A real Southern gal who swapped the American South for the African, Melody’s designs make you smile the second you see them. An autodidact (sjoe, look at us breaking out the fancy words) when it comes to jewellery, her pieces are simple with an ever-present twist of fun.
- Hello Melody! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born and raised in the US - southern Georgia to be exact. I speak with a southern drawl, but have learned to tone it down since moving to South Africa. ;)
I have always needed a creative outlet. School bored me, but art class thrilled me! So leaving school I couldn’t think of anything else that would make me happier than being an artist. This led me to study art in college where I found a love for photography and graduated in 2005 with a Bachelors in Art.
But, apart from art, there has always been a part of me that craved a bit of adventure. Growing up a shy girl in a small town, life can become a bit mundane. Even though being the least likely, I became the first in my family to get a passport and after college I went travelling for a few years and worked my way around Europe with my South African boyfriend.
Fast forward a few years later, I’m now married and settled (for now!) in Cape Town, which is one of the most beautiful places in the world.
- We think so too! And hey, you can’t get much more southern than SA. How did you get into jewellery design?
When I moved to South Africa I had no idea where to start looking for work. But, I knew I would die if I had to work a 9-5 office job. For the first year I was here, I settled in and did a little freelance creative work here and there. It took a trip home to the states with a sore foot (which left me on the couch for over a month!) to help get the creative juices flowing. With nothing to do all day but surf the web and shop online, I stumbled across beautiful handmade jewellery that people sold online. Right then and there I thought “I could do that!”
1 year later after a lot of blood, sweat, tears and youtube tutorials behind me, I launched my first designs for sale online and OffbeatMelody was born! I made a sale within the first few hours and I have not looked back since.
- So you’re actually 100% self-taught? Amazing! What inspires to you when you’re creating things?
People that have the guts to take risks and go after their dreams, even if they seem so far out of reach.
I also love travel, travel, and more travel and good, nutritious food. My husband and I love to cook and try new restaurants every chance we get. And then I have this quirk where I like anything that is “small”. My bucket list includes seeing the little five rather than the big five. ;)
- Oh man, I’m exactly the same. A thing’s cuteness is inversely proportionate to its size. That’s just science. Is that why a lot of your designs are miniatures of everyday things?
OffbeatMelody jewellery is based on the whimsical and the down right out of the ordinary. I make all of my pieces in hope of evoking some sort of feeling or emotion from the viewer/wearer. Whether it be a sense of happiness, nostalgia, or even laughter.
I try to go that one step further with my designs to make my pieces unique and come to life!
- You’ve certainly succeeded - I chuckle a little to myself every time I see your T-Rex earrings. Last question - what’s your favourite melody? (Other than yourself!)
If you meant music, and you are asking for my “favourite” melody? Well, I do not do favourites (it drives my husband insane when I say that!)
But, in life I march to the beat of my own drum. I hate following crowds, trends or fashions. I decide for myself whether something works for me or not. Thats why you won’t see run-of-the-mill designs in my shop!
We couldn’t agree more! You can see more of Melody’s work in her Hello Pretty store, and get in touch on Facebook and Twitter. Also, we’ve got a little something from her that’ll have you whistling a happy tune on Monday, so be sure to check back here!