For Nichole McIver, Acanthus came from her desire to combine her love of art history and fashion. Designing and hand crafting jewelry gives her an outlet for her creativity. Continue reading to learn more about Nichole and her jewelry line.
When did you start designing jewelry?
I started playing with jewelry about two years ago. It seemed like an interesting way to express my creativity aside from my drawing and painting background and I taught myself how to do certain wire wrapping and beading techniques. I made pieces for family and friends for gifts and it really sparked something inside of me. I was constantly sketching and playing with wire and tools. I loved the outlet for my creativity and the endless possibilities of designing jewelry, so I decided to work towards creating my own line. Acanthus was just launched in July 2010.
The name of your company is Acanthus which is defined as “ in botany, is both a common name and a genus of flowering plant.” Why did you select this name for your company?
I have my M.A. in art history and my emphasis was in Medieval and Renaissance illuminated manuscripts. I am so drawn to the detailed, colorful pages of the margins of these books, and one of the most common design motifs is the acanthus leaf pattern. Visually I love the beautiful scrolling design of the leaves, but symbolically they hold some significance for me as well. The acanthus leaf has been used continually in art, architecture and design for, literally, centuries-as early as the Corinthian columns of Ancient Rome and even currently in architectural elements and fabric patterns. I think that the acanthus speaks to continuity and enduring design, which is what I wanted my jewelry designs to reflect.
What is one of your most popular selling items?
The Gemma pieces are sort of the signature foundation pieces for Acanthus. I love how the tiny gold beads add a dimensional, textual frame to enhance the colored gemstones. They come as earrings and pendants. They are simple enough for every day, but also can add a pretty, dainty sparkle and a pop of color to something more dressy too.
Which item do you love the most from your recent collection?
I’m a hoop earring wearer, so I really love the Alexandria earring. It is a more elaborate version of the classic gold hoop and it has a cool twisted oval link shape. I also really love the Jeanne necklace because I think that the combination of deep purple amethyst and red garnet gemstones has a very rich, regal feel. It also has a little bit of movement with the tiny, dangling beads and the length allows it to be worn long, (my favorite way), doubled up or even wrapped around your wrist a few times if you want. Also, the Acanthus Signature Trefoil Earring in Crystal Quartz is a brand new piece and I love it for brides or just every day wear. I took the trefoil, or “three-leaved” design that I use as my signature end clasp on the necklaces and adapted it with the gold fill beads and a large crystal quartz heart. It is small and simple, but still has a shape and detail that gives it a lot of interest.
With there being so many jewelry designers out there what do you think makes your brand stick out against the others?
I think that there are two aspects to my jewelry that makes Acanthus stand out: first, with the exception of chain and lobster clasps, basically everything is handmade by me personally. I’m not using manufactured charms and different shaped findings as the main components of my pieces. I work hard to make every piece with as much care and attention as I would if I were giving it as a gift to my friends or family. Essentially, the pieces are custom made for my clients, because I don’t make the piece until it is ordered. I will even work with clients who would like to slightly adapt pieces, such as make a longer chain length on a pendant, or design custom pieces together for gifts or wedding parties.
Also, I wanted to design my jewelry with a customizable quality to it. I want anyone to be able to wear my pieces no matter their age, size, or style. If you have more simple taste and like smaller, more delicate pieces, you can do the Gemma earrings or necklaces. If you like to be a little more trendy and bold, you can pick any few pieces and layer them together in an interesting way. Many of my necklaces are able to be adjusted and worn in different ways. The lengths can vary to suit your size or neckline, or pieces like the Livia and Antonia necklaces can be clasped anywhere along the chain so that they can be worn at 16 inches or 30 inches. I wanted my line to be something that you can collect piece by piece over time and they would all coordinate and allow lots of options for women to wear them in their own way so that they can really maximize their accessory wardrobe and feel unique.
Do you love this Gemma Earring in Amethyst (Value $60)? Just leave a comment on this article and let us know if you or someone you know would love these earrings. The winner will be chosen at random from those who leave a comment and will be announced September 30, 2010.
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For more information on Acanthus Jewelry please visit http://www.acanthusjewelry.com/
Being the offspring of a fashionista, Nadia Murdock has always had a passion for fashion. She decided to put her passion to work two years ago and launched Manchester Public Relations www.manchesterpublicrelations.com. Nadia is the Public Relations Director for Chic Galleria magazine and works in New York City.