Tuesday, July 15, 2008

4 Questions for Melissa Joy Manning

After studying silversmithing and design in Mexico and Spain, Melissa Joy Manning launched her eponymous jewelry line in 1997. Simultaneously joyful, spiritual, unique, and empowering, Melissa Joy Manning is a must for every jewelry box. Here, we picked the designer’s creative brain.

What is the philosophy behind your line?
I design jewelry for an individualistic woman whose style is not dictated by trend. My work appreciates natural beauty. Heirloom quality, beautiful details, and extraordinary materials are cornerstones to our brand. I am intrigued by the history of objects and talismanic pieces – I strive to incorporate that level of spirituality in my work.

What inspires your designs?
I hope that I offer a unique perspective and sense of community in my work. The things that drive me as a designer – my spirituality, my respect for our shared histories, and my love of the innate power and beauty of nature – are present in every piece of jewelry I create. Whether it’s a hammered texture on a simple pair of hoops or the amazing hue of a unique stone, I think about how every piece of jewelry is a unique expression of my creative nature and how my expression will translate into the expression of the end buyer. It’s the idea that we are all connected and that every piece of jewelry will have its own unique history that drives me. I endeavor to make things that speak to me and, hopefully, to others.

What is your best accessorizing advice?
Find things that express yourself, not a trend.

Do you follow Coco Chanel’s rule: “take one piece off before you leave the house”?
Nope. I follow more of a matching mantra: don’t.

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