Filed In: Jewelry

Accessorize with Shira Melody

Recently, we discovered a new line of accessories to add to our list of favorites. Enter Shira Wasserman, owner of Shira Melody, a spunky Austin jewelry designer who is inspired by vintage pieces. With a past in designing beaded jewelry, Shira started selling her creations to boutiques in Kansas City when she was only 16 years old. “Last summer I took a jewelry metalsmithing class in Austin, and it really got the creative wheels turning!” After sketching ideas that had been floating in her head for years, Shira formed an official business last winter. “I decided to invest my savings into my new jewelry line.” Austin truly was the right place to be since the creative community supports emerging designers.

Her collection is not only inspired from vintage jewels but also interior design colors and styles she loves. “I felt that there was a void in the market for costume jewelry: either items were cheaply made causing them to only last a season, or the collections were well made and overpriced.” Shira ventured to create a jewelry line that was edgy yet feminine at the same time, keeping quality without the insane price tags. The beauty of Shira Melody is you can layer the items with stuff you already own or mix and match within the collection, which is a major trend right now.

Of course we were dying to know who’s her favorite fashion icon. “Coco Chanel. She created the entire concept of fashion jewelry and was so ahead of her time.” We would have to agree!

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Have you fallen in love with the collection too? Take a look here to see more of her designs online, or you can visit Etcetera, Etc. boutique on 2nd Street in Austin, Cotone on Guadalupe or Beehive in Westlake. Additional boutiques outside of Austin are listed here.

Leighelena + Project Paz: Promoting Peace through Bracelets

Leighelena buckle cuffs and licorice belts constructed from a variety of exotic candy colored skins have graced the pages of glossies and arms of celebs since designer Leigh Navarro launched her line in 2005.

Now in an effort to bring peace to war torn regions of Juarez, Mexico near her hometown of El Paso, Texas, Leigh is stamping her signature “mink” lizard skin buckle bracelets with the Project Paz logo. 100% of the proceeds from each “Leighelena for Project Paz” sale will be given to the New York based organization in an effort to help carry out their goal of promoting peace in Ciudad, Juarez.

A Word on Project Paz

Project Paz is a non-for profit organization, and their mission is to raise awareness about the unprecedented crime levels in Ciudad Juárez. The city borders the U.S and it’s economy and the innocent people who live there suffer greatly every day – 80,000 young people in the city neither study nor work, 30% of the businesses have closed, and 100,000 jobs have been lost. Ciudad Juárez is actually the most violent city IN THE WORLD (outside of declared war zones) and most people have no idea what’s going on there. Project Paz raises awareness about the city’s situation and funds projects that strengthen community bonds and promote peace.

Chatting with Leigh

Your collection launched in 2005, and now six years later, your jewelry is sold in over one hundred stores internationally. What is your reaction to this astounding degree of success?

I am incredibly grateful and proud of my team’s hard work.  We have two retail storefronts here in Austin and now sell to nearly 700 stores across the world! (visit her awesome collection here).

Your website credits your mother and grandfather for lending inspiration to the Leighelena line. What else inspires your work?

Aside from my family, I draw inspiration from fashion, vintage in particular.  I love organic forms and nature.  When I am deciding to make a new piece, it is usually because I want something new to wear.

A little bird told us here at LOLO that you play base in an Austin band. What’s the name of the band and when can we see you play?

Ha!  That Megan.  I am only LEARNING to play.  When things develop I will let you know!!

Fans of Leighelena want to know – what’s next for the line?

We hope to open another store down the road, and I will be expanding on the Crowns jewelry system.

What lead you to partner with Project Paz?

As an El Paso native, I feel a strong sense of community with our sister city Ciudad Juarez.  I hope to help create awareness about the problems that are happening across the border by partnering with Project Paz.

Do you have any words of encouragement/motivation for LOLO readers wanting to give back to their communities?

Anything helps!  If you can’t contribute monetarily, time is as if not more helpful in many cases. GET INVOLVED here.

