AIWA THRIVE shares the stories of individuals from around the world who are positively impacting our community as they lead with purpose.
Founder of Miray Collections
Commissioner at Burbank Cultural Arts Commission
Today, we feature Lusine Simonyan, the Founder of Miray Collections, and the Commissioner at Burbank Cultural Arts Commission.
Lusine Simonyan grew up in Armenia. She graduated from French University in Armenia getting her master’s degree in accounting and finance and is currently working as senior tax accountant in Los Angeles, California. When Lusine first moved from Armenia to the United States in 2010, she was pursuing a purpose broader than her daily work as an accountant—one that would make an impact in her community. In 2019, Lusine launched an online platform called Miray Collections, which curates more than 45 Armenian designers who make unique jewelry and accessories. Lusine is very involved in the city of Burbank. She is the first Armenian to be in Burbank Cultural Arts Commission. In addition, she is currently serving as board member in Zonta Club of Burbank in Service and Advocacy Committee. She is also an executive board member for Burbank for Armenia.
Q: What is your life philosophy?
I believe in giving back to the community. My philosophy of life is to serve and be a positive impact in the world. What we choose to do every day, becomes our life, so why not choose to do good and to share our knowledge, talent and resources.
Q: What were your biggest upheavals and what did they teach you?
The 2020 year reminded us that one thing is guaranteed in life: change. From pandemic to war in Armenia, it disrupted our daily life, made us reevaluate how we show our love to our family members, like “Facetime-ing” them, instead of physically seeing them, as well as reminding us how unstable our motherland’s geopolitical location is.
Q: What was your awakening and what did it teach you?
With all the disruption, it made me realize that I need to do even more than I was doing before as an Armenian and as a citizen of the United States. It reinforced my passion behind creating Miray Collections, a unique online platform for Armenian Artists and Designers. Miray Collections represents and showcases over 45 designers, most of whom live in Armenia. Our team is able to curate Armenian jewelry and accessories and bring a real change to the lives of these artists. With global pandemic affecting women in particular, Miray Collections is proud to represent so many Armenian women designers. We continue to be an outlet that can provide financial support to our team in Armenia, as well as our designers who live and create in Armenia.
As an American Armenian, it is vital to be involved in the local community. I currently live in Burbank, CA and I am honored to be the first Armenian on Burbank Cultural Arts Commission. My goal is to bring diversity and to introduce Armenian Artists to our beautiful city of Burbank.
Q: What is your hope for the future?
I hope to see more Armenians uniting and supporting each other and contributing to the revival of national identity. It is an honor to be part of AIWA-SF Thrive and to continue to support strong, dedicated Armenian women.
Q: What is your favorite thing about being Armenian?
I am proud to be an Armenian and to carry the strength of an Armenian woman in my blood. Armenians have been able to preserve their culture for hundreds of years, through art, music, history and of course, cuisine.