erica pena and melissa joy manning are the final two jewelry designers to be featured on the blog, and it makes sense to put them together as they are both female artists who create very feminine, romantic pieces that any girl would be lucky to own, and both designers also make an effort to be socially and environmentally friendly.
the inspiration behind erica pena’s first collection came from her move from manhattan to puerto rico, as she conveys this experience through jewelry that is a mix of new york’s rough edginess and the caribbean’s light airiness. her travels to places like bali continue to influence her designs and stimulate her to create unique and spiritual pieces that are chic, girly and bohemian. her travels have also influenced her to incorporate social and environmental causes into her work, and she joined with yayasan membina api cinta kasih (YAMACK), a non-profit organization in bali. one of the projects she has worked on in conjunction with this organization is building a unit/school for disabled children financed by the sales of a necklace and bracelet designed specifically for the cause.
we are very excited to be working with melissa joy manning, a US jewelry designer who creates one-of-a-kind pieces that are feminine and girly but with an edge, often mixing modern and traditional elements. she says that her jewelry “is not an accessory, but an expression… [it’s] about finding a piece that speaks to the individual and echoes their personality. i believe that jewelry can influence the way you feel; it can say and mean something different to every wearer.” the one-of-a-kind aspect of her items enhances this idea, as each piece and takes on a meaning entirely exclusive to its owner. she also uses stones believed to hold healing energy, and places tiny holes in the design of her work to allow the stone’s energy to flow through the metal and into the wearer. each piece of her jewelry is handmade in her studio in oakland, ca by an in-house production staff and using materials from only domestic suppliers. this is something melissa joy manning feels strongly about, as she pays close attention to running an environmentally responsible business.