Melissa Loschy is making a mountain out of a molehill… in a good way. When fine jewelry shops are closing on every street corner, Melissa has carved a niche with her crafts-inspired, natural adornments that are made from tools as simple as a needle and thread. Paying more attention to her passion than runway presentations, every piece by Melissa is unique from the fox faced necklace to the Russian inspired rings, and she is definitely setting trends in her hip hometown of Costa Mesa, California. Melissa took a lunch break with LadyLUX to discuss her creative route from Girl Scout to jewelry designer.
LadyLUX: Have you always made jewelry?
Melissa Loschy: I haven’t always made jewelry. I’ve been crafty since I was a kid. I was a big product of Girls Scouts and I worked at Michaels for 3 years as a craft instructor and event coordinator… and then I studied graphic design at Chapman University. So I’ve always made things and I learned to sew at a young age. After I graduated I did a lot of soul searching—traveling and working various jobs. I married the craft elements and the design elements, and decided to make jewelry.
How did you choose jewelry?
ML: I made jewelry for myself because I couldn’t find anything I liked that matched an outfit. So I’d make something and other people were like “I like that, you should start selling it”. That’s how it started a couple years ago.
Your jewelry definitely has a nature and arts & crafts theme. Do you think Girl Scouts and Michaels added to your aesthetic?
ML: Yes, definitely. I’m always looking for creative solutions. I don’t have access to soldering equipment or precious metals. I’m always figuring out a way that I can do it myself with a needle or thread.
What do you like most about your line?
ML: People don’t understand this when they first look at it, but I’m using extremely unconventional materials. The images in all of my jewelry are printed on Epson luster paper. It’s actually paper jewelry that is wrapped in fabric. It’s fun to have someone to look at my jewelry, and tell them what it is made of, and they don’t believe me. That’s the joy of making it. I can pretty much make any image I want. I can just print it out from my computer. People get excited when they look at something like that. They say, “I would have had no idea if you hadn’t told me that”.
Are you surprised by the reaction you’re getting?
ML: I guess I am sort of surprised. I have different themes in the jewelry… I have a Russian theme. I’ve been doing a lot of animals this spring. I’ve also done more of a military-inspired line. I’m not necessarily pulling from trends. They are things that I’ve always liked. It’s just cool to find people that are obsessed with the same imagery and themes that I am.
Where do you see Melissa Loschy Designs going?
ML: I had a really long conversation with one of my friends about this last night. For the future, I see teaming up with someone that could represent me, in a business sense. I love to design just to design, but I also like a challenge. So let’s say a fashion designer was going to do a runway show and they were like “I need you to design 20 necklaces and here are the looks they are going to go with.” That’s what I love to do. I like being presented with something challenging that I have to figure out how to complete….. just using my hands and the materials that I have.