WHAT: Wooden beads, handmade brass pendants and thousands of tassels are just part of the pieces that go into the Charlotte-famous Melvin jewelry line, made by local artisans Martha Clifford and her (35 years younger) niece, Morgan Walker.
WHO: Aspiring dreams to design handbags took a different turn after the economy faltered a few years back. Clifford says she quickly discovered that high-end handbags made in the United States were not the easiest sell, but jewelry seemed to have a little more potential. So she asked her niece to join in her initiative, and the duo set out with an initial focus on pieces based on metal animals and bullets. They found quick success, with Taylor Swift sporting their Fly Earrings in Teen Vogue and Lena Dunham boasting their Bullet Ring in numerous seasons of “Girls” on HBO.
HOW: “We are constantly coming up with new ideas for designs inspired by everything around us,” says Clifford. “Then, we sit down to figure out if the idea can be brought into a design that will fit into our collections. No idea is ever discarded, just put on hold for future reference.” The M & M (Martha and Morgan) collaboration blends two different viewpoints, demographics and styles, resulting in unique pieces. Wooden beads are coupled with bone-inlaid beads, resin beads with gemstones, handmade brass pendants and more. While they have a manufacturer in New York, most of their pieces are made here in Charlotte. And the entire line is made in the United States.
CURRENT FAVES: Walker is keen on the new African pendant necklace with a silk tassel, while Clifford favors the long macrame necklace that can be layered with one of their song tag necklaces.