Designer Jody McGill Spills on Art, Celeb Clients, and DIY Child Rearing!

by DIY thing • Apr 10, 2008 10:16 AM PDT
Designer Jody McGill Spills on Art, Celeb Clients, and DIY Child Rearing!

Jody McGill's filigree jewelry has been catching looks from celebs as of late. As an independent designer, she sells under her 1ofmykind brand. She uses antique Czech glass and bronze detailing in many of the pieces for a distinctive look. If your budget isn't ready for Hollywood, she has some pieces in her line that are priced for budget-conscious divas too! Check out her new Lulu Steampunk Vintage Corset Earrings or the Aquamarine Cocktail Ring. Jody recently spent a few minutes telling us about her work, so click SEE SLIDESHOW to check out these seven divine pieces and READ MORE to meet the artist behind them!

DIYthing: The jewels you choose are an important part of your look, but perhaps more its how you craft the settings?
Jody: Okay, so this question is stumping me. I suppose I could wax poetic about my inspiration, technique, or years of exposure and training in the fine arts, but it would pretty much be just blowing smoke. It's the end product that counts, to me anyway. So what it comes down to is this. Somehow through the challenges of life I found respite at my bench. A place where somehow no matter how chaotic things appear, eventually, it all magically falls into place. The funny thing is my signature style of "filigree encased jewels" all began as an accident born out of my lack of organizational skills. Two things piled atop each other on my mess of a bench and I realized with a simple twist of a pliers I could encase a stranded antique Czechoslovakian jewel in a piece of a Victorian filigree buckle. Voilà...that was it! Bit by bit, piece by piece, jewel by jewel, my "style" emerged. I dare not bore you with trying to explain how. If you're an artist you already understand. If you're not I don't think it's possible to grasp. It's like trying to explain to someone who isn't a parent what it is like the first time you see your baby. You have NO idea until you actually see your child and then you want to explain it to everyone who doesn't have one but they don't get it, yet! And yes I do equate making jewelry with giving birth on many levels and hope my children and design lineage long outlive me.

DIYthing: We know that you have some really interesting high-profile clients. Indie designers will want to hear how you were first able to market to these clients. Did they find your work online? Or at a gallery showing?
Jody: Luck, fate, chance, and great connections! A giant bonus is my sweetheart Ryan Dies is a Ford Model and brings me to all the posh celeb soirées and VIP parties. It helps to have someone that can turn the heads of Fergie and Jessica Alba. Seriously, you have to use ALL the tools in your toolbox if you want to leave your mark in a business of vanity. He's fabulous for business AND for me.

And yes indeed, sometimes they find me online. Last summer a promotional company that works with celebrities found my website through a random search. They contacted me and asked me to come spend a weekend in a $25 million Beverly Hills mansion for the week previous the MTV Movie Awards to adorn the celebs who would be attending. Meeting Anne Heche was stellar. I had left my booth to chase down the likes of Orlando Bloom and came back to find Ryan draping Anne in the MOST expensive piece I brought. Though it was my Magnum Opus, I told Anne I believed it had found it's rightful owner. She was stunned and in turn told me she would honor my work by wearing it publicly. Her stylist contacted me again the next week for earrings to match. Anne was very gracious and wore my jewels to several events the weeks following which got great press. That's pretty fun stuff. Almost a year later and I am still rebounding from the contacts I have made and frankly haven't even been able to keep up with all of them.

DIYthing: You've recently introduced a couture line. How is this line different than your other work?
Jody: It's not necessarily different; it's just the next step. It is where I am evolving or perhaps regressing as a designer. When I began I only made one-of-a-kind pieces because I was only working with vintage wares. When I found large stocks of some of these wares I was able to create a "line" that I can replicate. This is great for my online business because it cuts down on photography and maintenance costs, although I still believe each piece is unique with its own curves and layers just like every woman. So basically the "couture ine" is my hope that I can continue to grow as an artist and find the clientele that will support me doing so.

DIYthing: We see that you joined Stylehive this past year. What do you like about this social shopping site?
Jody: I love everything and anything that feeds my passion for fashion. Stylehive is right on the mark allowing interaction directly between the designer and the consumer. I think that is fantastic!

DIYthing: We love your philosophy, that adornment isn't frivolous but is an affirmation of one's self worth. What a positive image that must be for your daughter Kat. She seems to have an eye for design as well. What advice would you give to parents who want to encourage their children's DIY spirit?
Jody: As with anything else regarding parenting, your best bet is to lead by example :) If you aren't naturally blessed in the artistic or DIY mode, but note your child may be, find the mentor, teacher or class to nourish their creativity. A creative child is a terrible thing to waste!

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