Lifestyle product photography and interview with Bend, Oregon Jewelry Designer McKenzie MendelWhile lifestyle, family photography is the focus here at Photography in Bend, it’s hard to turn down the request when local jewelry designer, McKenzie Mendel, calls to schedule a photoshoot for her new summer 2016 jewelry line. McKenzie designs nature-inspired jewelry worn everyday by outdoor enthusiasts to elegant brides, and everyone in between. As you’ll see, there’s something for everyone, and I could not wait to see what she had come up with for her new summer line. Here is a sneak peek of what’s new in her store, as well as an interview with McKenzie!
How did you become interested in making jewelry, and when did you begin?
I was always dabbling in art and decided I wanted to pursue jewelry design when I discovered the Savannah College of Art and Design and the jewelry program there. The professors in the program were really passionate about the field and the things their students were making, and I wanted the same passion for my craft and future career. I graduated in 2009 with a BFA and started my company in 2012 in a spare bedroom in my house eventually moving into a shared studio that my husband and I run together.
What is the biggest inspiration for your jewelry?
I draw my inspiration from nature. Bend is a pretty amazing place, full of inspiration. I also really like to think about what my family members or friends would wear. I want my jewelry to be accessible to everyone whether they are going to a wedding or riding their mountain bike.
McKenzie Mendel, pictured right.
What excites you about your new summer line? Do you have a favorite piece?
The Summer line is fun because its a sign of warm days to come. I think Summer is the best time to show off jewelry. I am a fan of the Balance Collection and the Roost Collection. I named them to remind me that Life is hard to balance but there is always beauty in the moment and living in the moment is the place to be. Roost is all about my love for Home. I love Bend and I love nesting with my family.
What are your favorite types of pieces to make?
I love making it all! The initial design process is where the butterflies in the belly get going for me. Jewelry is really fun because it can be like putting a puzzle together. I like to solve problems so I think that is where I have the most fun in making. Working with clients and designing with them is also really fun. I love weddings so making special rings or even the jewelry the bride is going to wear makes me really excited.
What’s next on the horizon?
This summer for me all about trade shows, weddings and camping. I am usually on the lake if I’m not at the studio, We are also planning fun events at my studio, Willow Lane.
Where can people find you and buy your jewelry?