1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hi everyone! My name is Melissa and I am a jewelry artist from Dare to Charm. I have an obsession for bunnies and like to collect anything photos of bunnies on it. In fact, I have two very adorable Holland Lop rabbits at home. I had them since they were babies and now they are now two and a half years old. In my spare time, I also like to explore the town to scout for new chocolate or desserts shops. Chocolate is my sinful indulgence.
2. How did you come up with your shop or brand name?
I am been known to be a very daring person when I’m among my friends. The word “Dare” conveys a strong and majestic feel for me. In my opinion, we have to be daring to pursue our passion. I started my business by selling handmade jewelry charms so that’s where “Charm” comes from.
3. What got you into jewelry?
Since I was a little girl, I liked to create and draw stuff. Whether it’s a handmade tissue box or hand-drawn postcard, I was always trying out new art forms. I found myself selling my own creations to friends since I was 10 years old. In college, I decided to take a jewelry design course. Looking back, it was a very unusual choice for me since it was a spur of the moment decision. In the end, it turned out that I really loved it and I really enjoyed the course. I got to know great mentors, meet friends with the same passion and this decision brought me closer to discovering my real craft.
4. What do you make and where do you get your inspiration?
I make gemstones carving out of jewelry featuring mainly animal designs. I have always admired the ethnic art and murals from early civilizations and take my inspiration from Greek and Indonesian influences. In Greek mythology, I’ve always been captivated by the Centaur, Medusa, Chimera, and the like. In Indonesian culture, the stories about Hanuman the monkey has always fascinated me. As time goes by, I would like to explore creating bigger jewelry as statement body adornment inspired by these concepts.
5. Do you have a favorite item that you created? Is it sold or still available for purchase?
My favorite piece was the one I created back in school. My school project was titled “SMOKE” and it was a headgear. I created every single detail in that statement piece by hand, from binding every twig to the sterling silver finishing. It was made with recycled tree branches, light bulbs, candle gel and 925K silver wire.
This piece also had a meaningful message behind it. It was a campaign to encourage people to stop smoking. It is a very sentimental piece for me. I have watched people around me, who are either the passive or active smokers, fall sick from the effects of smoking or even have had to say goodbye to some as they have departed from this world. The piece is now in private collection in Indonesia.
SMOKE 2009 Head Adornment
6. Are you a full time artist?
I am a full time artist working on my jewelry collection. One of the causes I champion is animal conservation regardless if the species is endangered or not. I want my jewelry to become a voice to speak for this issue. In fact, I am a volunteer with Singapore Zoo as a docent and if you are at the Singapore Zoo and spot me at the docent station feel free to come over and say hi.
7. Do you have any favorite blogs or resources that you can share to our readers?
My favorite source of inspiration is the blog, Jewels Du Jour. This site reviews high-end jewellery. I have always fascinated with colored gemstones and this is a great site to indulge in looking at their beautiful creations.
8. Do you have any discount codes or promotions that you can offer our readers?
Sure we do! Enter discount code KAT10 when you checkout for 10% off your purchase from now until 31 March 2014.
Dare to Charm
Note: This article is syndicated with permission from Katrina Alana.