So here I am again….looking at another Melrose shop I visited during my little exploration of the street a week or so ago. The next shop I’m featuring is 8 Degrees Jewelry & Accessories located at 7451 Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles CA. You can check out the website here. The shop is owned and operated by the wonderfully creative Kristin White (see below) who I had the chance to chat with online regarding her shop. I simply had to see if she’d stop for an interview after stopping in. Some of the merchandise carried there simply blew me away. So now on to the interview:
Kristin thanks for participating in an online interview. I don’t know much about your store, but I loved many of the things I saw. So let’s get into the questions.
1) When did you arrive on Melrose? How did you come up with the concept for your store? Were you always a consignment store and is this the type of store you are? How do you see you?
8 Degrees opened on Melrose May 5th 2012. The concept of 8 degrees is bringing Melrose back to it’s original roots of artistic, unique stores. 8 Degrees supports local designers and artists, allowing them exposure to the masses. We specialize in one of a kind and custom jewelry, accessories and clothing.
2) Who is your customer? What are you known for? Do you have more than one location?
Currently the 8 Degrees customer is around 25-35 year old individuals looking for unique pieces, allowing them to express themselves and not blend in with everyone else. 8 Degrees is especially known for our headbands, headpieces and body jewelry. Currently we have one location and are expecting to open our second location around September.
3) So tell me what’s currently the hottest trend in your shop? Do you get
demands for new products? Are you considering anything new to take your shop into new areas?
Trends are ever evolving season to season. At the current moment bindy’s are extremely popular. Druzy stones, initial necklaces and headbands also top in popularity.
8 Degrees is ever growing and expanding the variety of our selection. We pride ourselves on staying one step ahead of the trends.
Note my add-in: Bindy’s range from $10-$35; Custom head bands $28-$68 with body chains/jewelry ranging from $25-$60.
4) I want to tell you what I find to be your edgiest and most fashion forward product. It’s the ‘FAKE Designer’ handbags. When I saw them….I fell out and thought ‘why the hell not..’. Do you have anything you can share about this artist? What drove them to develop the concept? Are they trying to make a point with their work because it’s a bit of pop art and not simply fashion. Love them! Would LOVE to own one and use them in a shoot. They’re almost a bit ahead of their time if you know what I mean. They’re a commentary on the affordability of designer handbags, a commentary on the knock-offs of designer handbags, a statement of perhaps even just enjoy the bag and get over whose name is on it….it’s totally punk-rock/ghetto-fabulous. I’d totally carry it. It’s funny, stylish, edgy, and artsy. Does she have other merchandise besides bags?
The “Fake Designer” handbags draw in more customers then any other item. People are continuously shocked at the concept. Los Angeles is such a platonic keeping up with the Jones city. These bags say what’s really going on. The designer is also a stylist. Her personal designer stay in the handbag spectrum, she is continuously ahead of the game and developing and producing new trends. Personally I think everyone should own one of these bags. They are a statement.
Note my add-in: FAKE handbags are $95 and are the coolest item. A definite must-have if you want something to set you apart. WARNING: You absolutely have to be cool and fierce to carry it.
5) Now that I’ve gone on about one of the artists that I love…I wonder do you have an artist you love that you feature? Who are they and why do you love their work? Can you tell me more about them and what they hope to achieve with their work/designs?
One of my most popular designers is gaining notoriety by numerous celebrities. She is quite established and successful in the business. She works with, 14k gold, sterling silver and black rhodium. Her rings especially are always a cut above the rest. Out of all of my designers I wear the most pieces from her collection.
6) Ok….(see me leaning in) I now want to talk art: I noticed you have quite a bit for
sale alongside your fashion jewelry and other products. It lines your walls and really makes things pop in the shop. I’d like to ask to take a ‘this makes me think…this’ moment. I’ll mention two women who are represented in artwork for sale in your shop…and you can tell me what first comes to mind. No deep thoughts…really just your initial vibes and feelings on the person. So here we go: 1) Marilyn Monroe? 2) Audrey Hepburn? Can you tell me a bit about including these women in your shop because they’re there in a few different pieces? Also who is/are the artist?
I have various artists that create the Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn work. Marilyn Monroe to me represent power and insight. Marilyn Monroe’s quotes vary from surface to thought provoking and she is such a complex intelligent person that not everyone realizes. Audrey Hepburn on the other hand was a humanitarian. Audrey like Marilyn has both surface and thought provoking quotes. Though opposites in many ways their thinking was often on the same wave length.
7) So you are a designer with a passion for jewelry according to your website.
What are your favorites in the store? Do you design jewelry? If so, is it carried in the shop? What do you want people to know about your shop that’s not in your Shop’s Bio?
I do design about 20% of the jewelry in the store. I create a lot of Tibetan pieces. I also specialize in custom clothing, all the shorts in the store are done by myself along with the body jewelry and headbands and headpieces. I often make custom pieces on the spot for customers. 8 Degrees originality doesn’t necessarily come across on the website. The website is not a direct reflection of the unique pieces in the store.
8) Finally how many artists do you feature in your store? How often do you get pieces in? Are there any new artists on the horizon? Where do you see your store heading in the future?
Currently 8 Degrees has 59 Designers and Artists in the store. We get new merchandise in weekly and I make new pieces daily. I am always looking for designers that bring something new and different to the table. I see 8 Degrees expanding nationally. Currently I am scouting a location on the east coast. Building our online presence and online store sales is one of 8 Degrees main priorities at the moment. I see endless potential for 8 Degrees. This summer we have an 8 Degrees crop-top line and perfume launching. 8 Degrees is excited for the future and continuous growth.
….Kristin I want to say thanks again so much for taking your time out to answer these questions. I’m really glad I had the chance to chat with you and get to know you and your shop better. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors and hopefully we’ll continue to stay in contact. I’m sure I’ll be back as I’m keeping my eyes on those ‘FAKE’ bags…(P.S. I’m building up my cool-to-fierceness ratio just to get in to buy it…)
…until next time. Travel Sprightly (with one of the FAKE Designer bags).
Final Note: For those of you who’ve been following my blog this shop visit brought me face-to-face with more cool Marilyn Monroe art references and seeing how frequently she and other icons pop into my life is an interesting journey with creativity and inspiration. It’s bound to inspire some of my future designs so we’ll see how it plays out. You can check out the blog post where I discovered Marilyn Monroe in my own art here.