Gina Melosi has used her love of the environment to create unique and delicate jewellery. Her new method of using recycled materials has set her apart from other designers, resulting in many awards, and celebrities such as Cara Delevingne wearing them.
There seems to be a lot of thought that goes into your collections, what inspires you?
There is a culmination of things that inspire me. Being born in Texas, there is a lot from there that has inspired me to create collections out of materials that I saw there. My last three collections have been inspired by other factors such as my family and my heritage. I take inspiration from everywhere. It doesn’t all have to start in a sketchbook, it can be from a photograph, a word, a film – go inside of yourself and see what inspires you.
Why did you decide to move to London to create your business?
I had previously visited London three times before, something kept pulling me back here. After I had finished my studies I wanted to come back here to see what London had in store for me.
When did you realise that you wanted to create your own jewellery?
I have studied many different areas, all in the arts, mostly focusing on photography. Once I had finished studying at Indiana University, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I saw a part-time course in jewellery-making which intrigued me. Once I had finished that course I realised that is what I wanted to do, so I did a Masters in jewellery design.
You have studied many different areas, does this help with your design process?
Studying art and music has made me more open to other areas, which has influenced my work. Each collection has its own concept and subconsciously I think I take more of an art perspective to my work. I try and learn from everything around me and take it in, then it seems to seep in to my designs.
‘Shattered’ was your first collection. How did you come up with the concept to work with glass?
My first collection came from my final project that I did for my master’s degree. I had researched a lot of areas such as performance art, sociology, spirituality and body art. I wanted to see how jewellery fitted in to all of that. I did three different collections for my final piece but the glass pieces were ones that I believed could stand as their own collection. The glass looked beautiful in pieces and it translated well into its own jewellery collection.
Why have you only used recycled materials to create your jewellery?
I find it really important to be conscious of what we put in the world. I have networked and researched a lot so that I could be able to do it this way. It is an important part of my projects and I want my company to be ethically correct.
Since 2011 your business keeps growing, from winning awards to London Fashion Week. What has been your biggest achievement so far?
Honestly I feel that I am still on a journey, so I haven’t felt like that yet. My biggest reward though is hearing from customers that they love the jewellery and when they buy more items. That makes me feel wonderful, as they believe that I am worth investing in.
What is it like to have your own business?
It is important to not give up, there are moments when it can be difficult. At the beginning it is quite lonely setting it up but the rewards you receive make it worthwhile. The support from my family and friends has definitely pushed me in the right direction so it is important to have a good support system.
Which collection has been your favourite so far?
It really depends on my mood, I am always changing and adding to the designs to keep them current and fashionable. Today my favourite is the ‘Last chance – lost child’ and I think the campaign is amazing.
Where do you see yourself in the future?
I would like to have a bigger team, and for the business to keep growing. I would really like to work with young people and teach them how to make their own jewellery.
What advice could you give to aspiring jewellery designers?
I would say to try and get as much work experience as you can. Learn everything you can from them but keep yourself open to everything for inspiration. If I could go back I would have done a course in business, it is vital. It is just as important as being creative. For a long time I struggled when opening up my own business because my course never gave me those skills.
What can you tell us about your new collection ‘ExtremeLove’?
I am hoping to attract a new type of customer with this collection. It was very difficult as it was a whole new process that I had to work with to make the jewellery because of the materials I used. It is inspired from organisms that can live in toxic environments, which I saw in Montana. This collection is completely different from my others, but maintains the delicate style that I use in my other works.