I few months back I met a very talented jewellery designer called Melissa, so thought i'd introduce you guys to her as her works are AMAZING!!! I mean she is seriously talented and def one to watch out for.I recently interviewed her to get the low down on her jewellery range and what makes Melissa Leon Jewellery pieces a must have...Enjoy! :)
Above pic from right:Melissa's creative assistant, Melissa Leon, a model from my launch mini catwalk.
How did the idea of your business come abouts?
I attended a one-day jewellery making workshop last year – just for fun. Whilst at the workshop I noticed that I picked up the techniques that were being taught very easily. I also really enjoyed myself, so when I got home that evening I went online and order jewellery making tools and a bunch of beads etc. I started making jewellery for my friends and family and by word of mouth I began to get orders…I taught myself other jewellery making techniques and started attending exhibitions and events for inspiration…that’s how the business was born!
What is it that makes your pieces stand out?
I like to create pieces with unique beads or unlikely combinations of materials. For example, I travelled to Italy a few times last year and picked up some gorgeous Venetian glass beads – the kind that you are unlikely to see sold here in the UK. The pieces that I have made with those have been the most popular! I also have a new collection for S/S 09 called Candy Shop Couture - a combination of bright coloured glass, resin and crystal. This was inspired by a bracelet I created this past summer called Candy Cuff – it was extremely popular.
What also makes my jewellery stand out is that each piece or collection has its own story to tell. Customers love to read the inspirations behind my creations
When did you first start designing things and what was it that you designed?
To be honest, I have never been much of a designer. When I started making jewellery I would make pieces from pictures in my head!
What sorts of things inspire you when creating a new collection?
A lot of the time I get inspired by events happening around me, past experiences or the time of year that it is. For example, I am creating a collection for Black History Month along with an exhibition I will hold to display the achievements of young black people in Britain today.
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
With regards to the business, my biggest achievement would be launching my studio turned boutique. The launch was more successful than I anticipated and I also received some press coverage. Also, I was recently commissioned to create 500 pairs of earrings for a Sky Channel women’s event. I had 7 days to do it and my creative assistant was away so I had no help – but I did it!
What has been your biggest challenge?
I am mostly on my own in the business and there is always a lot to do. It is easy to get stressed out, but I have learned I must be more organised and manage my time better than I have been! As everything is hand made, it can get very hectic if there are a lot of orders in one go. There is pressure because I never want to let customers down, as I have a reputation to uphold.
What advice can you give to other aspiring designers?
Look for your niche and build on it! People are always looking for something different, so do research and get feedback. If you are regularly getting good feedback about a certain aspect of your work then stick with it and build on it.
Where can individuals purchase your collection pieces?
My jewellery is available to purchase online at http://www.melissaleon.co.uk/ and also from next month on http://www.bagsofsparkle.com/