Designer Spotlight: Friction Jewelry

As you all know, I am a gal always on the hunt for fabulous finds and today I hit the jackpot! I am a huge fan of statement pieces  to spice up HHWS (Ho Hum Winter Syndrome) so Friction Jewelry easily swept me off my feet (not an easy task mind you). While the whole line is awe-inspiring, the star of the show is the True Leaves Collection. These pendant like pieces are nature given leaves dipped in 24K gold, Sterling silver or Copper. Now, us fashionistas can have have mother nature draped on our necks! For the record, my favorite is the Cottonwood Leaf Necklace in any of the fabulous finishes! To buy:

Currently around my neck is the Full Moon Maple Necklace a definite showstopper every where I go.

I also had the privilege of getting an interview from Friction Jewelry’s owner Mike DiCerbo! Check it out below:

1) Where do you find inspiration for your collection (music, media, nature, etc)?
I draw inspiration from whats around me: what girls are wearing, what I’m seeing on the street, trends etc, However the heart of my collection is really more timeless. I do classic, simple looks that girls can rock for years and never get sick of it. I want to make someone’s favorite necklace.

2) How did you get your start creating Friction collections?

I am an Architectural Engineer by trade so the story of how I got from there to here with Friction Jewelry is an epic novel.  The quick version is that I started working in a retail booth in Union Square when I was flat broke and in debt.  A seasonal job to help pay the crazy NYC bills we all know and love.  From there I got into it on the sales side working wholesale trade shows for a different line now called Grace Oliver.  I started going to bead shows and paying attention to what was happening in fashion and the collection grew from just that.  I made my first few pieces in my Astoria apartment, using a few easy jewelry making techniques learned online.  Over the past few years with the success of th
e True Leaf collection I’m in boutiques all over the country.  The retail pop-up stores in New York and Philadelphia have really been awesome too so all is set to rock into 2011!  

3) Who is your target audience?

Most of my looks appeal to women who wear dainty jewelry.  I don’t really do chunky, no matter how many celebrities and runway folk are wearing statement jewelry these days.  Thats not to say I don’t dig it.  I just want to make stuff that women will actually wear.

4) What are your favorite materials to work with?

I’m pretty much all metal. I do some semi-precious stone stuff but I’m into chains, plated organics (like my leaves), and metal mesh.

5) What is your favorite thing about owning Friction Jewelry?

I love the freedom I get with owning my own business.  I keep it mobile. I get to travel as much as I want and I LOVE LOVE LOVE to travel I’m addicted it to it.   I find the coolest stuff and I’m always looking for new ideas and design inspiration.  Hong Kong in January here I come!!

6) What advice would you give to young people interested in starting a small business?

This is another epic novel.  I’ve learned so much over the past few years.  I think my biggest advice would be to start small.  This may seem obvious but its super important to make sure it will sell before you start ordering massive production runs.  And I do not mean 3 of your closest friends like what your doing. Expose it to mass market. Get feedback. From there you have to take risks, but make them reasonable and always have a couple grand in your bank account as a buffer should things go a little kookoo and you have to live on Jack in the Box.

7) What color accessories are hot for winter?

Well I do metals so it’s all good and not super seasonal.  However Gunmetal and mixed metal looks have REALLY gained ground this year.  A lot of women used to be afraid of mixing gold and silver and now its fully in style.

8) Who do you work with to create theses crafts, if anyone?

I work with amazing artists in California who do the electroforming (dipping) of my True Leaf collection.  It’s very difficult work I do not have the patience for it.  These guys have been doing this since before I were born they are masters.   I also get charms cast by an artist in Northern Cali and she is super talented.  In effect, my entire collection is more “boutique” than it is my work.  I end up pulling pieces from other artists and configuring them my way.  Like an interior designer I guess.  2011 will be the year I work hard on product develpment because I actually have the capital to do so.  Thanks to all the love I’ve gotten from everyone who’s supported me at the wholesale or retail level!  Love you all!  xoxo


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