Times are tough. There's no doubt about it. Twenty-twenty has been bats*** insane to say the least. More like a runaway roller-coaster on fire that's gone off-road, hit a ramp, got some air and has swan-dived into a vat of hot toxic waste, but it STILL. KEEPS. GOING. And so must we. Our spirits may be dashed, we might smell a little funky and our makeup may look like Jack Napier's after Vicki Vale threw a pitcher of water in his face, but the show must go on! The world needs a burst of color, a huge chuckle and a dose of glee. We're certainly not the cure, but we do help the medicine go down.
Get In the STRING of Things
With that being said, we jumped at the chance to work with Australian-born illustrator, artist and entrepreneur Mel Stringer. Her work is utterly delightful. Mel is an empowering force who bolsters body positivity through her cheeky illustrations. As you can see from Mel Stringer's work and her character's flair for bold accessories, a Vinca + Mel Stringer collaboration was a no-brainer!
VINCA + Mel Stringer
Mel handed over her sketches in December of 2019. Well, not handed. She emailed them. Or maybe Google Drove them? Anyway, I wasn't there for the hand-off, but we received the files electronically and Amanda (Vinca's fearless leader) got to adapting Mel's adorable jewelry sketches into wearable pieces of art. The really, REALLY fun part was choosing materials and colors. MY CAT, the COLORS! Pearl acrylics, acrylic-based paints, mirror colored acrylics, neon solid acrylics, primary colors and so on. You can tell I was tasked with that job, huh?
The designs that could best be transposed into earring designs were Happy/Frowny Cherries, Baby Blowfish Earrings, Buppy Earrings, Angry Puppy Earrings, Swan Princess Earrings, Clammies Earrings, and Little Clouds Earrings. The challenging part was taking into consideration that inlay pieces are time consuming and that drives up the retail price $$$$. Hand-painting tiny parts will also boost the cost for the consumer. Team Vinca had to be creative to keep costs down by whittling the number of inlay parts and hand painting large, detailed base parts only.
(Ear)-Ring My Bell
We knew right away that the majority of the Vinca + Mel Stringer collection would be earrings, earrings, EARRINGS. The only exception is a brooch variant of just the Baby Blowfish design. She also has a preference for hook dangle clasps so we integrated that component into her custom earrings too. The Vinca + Mel Stringer collection is all acrylic based and mostly composed of dreamy pastel pearl acrylics, and melt-your-face-off shiny mirror acrylic in pink and Kelly green. Our fine features include itty-bitty, fuzzy pom poms set as noses and daisy flower pollen. Team Vinca also hand-painted each and every pair with blood, sweat and cheers. Each piece retails for $45. A pretty sweet steal if you ask us.
How Do I Get it?!
You can get your paws on these custom Vinca + Mel Stringer earrings NOW at shopmelstringer.com. All work, sketches, design composition, manufacturing, assembly, packaging and shipping are done in the USA by two small businesses! There you go. No go get some!
All photos, illustrations and sketches are property of Mel Stringer. Copyright © 2020, Mel Stringer