There are two types of people in the jewelry industry: Those with a long lineage of jewelry making with strong connections in the precious metal and stone world. And self-starters who have a unique aesthetic, clear vision and practical business plan.
Meena Osei-Kuffour is the latter. As the founder and designer of Vintage Royalty Jewelry she has evolved the company from its original focus of handmade paper accessories to include metal work, stones, and beading. Making regular appearances at festivals including the Brooklyn Night Bazaar, AfroPunk, and Sweet Spot Festival, the recently relaunched line draws inspiration from everything from Salvador Dali to the Ivory Coast of West Africa.
Her pieces speak of art, history, world travel, and high fashion without loosing their vintage flair. Approachable yet affordable, Vintage Royalty’s beauty lies in its constant evolution. Meena who started the line in 2006 knew that it was time for her brand to move in a new direction saying, “I have decided to completely change the form of jewelry which I was known for to create strong, classic, pulled together collection that I think would pair perfectly with a stylish 20 or 30 something year old woman.”
The relaunching of this line was particularly important to Meena, because it shows not only the growth of her line but of herself as an artist.
“Throughout my entire career as a jewelry designer, I had been trying to define what kind of creator I was. I feel this line introduces me as a real jewelry designer. I want people to feel what I felt when I created the pieces; I want them to imagine just like I did. And I think this collection does just that.”
If you are into conversation-starting jewelry, and are attracted to color, shape, and prints we can almost guarantee that you will see something that you like within the Vintage Royalty collection online. If you happen to be in the D. C. area, you can also shop the collection at the Nomad Yard Collectiv boutique.
On her background: “I am from the suburbs of Chicago, born and raised. I studied Fashion Marketing in college and have done many internships in shaping my fashion knowledge.”
On what her creative process is like: “My creative process begins with a cluster of ideas and inspirations. I usually try to narrow it down to a theme of some sort, then I start with sketching some jewelry aesthetics and it goes from there. Usually there is not a certain time or place that helps me. I used a lot of mixed media in this collection. Taking inspirations from India, Africa, and religions like Buddhism.”
On challenges she’s faced: “I continue to face multiple challenges developing the brand. I feel everyone does. You can never be 100 percent, there’s always something to improve on. My challenge lately has been Marketing. I need to do it more and more and more to compete with all the other jewelry designers out there. So finding the right people to help market my line and finding the time to market it myself has definitely been my biggest challenge.”
On her future plans for Vintage Royalty: “I hope to have my pieces in boutiques worldwide or in my own free-standing store. For myself, I want to learn as much as I can in art and business. Both of these I studied in school, but I just want to learn by travel and taking different artistic lessons.”
On advice she has for up-and-coming jewelry designers: “Plan Plan Plan. Never jump into anything no matter how eager you may feel. Business plan is a great start. And never stop developing your brand.”