In the past, I have been in the fortunate position to have worked with some of the most amazing wedding suppliers in Suffolk and across the UK, with many of which becoming great friends. I know that many of my prospective and current clients check out my blog from time to time to see what I’ve been up to, which got me thinking. What better way to introduce some of my trusted vendor friends to my clients than to give them the spotlight for 5 minutes here on my blog where they could tell us about their business, their inspirations and what makes them tick. So here you have it, a new series of interviews has been born, I hope you enjoy them. Today I had the chance to sit down with the very creative Melissa Morgan of Melissa Morgan Designs, who are based in Norfolk, UK.
Ross: For those readers who may not have come across your work before, please can you tell us a little about your background and how you got into creating wedding accessories?
Melissa: I've always been creative! I studied visual arts and creative writing at art school before I really settled into an area I loved. After that I took evening and day courses in jewellery design and beading just because I had an interest. When I had to choose my own wedding accessories, I was stuck and to be honest, couldn't afford what I really wanted. I took that as a challenge and created my own! I had lots of compliments and was bored when the wedding planning stopped so I made a few more pieces to see what I could come up with. I sold some, had some bespoke requests and since then I haven't stopped! I specialise in creating headdresses and jewellery from genuine vintage pieces, think sparkly brooches and buttons, all reworked to create something new and unqiue that nobody else will own. To go with this, I have a range of vintage inspired pieces and some gorgeous jewellery too. I work closely with clients so that they get exactly what they want from their wedding jewellery, I'll happily change lengths, colours, add strands to necklaces, or take them out! And of course I make bespoke pieces too!
Ross: In three words how would you describe your brand/business?
Melissa: Pretty, precious and personal
Ross: Who or what inspires the creativity in your work?
Melissa: All of the normal things I guess! I spend hours on wedding blogs, facebook and pinterest looking at real brides and how they choose to accessories their outfits. I also love to see what the celebrities are wearing, not just at weddings but to parties and events - they always push the boat out with the sparkle! More than anything though, it's what I see on everyday people. A simple wooden necklace or new way of arranging beads can inspire all sorts of new ways to work pearls and crystals that I wouldn't normally consider. Also, because I work with lots of found vintage pieces, I give a lot of value to simply 'playing' around and seeing what works. I think it is something you just get a feel for. Many of my favourite headdresses came from just seeing a brooch or flower I liked and fiddling until something beautiful came! I made one of my bestselling combs not long after my own wedding. I just sat down with the pearls and out it came - I'm still making that design now!
Ross: What trends are you currently seeing and how do you predict the future looks for wedding jewellery in the UK?
Melissa: Right now Bohemian and Grecian headdress styles are very in with the fashion forward bride. We seem to be moving away from side tiaras into simple bands than run across the top of the head or forehead. They are very pretty and can really update your wedding look. Gold is another big trend. I've sold all of my gold vintage headdresses already this year, and I'm now working on a beautiful bespoke gold piece. I think that the future of wedding jewellery definitely rests with designers like myself. When there are people you can go to, get whatever you like, handmade to your requirements, why would you get something expensive and mass produced? There are so many great makers out there that there is no reason to settle for second best.
Ross: How far in advance do you suggest couples come talk to you about their wedding accessories?
Melissa: At the moment, I would suggest three to four months minimum. I've already had consultations for 2013 though, so probably the sooner the better!
Ross: Which wedding blogs or magazines do you recommend that couples check out?
Melissa: I liked You and Your Wedding when I was planning my own wedding, and I found their wedding forum really useful. I got so many great ideas and tips from real brides. I tend to stick with blogs now, they offer much better value than magazines. Some of my current favourites are 'Under the Vintage Veil' and 'Want that Wedding'. 'Style Me Pretty' probably the most beautiful. I love their mood board builder.
Ross: What advice would you give couples when choosing their wedding accessory designer?
Melissa: Choose somebody whose products you love! Think about what you want and see if they have done it before, or what their enthusiasm is for creating it for you. I think it's the same with all wedding suppliers, you get a vibe from someone if you are supposed to work with them. If you feel happy chatting to them, sharing ideas and they start to know what it is you want before you've really explained, you know you are onto a winner. Don't let anybody tell you what you should have, a good designer will help you to discover what you need without you noticing!
Ross: Finally, what's the best thing about being a wedding accessory designer?
Melissa: The feedback from brides and their friends. The beautiful photos they send after the weddings. Isn't it that the same for all of us?
My thanks to Melissa Morgan for her time taken to chat with me. If you would like to speak to Melissa about your wedding accessoies, please visit her website at http://www.melissamorgandesigns.co.uk. You can also follow Melissa on Facebook & Twitter.