Tweet Tweet: Follow Project Paz and Leighelena to keep up with their efforts!

Looking for a Mother’s Day Gift? Check out Kendra Scott

In May every year I find myself looking for that special gift for my mom. I am always stuck with that question, “What do I get for a fabulous woman who has everything?” With Mother’s Day around the corner, finding the perfect gift is often tough. Luckily a few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting with Kendra Scott at her Austin store to chat about Mother’s Day gifts, and we have the latest scoop for you!

Kendra Scott is a girlfriends brand, with an attainable price point, making it perfect for many holidays. “The brand is something you don’t just buy for yourself. You buy it for your best friend, you buy it for your mom and grandmother. That’s what I love about our brand. Someone is getting a gift that is quality, handmade and beautiful.Enter Mother’s Day. Daughters in their 20’s and 30’s  are buying gifts for their moms from Kendra Scott. “It’s great because they love it, their moms love it and they are both wearing it. So the ‘mommy and me’ term is not necessarily the mom and the little girl but more of this young, hip daughter who is buying for her cool mom. This woman usually has a very similar personality as their daughter: they are fashion forward, they have big personalities and they like to have fun.” When thinking about Mother’s Day this year, Kendra Scott kept these qualities in mind.

They have bundled packages for Mother’s Day. For example they put together the ‘Danielle and the Elle’ as a bundle for you and your mom. “We did a little version and a big version of styles and bundled different colors.” Don’t worry, they haven’t forgotten about the dads who help out on this holiday. For younger daughters, (they made some in child length) a mommy and me gift can be bought for the little girl and their mother.

Another wonderful option for Mother’s Day is the Kendra Scott Color Bar! “I love the color bar for Mother’s Day. We are running a Mother’s Day special, if you come in with your mom anytime during the month of May you can get a discount on color bar.” They will have cupcakes and champagne stocked in all the stores, so if a mother and daughter come in together they can have champagne or sparkling cider for a fun shopping experience. “Even online, doing the color bar is a very special and personalized gift. You have selected the stones that you think your mom would love and enjoy.” What a perfect gift! You can’t go wrong with a personalized present for your wonderful mom.

We hope to have inspired you for your Mother’s Day shopping. Visit Kendra Scott online here or go to one of the stores to check out her jewels for your mom this May!

 

Photos courtesy of Kendra Scott.

 

 

 

Spotted: Alexandra Beth Jewelry

Perusing Alexandra Beth jewelry is like digging through a chest of treasure. Each piece seems to outshine the last, but at the same time, they are all equally glamorous. And what’s even more glamorous is the fact that Alexandra started her craft as a mere 15-year-old. Prodigy in the making? We think so. Despite her young age, a boutique in Maryland bought 90 pieces from her designs to be divided between 13 of their stores. Local selling eventually led to a commercial creation made in the Big Apple, and here we are today.

The result: a collection that perfectly melds various metals, soft leathers and skins, studs, delicate chains and a bevy of vivid gemstones. The Alexandra Beth collection blends everyday simplicity with bold glamour at an incredible price point, ranging from $38 to $220. Gift idea? We vote yes! In the meantime, check out our slideshow of favorites.

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Andraya Necklace, Alex Tribal Earrings, Pyramid Studs, Druzy Wrap Bracelet, Suzy Snakeskin Cuff, Aztec Leather Wrap, Snakeskin Studded Leather Wrap, Eagle Ring. Shop the full collection here!

Kendra Scott Opens Store in West Village: Exclusive Video Interview

Meet the newest addition to the Kendra Scott family–her Dallas location in West Village! It is a store that stunningly showcases her signature pop colors and her couture collection that leans more towards a stunning rustic motif.  Oh, and the best part is the fantastic color bar that allows you to customize any setting with your favorite stones and colors.

We were thrilled to have the opportunity to interview the fabulous woman behind it all this past week. Not only were we greatly inspired by Kendra’s genuine spirit and talent, but we could not get enough of her fun new store, where trying on jewelry is highly encouraged! Visit one of her locations or take a look at the collection online! Trust us, you will love it. Stop by for the perfect gift for a dear friend or family member this holiday season.

