So amazing to be featured in Jessica Faulkner's "WOMAN WE LOVE". Nothing better than playing dress up, vino, and good conversation with friend and BFF fashion designer Jessica Faulkner. Loved every second of it.
"WOMEN WE LOVE"
MARYANNA DONNELLY OF MARYLAMBB JEWELRY
This week we are featuring the very talented designer, Maryanna Donnelly, of MaryLambb Jewelry, as one of the women we love. With an eye for detail and a heart of gold we sat down with our sister friend and discussed her journey over a bottle of wine.
What is the inspiration behind your jewelry designs?
I have always been fascinated by construction, design, and color and I have always love fashion. When I was in high school I wanted to be a costume designer. I was one of those kids that took “playing dress” uber seriously, way into my teens. Fast forward to college when I finally found something to be passionate about: ART, specifically, the practice and history. I began to truly understand that it is an expression of who we are: culturally, sexually, religiously…everything.
After I graduated college I backpacked throughout Southeast Asia and India for over 6 months. I was enamored with the people and their jewelry. I recall seeing the monks performing alms at sunrise. Cloaked in orange and one strand of mala beads. I was also entranced by the women in India who literally wore their wealth on their bodies. One memory in particular still resonates.
I was riding on the 3rd class train from Mumbai to Matherin (India). The women clung to the rails, their shimmering bangles singing a melodious harmony…clinking and clanking, as the train rushed over the tracks. Their faces revealed that life had been hard, but their jewelry told a different story: gold, sparkling stones, and so many bangles. I learned later that women’s jewelry is often passed down through multiple generations, and is the only thing of monetary value that many women possess. Their jewelry literally held stories from ancient days past. I think this was when I really began to want to create my own jewelry that told a story, that represented the human subconscious. We are all connected, we are all imperfect, we all have a story.
After my travels I ended up in LA teaching art in the inner city. Once again, I was blown away by the vast economic disparities in our world, and how they played a role in our self-expression. I wanted so badly to make a difference to people on a deeply human level. After several years teaching, I learned that a lump in my breast might be cancerous. It was a long summer waiting to hear the results of my biopsy. In this moment… I basically had one of those life epiphanies: it is now or never. I decided to begin my journey creating my own art, my own contribution…. designing and creating jewelry that was meaningful and hopefully spiritual. I realize that this is a trendy concept, but for me it is a real way of celebrating the human condition, and expressing ones unique story.
How do you select the materials that you work with?
I select materials intuitively based on how the stones feel and look on a visceral level. I also research what specific stories and meanings the rocks have to a variety of peoples. Many of my designs are asymmetrical, and use hand knotting which is the time-honored tradition used through the world. My partner Justin has played a huge role in designing the larger pieces and providing insight on men’s fashion in Los Angeles. Personally, I strive to celebrate humanity’s unique imperfections that make us so different and so beautiful.
What motivates you and drives your work ethic?
I strive to create wearable art that speaks to people on a subconscious level, and hopefully provides people with a way to express themselves. I have carefully worked to create jewelry with fluidity as people move. Comfort and durability are also key. Sometimes my motivation is merely to create something beautiful that will make a person feel great!
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I would like to thank you for being an inspiration. Watching you build your own business with such laser like focus, commitment and powerful work-ethic has shown me that almost anything is possible if one stays the course. (Yes, I said that.)
“ I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but, people will never forget how you made them feel.’ Maya Angelou."