Three Blondes

Who ever said that t-shirt and sneaker culture couldn’t accommodate some space for a little female flair once in a while? Enter Three Blondes, the up-and-coming Manhattan-based jewelry line inspired by the bombshells themselves: Summer Rej, Jennifer Meyers and Kristy Rao. Pals since their youth, these resourceful ladies recently collaborated on the ultimate DIY project: handmade jewelry and accessories. They combine craft and fantasy, talent and imagination to produce product sure to attract a crowd of diverse fans.

From their vibrant bracelets trimmed with velvet and lace to their charm-accented necklaces, Three Blondes’ aesthetic runs the gamut. There’s a little something for everyone, whether you’re a schoolgirl or a hipster chick. They’ve even put together some inspired hair apparel: sequined fall-foliage and floral barrettes and flapper-esque headbands. Format caught up with the enthusiastic trio at their Soho loft one dreary autumn afternoon and is pleased to present this exclusive conversation.

“We like to take risks with our pieces and you can see that in what we named our jewelry line: Three Blondes. Obviously people are going to make fun of us, and that’s the whole point; we’re comfortable with ourselves and that’s why we named it that. We think it’s funny and cute and that’s what we are.”

Format: What compelled you to begin making jewelry?
Summer: When Jennifer and I were in college, we had a small t-shirt line. Since we went to different schools, we didn’t really have the opportunity to work on it. When we [returned] to New York, [we] thought, why don’t we start a jewelry company? That seemed to be where our interest was.

Jennifer: Like a year and a half ago, [Summer and I] thought, why don’t we bring Kristy in to do this with us? She would be the perfect third blonde – it wasn’t called Three Blondes then; that’s when we had the idea.

Format: Do you feel growing up in New York City was a big influence?
All three together: Definitely!!!

Jennifer: I feel like, living in New York City, I really can do anything. That sounds silly, but so many people come to the city and achieve such great things; why can’t we do it if we’re passionate about it?

Kristy: We want our jewelry to be sold everywhere so that people can take part in whatever is going on [in New York]. Private school girls here always have fads in style at certain times. We want pieces that can be picked up at any given time as a statement piece, something everyone wants to wear.

Format: What influences and inspires you?
Kristy: We each have our own distinct style. I feel like it helps a lot when we’re designing things because we want to attract a variety of different people. I feel like Summer’s very eclectic, Jennifer’s very girlie, very feminine, and I’m classic. We’re all into vintage clothes and jewelry. We all raid our mothers’ closets and find their best pieces.

A lot of [our] jewelry is very bold and bright and showy and that kind of girl power is very prominent in a lot of the pieces that we have right now, which I think are generally for a younger generation.

Jennifer: I kind of see these [colorful bracelets] as the forever corsage; I saved my corsages from the two proms I went to senior year, but I can’t wear them anymore. How cool would it be if I still had one I could put on my wrist? I would love that!

Kristy: Although we all have very different styles, we still really appreciate each other’s style.

Jennifer: That’s what makes us such a good team, ‘cause we’re not clones of each other; we all have our own taste, and that’s what makes this stuff fun and approachable for all girls. I think it’s a good mix.

Format: I know you hosted the mad hatter tea party pre-launch; I definitely detect that Alice in Wonderland fantasy theme…
Jennifer: Fairytale, superhero-esque. Especially the hair accessories; all of our headbands look like something you [wear] and you’re Wonder Woman.

Summer: We have [a headband] that has a lightening bolt on it; there’s something fun about it, something flirty. It’s like a little bit of flair. And a lot of [the pieces] are based on vintage things. That’s because that’s how we’ve always dressed. They’re things that we like putting on.

Kristy: We like to make a statement with our pieces. You’re not going to see a lot of toned down pieces. You’re going to see the pieces that make the outfit. We want to complete whatever you’re wearing.

Summer: The Three Blondes girl can throw on jeans and a sparkly barrette and conquer the world; can be wearing a black dress and [attend] a benefit, but can [wear] the neon pink bracelet and feel totally in place, while everyone else is in subdued black tie attire. She can spice things up a bit.

Jennifer: Like “the icing on the cake.” It’s a joke between us. It’s what our hair accessories look like. They look kind of like frosting on cake.

Format: And are these all handmade by you?
Jennifer: Yes.

Format: You hang out and it’s like an assembly line?
Jennifer: Yeah, pretty much.

Format: Do you have any formal design training?
Summer: I’ve taken classes at the national academy of art for years.

Kristy: Fashion is more of a hobby for me. We like to take risks with our pieces and you can see that in what we named our jewelry line: Three Blondes. Obviously people are going to make fun of us, and that’s the whole point; we’re comfortable with ourselves and that’s why we named it that. We think it’s funny and cute and that’s what we are.

Jennifer: It’s called Three Blondes but we want it to be where anyone can put something on and be a Three Blondes girl. And feel comfortable wearing this. It’s supposed to be really fun. That’s what it is for us, so that’s what we hope it is for other people too.

Format: That’s good you are dispelling the “dumb blonde” myth. You’re obviously putting out a product, you have talent. You’re not dumb blondes, you’re smart blondes! When are you planning to launch, officially?
Jennifer: The goal will be February, hovering around fashion week but not fashion week, so the week before or after.

Summer: That would be the most realistic. We’re really excited because it’s the middle of winter; everything’s grey. You need a little bit of color, a little bit of flash.

Jennifer: The purpose for the pre-launch was to get feedback from our friends. If our friends like our stuff, then that was validation to us. [Also], to get our name out before our official launch. I think we succeeded at that.

Summer: We had a lot of positive reactions and that was really motivating and helped us see what people responded to most. We didn’t hear one negative comment, which is absolutely phenomenal.

Format: So what about in stores?
Summer: We’ve been speaking with buyers. I don’t want to name places. Nothing’s set in stone.

Format: Where would you like it to be seen?
Jennifer: The streets of Manhattan, on our friends, on people proud to wear our pieces. The ultimate compliment would be overseas. I think Japan would be a good market for it. They’re always on the cutting edge. We’d like to be in the staple New York stores and in shopping malls, so people in New Jersey could buy our stuff. [Laughs]

Summer: Anyone who likes wearing [our jewelry], we want to have pieces. Because, if you enjoy it, that’s who our client is.

Format: What’s been the biggest challenge?
Jennifer: It’s hard when everyone’s busy all day to then find extra time to do this. Before our pre-launch [we were] working all day and all night and all weekend and there’s no time to go out or do anything. The pre-launch became our life; it was a full time job on top of a full time job. It’s hard to do.

Format: It sounds like you’re at the helm, at the initial point of something bigger.
Jennifer: That’s what it feels like; it feels like we’re on the brink of this being huge and we’re this close to being over our heads. But it’s really fun and exciting.

Summer: We’ve got nothing but positive expectations for it.

Nell Alk

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