Sunday, 16 March 2008

For Designer Jewellery Enthusiasts

At last, I've managed to sit myself down and find out about this blogging lark....

My first priority was to sort the website out to show my life's work, then update it with all the usual trimmings, so now it's only fair I give my customers, stockists, friends and foe an insider's guide, without the umbrella-in-hand loud speaker, about my work and perhaps some snippets of my family life.

Let's start with the low-down. I am a creative! And sometimes I am so far out of the box, I need Scotti to beam be back. Being creative comes with it's blessings & curses. As is always the case, where there is creation, so follows comments, good and bad. The mountain top highs, like when a retailer agrees to stock my jewellery, and deepest depths of the ocean lows, like every door that slams in my face. Creatives are generally dreamers, which i am, but equally as a business person, one has to be so down-to-earth, I spend my days digging. Like when a supplier misses a deadline it's not just devastating to my business but my psyche takes a blow too.

Then there is the financial burden setting up business weighs heavily and this has caused more stress than I ever imagined. Though I don't do money well, I leave that to the accountant, AKA my husband. At least, I don't let it rule my life or my thoughts. I believe what goes around will eventually come back around, so I try not to make decisions based on making money, because I have always only ever been in this journey to feed my creative juices, hand-on-heart truth.

On this journey, I am constantly surprised at how versatile I have become. I drive my husband crazy with my sometimes hair brain ideas and thoughts. I want to make everything I see better and I can't switch it off, well except with a goldfish-bowl glass of sparkling wine..

So I decided to focus my energy into creating jewellery and with over 400 designs under my belt, I have far exceeded my own expectations as a designer. Now, I want to use this blog to try and portray an honest account of my life as a Designer. I am, however, NOT a writer, so I apologise now for any mistakes.

These are real accounts, and I promise I will try not to hurt any humans or animals in the making of my life's blog.

Design is my passion and I have always held top designers with the highest regard. Albert Einstein once said "imagination is more important than knowledge" and this philophy is key in my creative exploration. Yet I see some designers commanding extortionate rates with little regard for quality and this is just another notch in the design world which spurs me forward. I want to produce quality, to be proud of my work and I want to be the best I can, not matter how far I rise or indeed fall.

The history thus far? I found my way into jewellery making because: firstly, ever since I can remember I have had an allergy to base metals so I can't wear anything that is cheap, i.e "accessories". The green stain around the neck is not attactive! Secondly, traditional precious metal jewellery were usually limited in design and certainly not fashion-led. High-fashion, high quality jewellery were usually out of my price range and only for the rich and richer. And finally the catalyst, when I attended a jewellery party, I couldn't believe this so-called "artisan" was flogging such trash both in quality and design and I decided there and then, I could do better. It was then I decided to find out about studying the craft of jewellery making.

I signed myself up for various courses here and abroad and quickly skimmed through wanting more. I constantly experimented with designs and carefully studied all the work I could lay my eyes on, but then I have always surveyed the artistic worlds and catwalk design. During my studies, most notably Central St Martins, I realised that I didn't actually want to be a Silversmith, as Ii enjoyed wire working far more.

So I started sourcing and finding out what I could get my mitts on to make jewellery that I would be proud to wear. After months of careful sourcing, I started to realise that if I could bulk buy, I could get my hands on gemstones and Sterling Silver, even Gold if I wanted. Of course this required a significate amount of investment, but I just couldn't help myself. The gems were calling me with their luminous fires of light and I just had to answer. Luckily my friends supported my work and would ask me to "whip something up" for a special occassion to match their outfit, and well that was just the start of a very fruitful relationship with my tools and wire.

So here I find myself with my own label, real stockists and a fully functional website. But I have never been one to do anything by halves. I always seem to throw myself head first into the deep end, whether it be trying to order the best materials my budget can buy, pie-in-the-sky ideas for trade fairs or carefully fine tuning my wiring techniques with uber fine crafters in India that produce incredible works for royalty.

Now it's not just small gemstones I create my jewellery with, there are huge ones too and in all the colours of the rainbow. I have recently introduced Coloured Diamonds, and have always enjoyed the lustre of Cultured Pearls, the sparkle from Swarvoski Crystals, Venetian/Murano Glass, unusual Shells, exotic Corals, and much much more, all ethically sourced from around the world.

Whilst on the topic of ethics, as my integrity is part of my brand, no doubt there will be a blog to follow, as I have my own ideas on how to save the world, one glittering gemstone at a time.

No doubt this is just the beginning, as there is no stopping my imagination nor my desire to succeed. My true ethos is based on providing limited edition quality fashionable jewellery that is reasonably priced. The old clique couldn't hold more truth with my brand by guaranteeing; "you get what you pay for", no more and certainly no less. By sticking with this simple rule, I hope to stay in the game for as long as my customers buy from me.

During my new blogging escapades, or shall I call them blogscapades, I hope to enthrall my readers and customers alike with various buying trips and experiences, so you get a glimpse at the very weird and wacky world of a designer/maker.

So do remember to check in from time to time, when I will try to keep you abreast of my warp-speed life, including any news, events, collection launches and much, much more.

Many thanx for all your support. Enjoy!

Melinda xx

The jewellery featured in this article:

Top, apricot coloured bracelet is from my V07 Collection, featuring Murano Gold Filled Glass Heart, Cultured Pearl & Swarovski Crystal on Sterling Silver Chain.

Middle, Pink Amethyst Broilettes with cluster of tiny Cultured Pearls, Moonstones & Swarovski Crystals on fancy post earrings from my new Bridal Collection

Designer Jewellery

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