Marissa Kendrick of Deleay Lashay Jewelry
Me: Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Marissa: I am 21 years old, and I live in Chicago. I am a junior at Columbia College. I attended The Illinois Institute of Art for Fashion Management, but then transferred to Columbia for Art and Design after my first year.
Me: What are your general (non)professional interests?
Marissa: My general profession is oil painting, creating and building my Deleay Lashay business, and learning as much as I can in school. I love oil painting, performance art, mentoring young women, helping charities of my interests, styling (hair, makeup, and wardrobe), and I am developing interests in film and designing signature dresses.
Me: What does fashion mean to you?
Marissa: Fashion, for me, has the ability to make you feel good depending on what you wear. Overall, when I think of fashion, I think of wearing a physical art piece.
Me: What does style mean to you?
Marissa: To me, style is placing items together that gear toward your personality. Not everyone looks good in what you look good in. Style is knowing how to put things together that not only makes you feel comfortable, but makes you feel good.
Me: How would you define the fashion in Chicago?
Marissa: Chicago has a different type of fashion. I feel that trends are really big in Chicago, which is not a bad thing. However, I also feel that people are too scared to wear what they really want to out of fear of being judged.
Me: How would you define your personal style?
Marissa: My style is always based on how I feel. For example, there was a few times when I fell in love with a color from my paintings that I had been working on, and all I wanted to wear was that color based on how it made me feel at that point of time lol. I wore green everything, but I felt happy all day :).
Me: How would you define the style your line exemplifies?
Marissa: My line is divided into three collections. I feel every woman holds either one out of three of these styles:
Me: What inspires you as a jewelry designer?
Marissa: Many things inspire me. However, most of my inspiration comes from my own oil paintings, and my desire to want women to understand their own true beauty.
Me: When did you realize that you wanted to become a jewelry designer? And how did you get into designing jewelry?
Marissa: I started making jewelry for myself in high school when I realized that most jewelry was manufactured and made to break. I got so tired of cheap jewelry that broke within two weeks after purchasing them that I would just make my own. I realized that I wanted to become a jewelry designer when I started getting so many compliments on my jewelry designs. I knew I loved the jewelry that I made, but I had no clue that others would love and appreciate it as well. That is also when I realized that I loved making women feel beautiful.
For some odd reason, designing jewelry just came natural for me. I realized one day that I love putting pieces together and creating with my own hands. I have never taken a jewelry class. I was self-educated, and if there was something that I did not know how to do, I was sure to find the answer.
Me: Where does the name, Deleay Lashay, come from?
Marissa: Deleay Lashay is my middle name. It is a combination of my mother, father, and grandmother's name. It stands for "Determine Lady."
Me: What are some of your accomplishments as a jewelry designer?
Marissa: I have had the opportunity to travel to places throughout Chicago, and outside of Chicago to showcase my jewelry designs. I was a guest on an awesome talk show a few months ago, called The Sherhara Show. I have hosted three of my own jewelry parties this year in 2011. I was honored to be Columbia's Campus Celebrity of the Week. I have had the chance to meet amazing people like Keri Hilson, Austin and Santino from Project Runway, John Legend, and a few others.
Me: Who are some of your favorite designers?
Marissa: I honestly can say I do not really have any.
Me: What matters most to you as a jewelry designer?
Marissa: What matters most is getting my message across from my Bossy, Essence, and Conversation pieces, because there is meaning behind them all. The messages that come with the earrings are most important.
Me: What advice do you have for aspiring jewelry designers?
Marissa: I would say, never give up and never try to please everyone. Stay true to yourself, and take every fallback as a stepping stone for your next blessing.
Me: What is next for Deleay Lashay?
Marissa: Deleay Lashay is putting together a way to reach out to teen girls this summer.
Me: Where can readers find out more about you and your work?
Marissa: Readers can follow me on Twitter at Deleay Lashay, become a fan at Deleay Lashay Jewelry, and visit our website at www.deleaylashay.com.