Get to know Jewelry Designer Kelly Mealia of Ollie & Boo
Most people would find working with their siblings a living nightmare but Kelly Mealia, jewelry designer at Ollie & Boo, finds a way to make it work! After finishing Ithaca college and classes at The Fashion Institute of Technology, Kelly launched her very own styling company Kreative Kouture & Co. After working at her own styling company and as a actress, Kelly teamed up with her sister Kathleen in 2009 to launch the Ollie & Boo jewelry company. With their designs being featured anywhere from a Maroon 5 music video to the "Today Show", Ollie & Boo is a jewelry line you won't want to miss.
How did you and your sister Kathleen begin your collaboration?
I designed a piece and Kathleen got so excited by it-she was amazing in encouraging us to continue creating more designs and it was all born from there…I have very fond memories of early days where we would put on great music or classic favorite movies of ours and just play. I think this fun energy of approaching the design process was how it all blossomed so positively.
Do you and your sister ever fight about design choices? Having a sister myself, how do you do it?
Ha! Yes, we definitely can “agree to disagree” on certain designs-but in the end we are able to find a strong balance in each piece that allows for my artsy whimsical designs with her polished “controlled chaos” style.
What inspires your designs? Art, travel, textiles, movies, nature-everything around us. Our “Pablo” was inspired by a Pablo Picasso painting, our “Gatsby” was inspired by The Great Gatsby movie, our “Jonesy” was inspired by Madmen’s famous character “Joan”-the sexy pen she is always wearing….you catch our drift!
At what point did you know that you wanted to design jewelry?
As a fashion stylist, I was finding a huge gap in the market for “high quality jewelry” that consisted of real semi-precious stones, beautiful chains that would feel unique, extremely versatile with a great price point. I designed a piece, my sis loved it and we kind of dove in together from there…
What is your favorite piece in your jewelry line for the Fall & Winter Season?
I love the sparkle of the Thomboy for fun downtown edge. You can wear it with a cashmere sweater and boots or cocktail dress for holiday events-it goes with everything!
How does it feel for NBC’s “Today Show” style editor Bobbie Thomas to be wearing some of your designs like the Rocker necklace?
Incredible! We are definite fans of Bobbie’s style-so for her to chose to wear our “Rocker” necklace on NBC was very flattering. What are some jewelry trends that we should be on the lookout for during the holiday season? “Arm Parties”(fun vibrant stacks of bracelets), Long Pendant Necklaces, vibrant statement necklaces-think bright Green, Cobalt Blues with larger beads.
How did the name Ollie and Boo come about?
Kathleen and I both came to the table with a name that was sentimental to each of us-and OLLIE & BOO was born!
In the early years of starting your business Ollie and Boo, what were some of the challenges you faced?
Budgeting, figuring out how to wisely focus our time on the many aspects of growing a business, and wanting to appeal to a wide range of women of all ages & be able to offer affordable prices without compromising the integrity or quality of our brand.
What’s the greatest part of your career so far?
My gosh! I’d say it’s pretty amazing to get to play creatively and then have pieces of art we’ve created be worn by so many different gorgeous women throughout the world. It’s very cool and an honor.
Anything else we dolls should know?
Do what you love and the money will follow. Don’t be afraid to try out different things that interest you in life. I work as a jewelry designer, fashion stylist, & voiceover artist and get so much joy from having the luxury of getting to do all three! Check out my fashion blog for daily fun fashion inspiration, The Everyday Darling-Like us on Facebook! And also Like OLLIE & BOO on facebook -we will send you great promo discounts for our line.
For more on Kelly and Ollie & Boo, check out the links below!
Kreative Kouture & Co- Kelly’s styling company
The Everyday Darling-Kelly’s fashion blog