiaDonna® came about in 2005 when founder, Anna-Mieke Anderson, was educated on the truth about her own diamond engagement ring and started sponsoring an 8 year old boy in Liberia, Africa. It was through their letters that the true idea of MiaDonna® and The Greener Diamond was born. She started with this one boy and has now set out to aid a generation.
Letter from Anna-Mieke
My name is Anna-Mieke Anderson and I am the founder and creator of The Greener Diamond and MiaDonna®. I am so excited to share my vision with you and help make your diamond dreams a reality.
I love the beauty of diamonds. I love their sparkle and the dreams they represent. However, when it was called to my attention what really goes into bringing earth-mined diamonds to market; the effect on the environment, societies and mining communities, I felt like I could not sit back and contribute to this any longer.
While the plight of orphaned and abused children had motivated me to donate my time and money in the past, I was completely unaware that by buying a conflict diamond I was unintentionally contributing to terrorizing an entire generation of children in Africa.
What I discovered horrified me and I couldn’t erase the images of suffering from my mind. As a mother of two children, two small beings that own my heart and soul and having lost my own mother to cancer when I was young – I decided I had to do something as these children are living under a mantel of fear that most of us could not imagine.
I knew there were great advancements in diamond science, it was 2005 and the technology existed to create diamond. NASA was using it in space, so why were we still buying into this old tradition of mining for diamonds and gems when we no longer had to, this is the 21st century, it is time for us to create our diamonds in a modern day lab environment. I searched, researched and tested across the globe to find you the perfect diamond alternative that is made with diamond. The remarkable similarity between the MiaDonna Diamond Hybrid® and an earth mined diamond is unbeatable. It perfectly matches the diamond crystal structure and looks virtually identical to a mined diamond because you are looking at diamond. I personally love and wear the MiaDonna Diamond Hybrid® and I know you will too.
At the same time, I started by sponsoring a 9 year old boy in Liberia, Africa just after the Liberian civil war and it was through letters with him that I first had the idea to start MiaDonna® and The Greener Diamond Foundation (TGD). The idea was simple, supply consumers with eco-friendly diamond options to be the sustainable funding source for charity projects. At MiaDonna® we wanted to raise the ethical bar and help reinvigorate our love affair with diamonds without the feelings of guilt about where they come from and how they are sourced. At MiaDonna® you can find the most beautiful, affordable, eco-friendly lab created diamonds, gems and fine jewelry. A portion of the proceeds from every sale are passed onto The Greener Diamond Foundation, where it is directly reinvested in those communities that need our help the most.
What a success this idea has become...
I am personally involved in every aspect of The Greener Diamond at the grassroots level by working directly with diamond miners in Sierra Leone and Liberia. In 2010, I visited The Greener Diamond Farm in Sierra Leone, Africa. This is our first 100 acre agricultural farm that is solely funded by diamond consumers purchasing eco-friendly products at MiaDonna.com. It is ran by over 500 reformed child soldiers and local youth in the Kono district of Sierra Leone which is prime diamond mining country. The local youths shared with me that they are tired of mining, poverty and conflict; they realize now that mining will never prosper them and they want a brighter future for themselves and their families.
I am fully committed to the modern diamond consumer, the environment and global societies. With my experience in the fashion industry and the business world, I promise to continually source the hottest styles set with the most beautiful advanced lab created diamonds that guarantees your jewelry to be conflict free. Every single piece of jewelry hand crafted at MiaDonna® is of the finest quality you’d expect and you deserve. After all, I never send out anything that I wouldn’t be happy to wear myself.
That way you know you’ll always be proud to show off your MiaDonna® Diamond jewelry and receive non-stop compliments.
Please look for MiaDonna®, The Greener Diamond and me on Facebook and visit our sister site TheGreenerDiamond.org for more information about what we are accomplishing here at MiaDonna&Co.