Los Angeles-based costume jewelry brand Melinda Maria is finding its groove with a slew of collaborations and an expansion on QVC. The brand, which has a celebrity following that includes Selena Gomez, Alessandra Ambrosio, Taylor Swift, Chrissy Tiegen and Victoria Justice, is known for fashion-forward pieces that retail from $38 to $298, with a median price of $78.
This summer, founder and designer Melinda Maria Spiegel launched her first collaboration with Rebecca Gayheart and Kelly Oxford to benefit the Chrysalis foundation — a pair of butterfly-shaped earring jackets, a bracelet and a necklace. That was followed last month by a capsule with celebrity hair colorist Tracey Cunningham to benefit Nanci Ryder’s ALS charity.
“We design the pieces together and only the strong pieces will survive the cut. It’s not a traditional way of doing a collection for me; it’s very item-driven more than a ‘collection’ because the purpose is to create pieces so customers feel like they are wearing a beautiful piece of Melinda Maria and feel good about giving back,” Spiegel said.
Next month she will link with Sarah Michelle Gellar to benefit the World Hunger Organization, and in September, she will tie up with Kelly Sawyer and Norah Weinstein of kid’s charity Baby2Baby. After that, she’ll work with celebrity stylist Petra Flannery.
The line, which Spiegel founded 13 years ago, is now sold in more than 400 doors worldwide including Nordstrom. Melinda Maria recently launched in Europe and Canada and is slated to enter Southeast Asia this year. She is also thinking about expanding the business both high and low.
“We have been thinking about doing an 18-karat gold and diamond line and possibly doing an exclusive launch on one of the luxury online retailers. And we have been in talks now for about a year to do QVC,” she said. Those price points would be $28 to $198. “We just were able to merchandise out what feels right to launch at QVC. I have waited a long time to figure out the right timing to do a shopping channel and I am very excited about the growth into home shopping.”
For Spiegel, who started out making her own jewelry, often while sitting in a Starbucks on Robertson Boulevard where she knew she’d encounter potential customers, the search for the right manufacturer has been the biggest challenge. “I had to take a season off when we decided to switch manufacturing from India to China. It was very hard to tell Nordstrom that I couldn’t deliver, but they stuck with me,” she said. “I don’t believe costume jewelry prices should be exorbitant. Women want well-made, fashionable pieces that they can buy every season.”