Ukrainian jewelry is beautiful, intricate and I assume, very involved. Melanie, of Mella Bella Designs makes it all look effortless. I was completely intrigued when I saw her work. When I think of Ukrainian jewelry, I think of slow craft, maybe something super specific, that I wouldn’t be able to wear every day. Melanie brings her Ukrainian heritage into a contemporary, wearable style all her own.
Let’s meet her, shall we?
How would you describe your Ukrainian jewelry?
I specialize in beadwork and eggshell jewelry.
How did you get started with making Ukrainian jewelry?
What do you love about making Ukrainian jewelry?
I love the endless possibilities of jewelry making! I am constantly challenging myself to try different variations. For example, I have recently been testing my metalwork skills – I have started etching embroidery designs onto brass and copper. I’m thrilled with the results!
What drives you crazy about creating Ukrainian jewelry?
Sometimes there’s too many choices, and I’m often lured by new beads, and new techniques… Staying focused can be a challenge for me when I’m wanting to try so many different things!
What craft would you like to try other than creating unique Ukrainian jewelry?
I love crocheting, but I don’t know how to knit! I would love to learn how someday. Also, I took a tatting class a while ago, but had a difficult time mastering it; I hope to return to it someday. Fibre arts like these have always appealed to me!
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone who wanted to open an online handmade shop?
“Go for it!” You’ll never know, unless you try! But, be realistic with your goals; be as prepared as you can be; and, don’t be afraid to invest in yourself! For example, a professional designer can help bring your vision to life (and save you valuable time, which you should be spending on your creative business!).
What inspires you, or how do you keep your creative mojo going?
I have always been a creative person, so that is what makes me happy – time to create! I rarely have a problem with feeling motivated. What drags me down is everything else which keeps me away from my studio!
Where can we find your Ukrainian jewelry!? We want some!
Tell me, how are you investing in yourself? It makes your business grow, I promise!