In our last entry we wrote about the art of bracelet stacking, so now seems like an excellent time to introduce you to one of our newest lines, The Ropes. These unique bracelets are handmade by Shana Aldrich using marine ropes and hardware — materials inspired by her surroundings in Maine. These colorful pieces would be a great addition to any bracelet stack, but they’re also substantial enough to make a statement on their own. We asked Shana a few questions about herself and her work and here’s what she had to say.
Have you always made jewelry? Is this a new medium for you?
No. Yes, I always wanted to becoming a clothing designer ever since I was 8 years old. I studied Apparel Design/ Fashion Design at RISD and worked in the industry for the beginning of my career. I worked in both Boston and New York City for about 10 years in the fashion industry.
I would have to call myself an accidental jewelry designer. I was just playing around with some rope one day and wanted to make myself a bracelet and then one thing lead to another. My friends seemed very interested in the bracelets that I was creating and so I started going around to local stores with my jewelry. But I would definitely have to say that I have gotten the biggest support and exposure from local people just wearing my jewelry.
We were drawn to your line because we grew up in Maine and appreciate the rugged but peaceful lifestyle. Can you comment on how Maine has inspired you?
I always had a very far fetched dream of trying to bring my design skills, and even harder yet fashion designing skills, back to Maine. Though big cities are where all the major designing/ fashion are to most, I always found the cities to be inspiring in a cultural sense but stifling from a creative and design stand point. I like the idea of visiting different metropolitan cities but then coming home to Maine to interpret and digest everything. Maine does not have all those big city comforts or conveniences, therefore I believe it pushes you to be more creative. Things are not so straight forward or obvious; you have to look outside the box and that is where creativity flourishes.
We have found that Maine has been a place where many creative businesses have started and thrived. Have you found a lot of support from other designers and Portland community for your jewelry?
Definitely! So many people in/ from the area have gone out of their way to help and support me.
What’s next for The Ropes?
Next for The Ropes there will be several new designs to look for in the Spring 2012 collection and of course there will be more to look forward to in the novelty boutique/higher end pieces only available in specialty stores.