Our Indie Girl Trunk Show Artist Q&A series begins today with Kelly McGreal, the designer of Strand by Kelly McGreal.
Q: What would you like to tell customers and blog readers about your jewelry line?
A: I like quality materials, which is why I primarily use vintage beads and natural stones. Vintage beads, mostly glass, have an old-world quality that I can see and feel as I work with them. The weight, colors, and textures of these beads are wonderful to mix with newer materials. Along with quality of materials, quality of construction is important to me; strong metals and good structuring make the jewelry look and feel good.
Q: What or who inspires you as a designer?
A: I've physically been to a few worldly destinations, but I've mentally been to several more. Old movies from the 30's to the 70's and world literature have taken me on many vicarious trips. I also love old photography books; the styling in them makes me absolutely wistful for awhile.
Q: Give us a peek into your creative process.
A: As far as that goes, I usually have a color inspiration first, which then evokes a memory of one of those old films or books that I mentioned before.
Q: Your first jewelry line, These Flowers, This Moon, was carried at THE BLISSFUL a few years ago. How has your craft evolved since that time?
A: My first line was very poetic; in fact, the packaging included small poems. Also, the jewelry tended to be exclusively delicate. At the time, this concept reflected my mood. Since then, my designs have become a bit bolder. I'd say they have verve.
Q: Like many indie artists, you also have another career that pays the bills. Can you tell us a bit about that?
A: I've been teaching English at a local community college for years, and I really enjoy my students and my work. For me, teaching is as creative an outlet as making jewelry. Both allow for self-expression, and just as the written word can be transporting, personal style makes people feel like they're walking down a different street than they did the day before.
Q: What's the best part of being an indie artist?
A: I like the freedom. At one point, I had dreams of having my line carried in stores far and wide. Unfortunately, the logistics and time that it would take to make that happen would involve a second career. Being an indie artist allows me to create one-of-a-kind or limited editions at my own discretion. It also allows me to be more selective with hard-to-acquire findings since I do not have to mass produce.
Q: Since you prefer to do one-of-a-kind or limited edition pieces, does this mean you're open to custom orders?
A: Absolutely! I love designing custom commissioned pieces. If someone can point me in a color and inspiration direction while still allowing me to be creative, it's on!
Interested in a custom designed piece by Kelly McGreal? E-mail her at email@example.com to start the conversation.
Catch the complete collection of Strand by Kelly McGreal here: