"That's not a ring Melanie... that's a plumbing part." That's exactly what co-founder of Plated Jewelry, Stephanie Mota said to her friend and co-founder, Melanie Gonzalez when Melanie wanted to show off her new piece of jewelry. Melanie laughed it off but they knew they had something in front of them. Suddenly, the two best friends took a trip to Home Depot and were inspired to start their own line of jewelry based off of Melanie's brilliant misconception. "We are artists first", says Melanie, "we're not afraid of materials, I'll mix anything together just to test it out" adds Stephanie. Neither of the girls are jewelry designers by trade but both are incredible artists. Melanie is a photographer and Stephanie studies Fine Art. Both girls are still in college and have joined their love of art, fashion and jewelry to create a new line that is unlike anything before.
Born in August 2012, Plated Jewelry is based out of the Bronx. Within their first collection titled, "Industrial Revolution", there are twenty-pieces including rings, earrings, bracelets and necklaces. Both designers are very aware of the materials they use and they want to draw many different crowds and styles to Plated. By using items like metal and pipes, they knew they needed to use more delicate and feminine clasps and hooks, "We wanted very feminine touches to finish it (the pieces)" says Melanie. Each piece is made by the girls and careful thought goes into each design.
Community and culture are also really important to the Plated family. The girls were both raised in the Bronx but went to arts high schools in Manhattan and they want to give back to their community and show how artistic and creative the Bronx truly is. They want their pieces within their collection to reach both their community and someone in Brooklyn and it's done so effortlessly. Because their attention to detail is so great and focused, hipsters and hip-hop artists alike are drawn to their designs. It wouldn't be hard to pair the "Carnegie Bowtie Necklace" with a feminine spring dress. The line is unisex which provides masculine pieces that are minimal yet pack a statement. In fact, their "Industrial Union Bracelet" is a bestseller.
The girls may both still be in college, but they're focused and driven when it comes to their careers. "We are happy." Says Melanie. "It went from 'let's just make a few pieces to let's have a collection and lets have a site' and this is the perfect time in our lives to do it. I'm focused on it, I'm excited about it."