The Dakota Stones Interview with Meredith Atwell:
How long have you been a jewelry designer?
I first started designing jewelry about 3 years ago when I began making pieces for myself. I came across Olive Wood Beads while living in Malibu, California and found them so unique and different that I wanted to make something for myself. I didn't have any experience or training in making jewelry, so I just taught myself as I went along and one piece turned into two and two into three and so on. I received a lot of positive feedback from my friends and family on the pieces I designed for myself, so I kept making them and eventually started selling them from my home.
The Outers Necklace. Can be purchased here
My interest in jewelry design and different metals, beads, and stones has continued to grow over the past 3 years. The requests for my pieces continued, so about a year ago, BeachBu, Incorporated was created, and we moved into an office and showroom in Tampa, Florida. Just recently, the BeachBu Team was excited to announce the launch of our new website www.beachbu.com
. It has been a very exciting time, and we hope that everyone enjoys our website and our products.
How did you come across Dakota Stones?
I discovered Dakota Stones during the summer of 2013. I was looking for a vendor with Blue Impression Jasper
stones because my previous vendor was sold out. After exploring the Dakota Stones website, I quickly noticed the quality of their gemstones. Since I started working with Dakota Stones
last summer, I have been nothing short of 100% satisfied. They are truly professional, and in my opinion have some of the highest quality stones.
Do you have a method or source you look for using inspiring your design?
My time while living in Southern California, particularly Malibu, has been a huge inspiration to all of my designs. The views in Malibu are majestic, and the culture and lifestyle are full of arts and crafts, so inspiration is everywhere. Specifically, my inspiration is drawn from nature, particularly the beach, but I am inspired a lot by the bohemian lifestyle and culture of artisan products.
The Mistos Necklace.
Additionally, since going to FIDM in Los Angeles, I have been very big on trend forecasting. I love clothing, fashion week, and seeing the latest trends, so I like to incorporate my nature-inspired visions with jewelry into current fashion trends. A lot of times I find myself asking, 'What piece or pieces of jewelry can make this outfit pop?' I think jewelry plays an essential role in fashion, and if pieced together properly, then it can pull an outfit together.
How would you describe your design style or technique?
My design style definitely emphasizes nature and the bohemian lifestyle, but my goal is to create something that is unique. I always say I like to break the rules by creating pieces that mix metals, use a variety of gemstones, and lack symmetry. I like to try thinking outside the box when I'm designing because I like creating pieces that are unexpected or one-of-a-kind.
Do you work in any other mediums beside jewelry design?
Currently my main focus is jewelry, but I definitely want to expand beyond jewelry in the future and bring the BeachBu culture to life in another realm. I truly love fashion and what the fashion industry has to offer. It's limitless, so you will definitely see BeachBu designs in other arenas in the future. I would also like to collaborate with some other designers and artists at some point in the future as well.
What is your favorite stone, shape, and/or size to work with and why?
The Trancas Bracelet in Snowflake Obsidian & Brass.
My favorite shape is the 8mm faceted rondelle
. It lays well, looks great in any shade or color, and compliments other stones and statement beads. One of BeachBu's bestsellers is the Trancas Bracelet, which is primarily made of 8mm faceted rondelle beads.
What trend have you been noticing? Where do you see it going?
Stacking bracelets and necklaces has been a big trend for the last couple of years. I think more recently, mixing and matching different pieces and metals has increased in popularity. It used to be that people didn't think they could or should mix different metals, but at BeachBu, that's what we love!
With that said, jewelry is timeless. It's never going away. It's going to be around forever, and even though the trends will change, that's what makes it exciting!
If you could pick one person (alive or dead) to wear your jewelry, who would it be? Why?
I would have to say Kate Moss. She is such a style icon, and she fully embodies the BeachBu vision with her effortless style and class. It would be a great honor for her to wear BeachBu's designs.
The Porterdale Bracelet Set.
Can be purchased here
What's next for you?
BeachBu, BeachBu, and BeachBu. With the recent launch of our website
, there is a lot of work to do. I plan on continuing to focus on designing and creating new pieces and collections. Fortunately for me, BeachBu now has a great team, and since my sister just came on board, it has allowed me to spend all of my time on the creative side of things.
Right now BeachBu is working on the launch of our Spring/Summer 2014 collection. We are really excited to debut the new pieces and colors of the season, so be sure to register on our website at www.beachbu.com
for the latest updates and promotions.