Mellow is a misleading name for costume jewellery made of construction & building materials. The designer Melita Rus, however, is mellow. Her Mellow jewellery brand is a combination of her fragile nature and a strong attraction to the materials used to build and repair.
A 26-year-old Melita is a daughter of the Jewish father and Lithuanian mother, born in a periphery of the Northern Lithuania. A curious soul, Melita was always interested in her dad’s garage more than dolls: “My dad’s garage with all the tools and screws was more attractive to me than a girl’s room with dolls. I was inspired by how materials used to build a house, a bridge or a road are important for the development.”
Combined with her knowledge of building materials and her artistic nature (Melita has graduated from the Vilnius Academy of Arts with a degree in Fashion Design), Mellow by Melita Rus was born.
Fashion Bloc: Can you describe Mellow by Melita Rus in one sentence?
Melita Rus: I judge beauty and its value not by the number of carats or a hallmark but for what it stands for.
FB: What materials do you use exactly to create Mellow jewellery? Where do you source them?
MR: I use unusual materials. Construction and household materials, like screws, bolts, cables and other things I find in a household shop. I also like to add more value and energy to my pieces by adding Baltic amber, Swarovski crystals, and mineral stones such us Quartz, Amethysts and others. I always search for new materials and I tend to make experiments with them. I like clashing materials in one piece like melted plastic and Amber, or other semiprecious stones. It is a nice mix of edgy and classy, and that is what makes my jewellery so eclectic and alternative.
FB: How did you come up with an idea to create jewellery from construction and building materials?
MR: I can’t tell you how exactly. I guess, it happened intuitively because of my childhood playground. I felt enormous allure to tough materials, that give you that cold energy of strength. Or maybe because I was shy and lacked self-confidence all my youth. Something was missing, you know, I was like a turtle without its shell. Maybe, this was how I came up with an idea to create jewellery from materials usually used for the most important physical things in human civilisation: to build a house, a road or a bridge.
FB: Is sustainability important to you?
MR: Despite the fact that my brand isn’t 100% sustainable, I definitely tend to make my pieces and packaging as much as possible sustainable. Also, I don’t throw away pieces that I don’t sell, I just remake them and give them a second life. I want my customers to not be concerned if the materials will change throughout the time because Mellow jewellery is made for living a life together with you. So, we hope our customers would wear Mellow forever.
FB: What is the risk of creating statement pieces?
MR: People who value and wear statement jewellery are intelligent and have a perfect sense of style; they don’t follow fashion trends blindly. It means that it is more difficult to reach them because they don’t take things for granted. Statement pieces are far more than just a thing, it is like a piece of art which tells the story and stands for particular values.
FB: Where do you find inspiration?
MR: It is funny, but the best place for inspiration is a car service, so there is always a good news for me when my car is broken. Also, buildings under construction and specialised household stores are my favourite places to be. I can be inspired by a car engine, a vacuum cleaner or a crashed washing machine. I even find myself inspired when I touch different surfaces, for example, various packages of food. I always have been a little bit strange like that.
FB: Can you tell us a little bit more about the creative process?
MR: Oh, it is a process. First of all, it takes a lot of time to find the right materials, so a big part of the creative process is sourcing the materials. Yes, you can think that there are a lot of household shops in every city and it is easy just to go there and buy something, but this is not usually the case. Sometimes I need to take apart an old tv set in order to find the detail which fits for my new idea. Second, I spend a lot of time experimenting with different materials and how they match together. A creative process can be painful (literally), smelly (also literally) and not without a collateral damage. But I love what I do, despite the scarves.
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