By now, you all should know about my not-so-little obsession with delicate jewelry (it must be my whimsical nature coming out...), so it's no wonder that I immediately fell in love with MAGGIE fine jewelry, a Brooklyn-based online boutique run by -- you guessed it! -- Maggie. She specializes in handmade fine jewelry, including rings, bracelets, earrings and necklaces, and honed her craft during college, where she majored in metalsmithing and jewelry making. How cool is that? Read on for her trend forecast and what you should keep in mind when shopping for jewelry! xoxo
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I launched MAGGIE fine jewelry in May, 2013. For me, jewelry making started when I was a kid. At first, I was really into braiding and macrame. That developed into doing intricate beading, crafting diamond patterned bib necklaces of tiny seed beads, etc. I remember my sister taking me to a bead store when I was 10 that sold amazing pieces from around the world, old and new, and that inspired me to make cooler things than what I could find anywhere else. When I went to college, I made sure to pick a school with metalsmithing and jewelry making. Once I started playing with metal and what it can do, there was no turning back. From there, it was a matter of time, preparation, practice and design.
What are some trends we're seeing as we move into the summer? What are some of your favorite fashion trends?
Summer is always sprinkled with bits of gold, but I’m also going to be wearing a variety of the hammered enamel ring in silver. The varying colors are great for matching different summer styles. I'm always looking for designers that do their work by hand and show a lot of creativity. I love getting my clothes from local makers. It's become more in demand and now designers are able to experiment more knowing that it's sought-after, which leads to more interesting stuff in the world!
What are some things people should keep in mind when shopping for jewelry?
There's so many styles at so many price points. Having a knowledge of the different types of metals and processes (solid gold vs. plated, machine-made vs. handmade, etc.) can help make sense of it. I recommend spending less on items that might fall in the "trendy" category unless you like it enough to wear for a while, and save for classic items that will give you enjoyment for years to decades to come. Of course, I recommend getting pieces that are handmade by the designer. There's always so much more personality when someone carefully crafts each piece at the bench as opposed to being mass-produced. Don't get me wrong, there is lots of amazing work being done by designers that have their work mass-made overseas, and there are some factories that, in contrast to what we usually hear, have great working conditions. For me, though, it's really important to have me and my carefully hired and trained helpers making all of my stuff. I can really tell the difference in the way my pieces turn out -- we can do a wide variety of techniques to get the look we want, which can be harder when it's made out-of house.
What are some ways that people can still look chic for less?
Go simple! My aesthetic is sleek, uncluttered and fun, so I have lots of pieces that are inexpensive due to their sheer simplicity. I love to throw on my extra-slim simple ring with one of my hammered rings and a hammered bangle, and I'm good to go. Also, some silver studs always add some fun and can be found for less.
I can never pick favorites for anything in life! I know it's a boring answer, but I love all my pieces equally. Lately have been wearing a lot of my Michèle K. Cuff and those enamel rings I mentioned. Part of the fun of being a jewelry designer and maker is having a variety of shiny things that I love to pick from.