Thursday, July 18, 2013

Postcards from the Southwest

We've got a serious case of wanderlust after seeing the snapshots that MacK and Trevor of the jewelry line SoulMakes took while on their epic roadtrip earlier this month. It's perfect that they chose a tour of our home sweet home country, as their designs reflect a great appreciation and love for the rich colors and stones of the Southwest. Bopping from state to state (17 in 14 days!), they describe the experience as, "out of this world." And the pictures have us convinced.

We recently spoke with MacK and Trevor about their trip, music, and, of course, their awesome jewelry. Check out the interview below, and see their rad blog and shop their beautiful bohemian collection here.

For Love of the Moon: I see that you guys are based in Fairfax, right? Are you from there? We are from Richmond, so we got that Virginia connection :)

MacK: Yes we are! I am from Fairfax and Trev is from Prince William County. Virginia is for lovers

For Love of the Moon: Everything - from your blog to your lookbooks to your pieces themselves - embrace a certain free and eclectic spirit. We tend to associate this style - full of turquoise and feathers - to specific regions and areas, one of them being the American Southwest. Your pieces also seem to reflect an uninhibited spirit that bring to mind the notion of the wild wild west. Is that aspect of America an inspiration to you guys?

MacK: Thank you! And yes I draw so much design inspiration from the Southwest. My mom, who was also a jewelry maker, used to take me to all kinds of wonderful rock and mineral shops, jewelry shows, etc... That's where I got my introduction to traditional turquoise and coral jewelry; it was love at first sight. SoulMakes pulls it all together with a lot of leather lace and feathers!

Trevor: You bet. Most of my family is from the South, so you can imagine that my upbringing was a good ol' American one.  Also, I lived in the Midwest for about a year not too long ago.  While there, I got a good dose of American Western culture and style. Like MacK, it was love at first sight.

For Love of the Moon: We always like to ask what kind of music you listen to while you work. Any favorites?

MacK: I listen to a wide range of alternative and rock, my favorites (in no particular order) are Blue's Traveler, Fleetwood Mac, Pantera and JJ Grey & Mofro. I definitely have a serious soft spot for bluesy rock n roll!

Trevor: My choice of music is so all over the place, it sometimes confuses even me. On any day of the week I can find myself listening to some gypsy punk (Gogol Bordello, The World/Inferno Friendship Society), classical piano, American or French cabaret (Claire Fader, Andrew Bird's Bowl Of Fire) big band ensembles, ska (The Specials, Streetlight Manifesto), or hardcore metal. Lately I've listened to just about anything with a gypsy/carnival sound to it. If it has a cimbalom or harpsichord, it's fair game.

For Love of the Moon: You are embarking on a big road trip soon, right? (Or you just got back, depending on when you are doing this :))
Tell us a little bit about it. Where was your favorite part? Any must-see places?

MacK: Yes! We just got home from a two week long cross country road trip, we went through 17 states in 14 days. It was the most magical adventure we've ever been on. I could go on forever about how beautiful this country is! We were in the southwest; it was actually my first time in most of these places. We stayed overnight in Austin, Santa Fe, Grand Canyon and Denver. Grand Canyon was my favorite, we hiked down into the canyon and Trevor proposed! I said yes of course, we are feeling so excited and blessed!

Trevor: It was out of this world. That's the best way I can explain it. It is truly amazing how expansive and beautiful our country is. No picture, drawing, painting, or narrative will ever do it justice. You must see it all for yourself. However, the Grand Canyon wins the gold medal. Standing on the edge of the world was by far the most humbly experience I think I will ever have. Not to mention, my best friend said she would marry me.

For Love of the Moon: Who would you say is your biggest style influence?

MacK: Mom! She is such a whimsical lady, she radiates a very special, inexplicable light! She loves color, mix and match, she really wears her personality with her wardrobe and although our styles are very different, she inspires me to be uniquely me.  Also, Stevie Nicks, Jimi Hendrix, anything 60's rock n roll as far as fashion goes. Lot's of jewelry inspiration from Spell and the styling's of Free People too!

For Love of the Moon: Did you always have such a passion for creating jewelry? Did it interest you from an early age?

MacK: I started when I was a kid. My mom is an artist, she was a jewelry maker too! We had a little gazebo in our backyard that she turned into her studio. She worked with dichroic glass, so I spent summers firing up all kinds of glass pendants, earring etc in the kiln with her. She definitely taught me the basics of jewelry making, as I got older I developed and refined my own style of jewelry. 

For Love of the Moon: And finally, any stone or gem that you personally find exceptional? Or more spiritual than others?

MacK: Love this question! It's a pretty solid tie between Turquoise and Amethyst. I love the look and feel and all the possibilities of Turquoise! But I definitely have a strong connection with Amethyst. The word Amethyst came from the Ancient Greek word meaning “without drunkenness” I didn't find this out, of course, until after I'd fallen in love with its appearance and had been wearing it for quite some time. I haven't had a drink in over five years. 

For Love of the Moon: Thanks so much for taking the time to indulge our curiosities! 

Thanks so much to MacK and Trever for taking the time to indulge our curiosities!  And Congratulations!!  :)