The Story Behind BonBon Jewelry Designer Micah Yancey

Micah Yancey is one of those super-hip ladies that has an obvious knack for designing, and her talent reveals itself in her totally awesome jewelry creations. LOLO Magazine sat down with the woman behind BonBon Jewelry last week to dish out the story behind her fabulous earrings and necklaces, her favorite Dallas coffee shop, and her style muse that you wouldn’t quite expect (but it rocks!). Read on!

What led you to start designing jewelry?  I’ve loved creating and designing jewelry in a wide array of materials since I was in elementary school.  I was the go-to girl for friendship bracelets as a kiddo and in college, I made beaded necklaces for friends’ outfits when we were getting ready to go out.  I always had a love for jewelry and jewelry making, and my passion became a full-time career in 2010.

How do you choose your materials?  It’s important to me to design pieces with high quality and eye-catching materials that have a look of sophisticated trendiness while still remaining affordable. I seek out beautiful gemstones, paying close attention to cut, color, and clarity, that provide the color pop that I want. I know I’ve found the right gems when I literally gasp at the sight of them!  I work with 14 karat gold fill and 24 karat gold overlay pieces, because these metals are a higher quality and do not change colors over time (or against the skin).  I love the richness of gold pieces with fine lines and negative space to draw the eye to the amazing stones.

How do you decide on a color palette?  I always watch the New York and Paris runway shows to take note of styles, necklines, and the color palettes that my favorite apparel designers are using in their collections.  Because jewelry is an accessory to your clothes (most of the time), I like to take note of the trending apparel colors and then decide which of those colors I want to use, in addition to the hues I feel would best compliment the trending colors. I also consider which gemstones are the most popular in specific seasons year after year, making sure to incorporate the classic favorites into a new and fresh palette season after season.  The color choices can also come from anything that has inspired me, and I really think that so much of the decision-making process comes down to a feeling I have about certain gemstones.  I see a stone and whether it’s in the palette or not, if it makes me gasp and I think I can use it, I’ll incorporate it into my work, so that others may enjoy it, too!

What is your most popular design?  My most popular design is the earring that definitely lives up to its name, “Number One Stunner”.  It’s a 14 karat gold filled textured marquis shape with a heart cut gemstone dangling from it, and the gems are all completely luscious in color and cut.  It’s the perfect throw-on-and-go earring and it transitions extremely well from day to night.

A Personal Perspective

What is your favorite restaurant in Dallas? While I haven’t been back in Dallas long, a favorite of mine has always been Hibiscus.  I can’t get enough of their mac and cheese! Coffee shop? Again, I haven’t been in Dallas long, but a place that’s really close to my studio that I’ve recently developed a love affair with is Coffee House Cafe.  Their french pressed coffee is heavenly. Place to shop? My favorite place to shop in Dallas…I can’t decide!  I’d have to say it’s a 3-way tie between Krimson & Klover on Cole, L. Bartlett in West Village, and Northpark Mall.  I love the indie brands and pieces at the boutiques paired with pieces from H&M, for example.

Who is your style icon?  My style icon is Leandra Medine, founder and editor of The Man Repeller.  In addition to being intelligent, witty, and chock full of hilarity, she exudes style in so many new and fresh ways.  What I love most about her style is that she dresses herself and others for style’s sake without man pleasing, yet she’s sexy (and she knows it).

To see the full BonBon Jewelry Collection, check out her website and visit her super fun blog to keep up with the scoop, such as photos of the Today Show’s Ann Curry wearing her stunning jewels. And if you love what you see, join in on the Facebook hype and like her page!

Support Pink Month!

For every purchase of the Pink Sugar Blossoms style (shown above) or the Strawberries and Cream style, we will donate $25 to the Komen Foudation for a Cure! These styles can be purchased on the website. THANK YOU for helping us support breast cancer research!