Wednesday, August 19, 2015

New Mimi & Ferne Jewelry Line Offers Wearable Inspiration

Photo Credit: Kelly Pettibone

When Ferndale’s Naka closed, I was devastated. The boutique had provided me with endless gifts for my sister and mother in law, whose styles could not be more different, but somehow share the lovely commonality that they are difficult to buy for. I even bought my husband’s wedding band there. So I was really excited when I saw that Naka’s former owner Kelly Pettibone was bringing her unique aesthetic and design skill to a new jewelry line dubbed Mimi & Ferne ~ Modern Vintage Alchemy. The line is sold exclusively at ROUGE MakeUp & Nail Studio in Ferndale and should offer a panacea to those of us who still long to browse all the shiny things at Naka.

KT- Does the name Mimi & Ferne have a specific significance to you?
KP- Yes, it does. My paternal grandmother was an identical twin. Her sister’s name was Ferne, and my grandmother’s name was May, but her family nickname was Mimi.

KT- Why did you choose ROUGE as your storefront?
KP- Rouge seemed like a perfect fit on so many levels. Rouge is a beautiful space with a very “jewel box” feel, a great reputation in the community, and customers who appreciate unique, local goods. Furthermore, I have had very good experiences collaborating on events with them when I owned Naka, which meant I had no concerns about their level of integrity or follow through. When we met to discuss the idea, they were enthusiastic and very open to making this a joint effort; it was clear that it was going to be a great opportunity for me creatively, as well as a way for Rouge to have a curated and frequently rotating selection of jewelry available for their customers.

KT- Is this a new venture, or were you designing and selling your jewelry while you owned Naka?
KP- I was designing and selling my jewelry line while I owned Naka, but at that time it wasn’t possible for me to develop and expand it to the point I hope to in the future, or to keep any sort of regular wholesale inventory on hand.

KT- Love the dichotomy of Modern-Vintage Alchemy. Is the jewelry just vintage-inspired, or is it made with heirloom pieces? What materials do you use?
KP- Thanks! It is vintage-inspired, particularly the Mimi part of the line, but some pieces do also include vintage materials, ranging from various metals to Lucite, acrylic, semi-precious stones, glass, and crystal. Some of the Mimi pieces also feature one-of-a-kind paper and ephemera collages sealed in resin. I do incorporate new materials as well: everything from actual jewelry findings to industrial materials and recycled and new brass and copper.

KT- Who do you see as wearing the Mimi line? The Ferne line?
KP- Both parts of the line are aimed at women who want something different, fresh, and modern that’s been crafted with thought and attention to detail, and in the future people can expect less delineation between the two parts of the line. In general, the Mimi part of the line is for women who like something with a little more color and vintage influence, while the Ferne part of the line is for those who like their jewelry a little more urban, industrial, and modern.

KT- Who, or what, is your biggest inspiration?
KP- Honestly, I find so many things inspiring, but some of the things that always seem to stir something in me are the silhouettes found in Art Deco and Art Nouveau architecture and art, as well as the juxtaposition of industry and nature that you can find all over Detroit. Sometimes it can come from unexpected places. For example, the “Shoreline” earrings in the Ferne line were inspired by satellite photos of the shores of Lake Michigan I saw about a year ago. It was really fun to experiment with the patina until it did some justice to those beautiful photos.
Photo Credit: Kelly Pettibone

ROUGE is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. You can contact Ms. Pettibone directly at


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