Feed Your [Jewelry] Addiction with Melody’s Pieces
A couple of years ago my bestie, Natasha, gave me the coolest pair of turquoise leather earrings from emerging designer Melody of Melody’s Addiction. Fast forward to Super Bowl Sunday 2012; Vika and I are sitting with Melody in her apt/studio getting to know the creative force behind this avant-garde jewelry brand.
What sets this jewelry line apart is Melody’s innovative use of unconventional materials, which include leather, lace, feathers and metals. Her earrings are fun and different, and using non-metal materials gives her the freedom to be at her most creative. In this interview, Melody tells us how she came to design jewelry and what inspires her.
How did you begin your career as a designer?
I began designing jewelry in high school. I grew up wearing and loving jewelry from a young age. I picked up the basics of jewelry making from my mom in high school. She made silver and gold jewelry when I was a small child and beaded jewelry when I was a teenager. Jewelry is now a major part of my life. After 10 years of working in the non-profit and community organizing arena, I wanted to reignite my creative side and took a couple of basic jewelry classes - metal smiting and wax carving. From there, Melody's Addiction emerged as a creative outlet and side-hustle about 6 years ago. It really took a leap when I became one of the opening vendors for the Brooklyn Flea back in 2008. I've been a regular vendor with the Flea ever since, and it's been a great space to connect face-to-face with customers and other designers.
Readers want to know how designers arrive at the creation of a collection. Can you describe your creative process?
My process usually begins with an object that I see or find in my daily life or during my travels. For example, when I was working in the garment district I loved the leather stores, the fabric stores, the trim and lace stores....entire stores dedicated to buttons, buckles and feathers. These materials became the basis for many of my designs. I spend lots of time playing around with piles of shells, bags of leather and boxes of beads and my designs emerge from there. My favorite part about designing and making jewelry is the whimsy and endless opportunity for invention. But mostly, I just love turning random stuff into unique adornments.
What do you listen to while working on your collection?
Ha! I love watching trashy television when I’m making jewelry in my home workspace. Real House Wives of (…name a city), Project Runway and cooking shows…you name it. I also listen to lots of Sharon Jones and Prince while designing.
Who or what inspires you?
Everywhere I go and everywhere I look I see objects and shapes that can be made into bold jewelry designs—shell, lace, leather, bells, buttons, fabric, metal. I've cut up old dresses and used the fabric to make earrings. One of my latest collections is inspired by Alexander McQueen’s Savage Beauty Exhibit that was at the Met this summer. His unique and otherworldly designs were great inspiration for a collection of new lace, feather, metal and rubber earrings.
What trends do you like this season? What trends do you anticipate for next season?
I'm a huge fan of big, bold, and lightweight jewelry and that's what I strive to create. I love walking through the streets of NY and seeing the range of jewelry being sold by sidewalk vendors. Right now, I’m seeing lots of metallic plastic, bullet-shaped earrings. I think brightly colored wooden jewelry seems to be making a comeback as well.
What are you working on now?
I’m about to take a trip to Hawaii to visit friends and family and I’m hoping to find some new inspiration and materials there. One of my favorite trees and foods is Breadfruit, and the shape of the leaf is something I’ve been meaning to create a collection out of for a while. Aside from Jamaica, Hawaii is the only other place where I’ve seen the tree. I’m looking forward to the designs that come out of this trip!
What can Pattern Rebellion Insiders expect to see from you in the coming months?
I’ve really been enjoying combining leather and metal and rubber and metal. I like the contrast of these soft and hard materials combined. My customers seem love it too! This winter I’ll be creating new designs and updating my websites www.melodysaddiction.com and www.melodysaddiction.etsy.com. Starting April 2012, I will be back at the Fort Greene Brooklyn Flea on Saturdays.