Monday, August 20, 2012

Get Like Me: Melanie White

Aspiring to break into the fashion industry or simply intrigued by it? Well LoveBrownSugar has something for ya! Our “Get Like Me” series highlights exclusive interviews with industry insiders from celebrity stylists to fashion designers, editors, fashion PR heads & more!

You guys loved our last fashion designer spotlight so much, I decided to follow up with yet another dope artisan to grab inspiration from. Leading the Get Like Me pack as our very first accessory designer is handbag and jewelry designer Melanie White. The NYC-bred designer not only has her own accessory line, but she owns and operates her own boutique in the City of Brotherly Love (Philadelphia). Check out her story:

Name: Melanie White
Location: Philly
Personal Style in 3 words: Classy, Chic and Edgy
Favorite Designer(s): Melody Ehsani, Rachel Roy, Marc Jacobs, Christian Dior
Must-Have Accessory: Earrings. In high school, that was my pet peeve - girls that didn't wear earrings. Even if it's just studs, that's my must-have.

When did you know you wanted to become a designer?
When I was younger, I was always doing things with my grandmother. My grandmother was an artist. I was always helping her do things. We would go to craft classes. But my real start was in college. I would do things as a hobby, but then I started making things and people liked them. So when I graduated I started the actual line.

How did you come up with the name of your brand - "Melanie Marie"?
My name is Melanie and Marie, that's my mom's middle name. My mom has always been the one helping me all the way through and I wanted to incorporate her in it somehow. And I thought it was catchy and cute.

In fashion, was accessories always the thing that made you stick out?
Yes I've always been known to have some type of something on that everyone would comment on. So it's always been my thing. From the jewelry I have collected, not even the ones that I make, I have bins and bins of things under my bed and in other rooms - just full of accessories.

What inspires your creativity?
I could go outside and see something. If I see a flower and it has pretty colors I will want to do something with those colors. If I see someone wearing something out and about. If i see a girl and I think she looks cute, I will think of accessories she should be wearing. Life, being out and about and seeing and hearing things.

What has been the most memorable comment given to you about Melanie Marie?
I got an email from a random person in another country saying how much they liked my stuff and that everyone complimented them each time they wore my stuff. They just felt like I inspired them to go out and do something. They had things that they wanted to do but were scared to do it, but me being young and being able to follow my dreams,  they just felt inspired and I thought that was really nice. That was about a year in.

Has Melanie Marie consumed your life entirely, or are you actively involved in other things?
Oh no I do other things! It's not just all Melanie Marie. My partner and I own a boutique in Philadelphia. He's actually my boyfriend. We own a boutique nearby Temple University's campus. We opened on January 21st. It's called Greek & Life Boutique.

What's next for Melanie Marie?
Shoes! I love shoes and I want to start making them, so that would be the next thing I want to do. When I originally started Melanie Marie, it was just handbags but they are really expensive to manufacture and accessories I really like so much more.  So I put handbags to the side, but the next thing will be shoes!
Melanie & Beyonce's stylist Ty Hunter

Three pieces of advice for aspiring accessory designers?
1. Stay positive. There are so many people that will say "oh you shouldn't do that, it's not gonna work." 
2. Research what you're trying to do so that you have something that consumers want and you won't be one of the millions just trying to do "something". 
3. Don't give up. It's cliche, but a lot of people start something and if it doesn't take off they'll just quit, but I would say don't give up.

What's in your bag?
It's not that much because I switched to a clutch yesterday. I have my wallet, lipstick, lipgloss, eyeliner, nail filer, cell phone, phone charger and a Melanie Marie bracelet. I have some make up, credit card. It's pretty light. Surprisingly light! 

Check out Melanie Marie online: Website | Facebook | Twitter  
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  1. Good interview. Like her "arm party", and I sooo agree with her about wearing earrings. I also think its a must, along with lipgloss/ lipstick. Her earrings are cute and I will have to check out her site. I Love and look for unique pieces.

  2. great interview.. Those purses are cute.. My fav is the silver grayish one.. Xo-Jewel