Melissa Joy Manning

I’ll never forget my first pair of hammered gold hoops I purchased from jewelry designer Melissa Joy Manning nearly 10 years ago. I’ve been a fan of her signature designs and innovative use of fine metal settings and raw gemstones and minerals ever since. It was an absolute treat to interview her and pay her Berkeley-based workshop and boutique a visit. And of course, the timing couldn’t have been better with the holidays just around the corner. Let’s just say my Christmas wish list is now complete!

Melissa Joy Manning est. 1997: I started my company with $1000 in 1997 by walking around to local stores I liked and asking them to my carry my jewelry. I continually reinvested into my business in order to build it into the brand it is today.

The design process: I’m still not sure how I design! I’m an incredibly visual person and my idea of play is making things (always has been!) As an avid traveller and nature lover, I’m incredibly inspired by the environment and different cultures. I take a lot of photos when I travel and use them for inspiration. For me, design is about trying to take an ephemeral feeling or impression and make it permanent in gold and stone.

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DIY Gold Dipped Feathers

I recently spotted a set of beautiful gold dipped feathers that I thought were far overpriced – especially for something that is ridiculously easy to make with a can of trusty spray paint. These gilded feathers are the perfect holiday accessory. Hang them from your Christmas tree, string them onto a garland, use one as a present topper or display them in a vase!

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You’ll need:

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Pops Of Color

The holidays are here which means it’s time to whip out the color. Winter doesn’t need to be so drab! With our Christmas fête just around the corner, Lauren and I raided Nordstrom Rack to seek out the season’s most colorful pieces to brighten up our ensembles. Lauren scored a pair of insane Brian Atwood pumps and a vibrant Joie ensemble that she accessorized with her grandmother’s squash blossom necklace. I found the softest pink Inhabit cashmere sweater and glittery Vince Camuto pumps that paired perfectly with my candy red silk faille skirt and vintage gold belt. Outfits, check. Holiday decorations, check. Let the festivities begin!

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Cindy Sherman’s Farmhouse

Cindy Sherman recently relocated from Sag Harbor to the Springs, an artsy East Hampton enclave where other masters of 20th century art, like Jackson Pollock, Lee Krasner, and Willem de Kooning, once lived. She purchased an old, 19th century farmhouse and, with the help of designer Billy Cotton, transformed it into a bohemian oasis. I love the bold, yet restrained, use of pattern, color and texture!

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