With every maker I meet (or e-meet in this case), I am always in awe of their talent and creativity. Selene Granton from Meyari Jewelry is no exception. Her creative flair stems from her Mexican heritage. A vibrant and colourful background which she envisions for her brand too, “I want to bring colour into the world, one jewelry piece at a time.”
Since her childhood, she has been surrounded by jewelry. Whether that was “stealing” pieces from her mother’s collection or admiring her cousin practice Huichol beading. In fact, it was those early interactions with colourful jewelry that Selene began asking her mother to bring beads from Mexico to Calgary so she could practice beaded jewelry with the help of online tutorials.
Huichol is an indigenous group of people in Mexico who created a style of beaded jewelry that is intricate, involves immense patience and the right tension (also amazing eye sight!). It was this and other beaded styles that Selene practiced before she discovered macrame jewelry in the Youtube space. That is when she really found her passion. It was a way to incorporate colour but also practice a technique that her hands loved working with. Initially, she only played with macramé cord but soon incorporated metals to add texture and interest to each piece.
People normally associate macramé as being a bohemian or hippie style but she wanted to create a line that was more urban chic. Something people could wear to work or a night out on the town. That is why she went with minimal lines of macramé with metal pieces.
Almost all the Meyari Jewelry pieces whether necklaces, earrings or rings use brass as the metal component. It is a metal that is warm in tone which works well with the style of jewelry Selene creates.
The cord is not your typical macramé cord used in plant hangers. It is actually an industrial wax polyester cord from Brazil used primarily in shoe design or stitching tents. Because of its strength it can hold its shape when knotted. Since it’s available in hundreds of colours, Selene is able to customize pieces for customers and even experiment to see what will sell best.
Moving Forward During The Pandemic
Selene thrives in local markets. She loves meeting people and sharing her story as well as talking about the different pieces and techniques. This year as with most makers has been a challenge. In-person markets have been cancelled. Makers and organizers have moved to virtual markets. While makers get exposure they lose on the interaction aspect.
Selene, like most others, took the early months of the pandemic to refresh her website. Make it a platform that was user friendly. She took the down time to re-evaluate her personal life and plan on how to move forward with the current times.
In this way, she will be collaborating with a fellow Calgary maker and videographer to create short brand videos, behind-the-scenes shots, process videos and even answer questions in a collaborative format in an attempt to create that personal connection. These videos will soon be available on her website to ease the buying process and to share valuable aspects of her brand that she would have otherwise shared at in-person markets.
Is Shopping Local And Small Just A Trend?
I side with Selene on this. Supporting and shopping local is not just a phase, in fact, I’ve been rooting for it for years – read why here. She has seen a big push for shopping local in Calgary during the last couple of years, in line with the downturn of the oil industry in Alberta. There is a shift in people’s perception of what big corporations are doing or rather not doing for their workers.
I would say the same goes for Toronto and Ontario, people are more conscious about their choices. They are beginning to question where the products are made and by whom. The concept of every dollar spent locally being invested back in the economy is coming to light.
Finding Your Community
The Inglewood Night Market is one of Selene’s favourite local-to-Calgary markets. She loves the people who attend who in turn love her urban chic style of jewelry. She loves the vibe that is created from this hang-out come shopping spot where people gather on a monthly basis in the summer to enjoy live music, food trucks, vendors like herself but also people who drive in their cars and sell from their trunks. The atmosphere is definitely one of community.
“Last year in June it was so cold I had my snow pants and propane heater and people were still shopping. One night in August it was raining so hard and people still came and shopped. The response is always amazing.”
The local maker scene is definitely growing in Calgary. Makers are keen to collaborate and support one another. It has been important to even form a sub-community of makers who you can rely on for support, encouragement and to celebrate your wins with.
The early days of a small business are tough. There are definitely ups and downs. The ups feel amazing and the downs are awful. There are markets when you just don’t make any sales. Which can be extremely disheartening but the important thing is as Selene mentions , “see the bigger picture.” If this something that you really want to pursue, then keep going. Try different markets, different techniques and figure out what works best for you.
Check out Selene’s 3 favourite makers
I hope you enjoyed this short conversation with Calgary macramé jewelry designer Selene Granton from Meyari Jewelry. If you want to know more, drop your questions in the comments.
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This post is sponsored by Meyari Jewelry.
Photography: Ifra Huzair