Sometimes I step back, take a look at a situation in my life, and simply think, ‘Fuck It.’ Other times, I open my fridge when I’m hungry, see a roll of cookie dough, and think the same thing. Then, I see Strangers have made earrings of my exact sentiments and I think, Fuck Yes! Strangers is a hand carved and casted jewelry line created in Los Angeles by Mele Marchesseault. These rare pieces are made with Sterling silver, 14k gold and bronze with accents of leather and agate crystalline lava stones, making them as unique as each second we live, and each spoon-full of raw cookie dough we eat. Get to know Mele below, and get to filling your shopping cart here.
Why did you start making jewelry?
I started making jewelry as Xmas gifts back in 2004, mostly handmade beaded bracelets and earrings. I realized I really loved making pretty little things for awesome people. I went crazy and bought a ton of chain, beads and wire. The first conception was very crafty – you have to start somewhere! About 3 years later I released my first jewelry collection with recycled hardware that I previewed at Capsule and Project trade shows during MAGIC in Vegas. I was on a collective tour with the General Store where we also hosted a few pop-ups in Los Angeles and Venice. It was fun and gave my first collection a wide audience where some of my pieces got picked up by Free People, Need Supply and Bazar in Japan to name a few. From there I decided I wanted to scale the quality up to create casted sterling silver, bronze and gold pieces that are now available under the brand S T R A N G E R S. The new line is just kicking off with a fresh 44 page lookbook.
What is your favorite metal or stone to work with?
Sterling silver, black agate lava rock stones and hints of leather are my favorite and can be seen throughout the current collection for Strangers. Sterling silver is better for your skin than faux metal silver and is just prettier in light. Agate stones have multiple levels of color and shape making them so interesting versus a one dimensional stone.
What inspires you everyday?
I’m always thinking about what I can make next. There’s so many possibilities with carving max into casted molds. I love creating custom pieces for clients – it’s fun to take their idea to the next level. I working on a Mad Max theme right now.
What time do you get out of bed?
Depends on if I have to go to the studio downtown. I’m up by 8/9a but I love to hit snooze.
What time do you get back in?
Sometimes I’m good and I’ll tuck in at 11p. Sometimes it’s 1am. Sometimes it’s later…LA summer…I’m a strong believer in doing you and living your life.
Who do you hope wears your stuff?
Complete strangers!! haha. No, for real, I would love to see my pieces on people I don’t know like Rihanna, Natalie Portman and any rad babe that can rock FUCK IT earrings, a stacked mountain ring or cobra snake with fangs.
And last, what kind of an influence do you hope you have on the people around you?
I appreciate quality and design over cheap pieces that end up in a landfill. I want to respect the planet and people’s space around me by continuing to design cool hi-quality heirloom jewelry that will last a lifetime. Hoping this vision rubs off on all people not just for my own line but for all independent brands.
Photography by Christina M Felice