I met the fabulous Melissa Frost through a Mastermind for female badasses (a.k.a. entrepreneurs). She is such a super cool and energetic person and it all comes across in her amazing handmade jewelry pieces. Melissa’s designs are classy and little edgy, just like her! I’m such a fan of her work, you can even find several of her pieces on my own personal giftbug registry. 🙂
Meet the Maker
What was the evolution of Frost Finery?
As soon as I took my first metal-smithing class and saw how metal can be melted, annealed and reformed, I was fascinated and I haven’t been able to stop. I really kicked Frost Finery into gear when I was accepted into the Made Right Here Apprenticeship Program through TechShop. Having access to new equipment gave me the opportunity to look at my process and find different ways of creating. I learn every day on the job whether it’s figuring out the best execution for a custom design, dealing with shipping logistics or updating my website.
Where do you find inspiration?
In my graphic designer days, I drooled over work by Saul Bass, Louise Fili and Richard Perez. So when I moved into the metal world, I immediately looked for minimalist metal artists and found, Patrik Hansson, a swedish jeweler who also used to be a graphic designer. While metal is a great medium for clean minimal lines, I’m appreciating how well it can be manipulated to show off texture and I’m starting to embrace that more. I recently discovered Kristin Holeman and while it’s a real departure from Frost Finery, I’m astounded by her craftsmanship. On Holeman’s instagram she describes herself as, “Not a jeweler, but a folk artist that tells stories in metals and enamels for 41 years.” Seriously, what a statement – so inspiring! So inspiration can come from a lot of places, but I feel inspired most when resonating with someone’s authenticity. It’s a reminder that while I want Frost Finery to be fashionable, I need to draw on inspiration that truly resonates with me.
What is your process for creating custom jewelry pieces?
First, I ask a lot of questions. Who is it for? What is it for? What kind of jewelry does this person like to wear? What’s their style? Do they have sensitive skin? Sometimes what people have an idea for in their mind can be difficult to describe so I ask them if they have any visual inspiration to include that as well. I usually do a few sketches and present two or three options. Sometimes I’m able to start creating and sometimes we have to go back and tweak a few things. It’s a great challenge to make something new and unique, but I love doing it because the reasons behind the custom pieces make it really rewarding.
Do you have any favorite pieces?
I loved my last custom piece. It was for a bride that is beautiful inside and out. They were art deco inspired earrings with a fan shape and 10mm sparkly white druzies.
Would you introduce everyone to the fabulous Ziggy?
Ziggy is my 3yr old English Bulldog. My mother-in-law jokes around that there are more picture of him than my three nieces combined (they’re really adorable too) but Ziggy really knows how to work the camera. He can skateboard, he falls asleep with his tongue out, snores very loudly and is a really affectionate and goofy pup. If it’s cool day, he often makes an appearance at my jewelry booths outdoors.
Can you share a gifting tip or a gift wrapping hack?
A personalized feature and a glittery bow go a long way. One of my favorite things to do is stamp the inside of a box or a notecard. I lasered a stamp with my diamond logo that says “shine on” and it makes it more fun to gift wrap and ship things out. There are lots of shops on Etsy that will make you a custom stamp, that alone could be a really fun gift too!
I’ll also be at the I Made It Holiday Market on Black Friday in the North Side (Pittsburgh, PA).
Any final interesting facts or tidbits you want to share?
My first job was drawing caricatures at Busch Gardens. In some ways I feel like I’ve come full circle whenever it’s time to setup my booth. I really love meeting my customers in person, seeing what they respond to and being able to talk more about my process.
As I said at the beginning of this post, Melissa’s beautiful designs are definitely on my giftbug registry, now don’t forget to update your giftbug registry. You can link to her website, her Etsy shop or use any of the retail partners that she listed above. Message me if you need any help!