Whenever I am designing a piece, I am very keen on how it translates to the Adjeley woman's sense of style. It is very important to me, my team have seen me day dream and talk about what she is wearing, where she is going and who she is meeting with. Trust me from date night to the board room meetings, I have imagined it all. I was discussing how I wanted to create a piece from calabash ( the dried shell of the gourd fruit cut in half). This is a material that is easily found in our local markets and easy to shape if you have the right tools. I have a lot of artisans use as a form of expression in the creations.
Figuring out how best I can work with this product, a client of ours sent us a DM on Instagram saying she saw a piece that she wanted us to replicate. First, I felt honored that she considered us to be able to make something of that nature for her, I did tell her that I would try to create something very different but give the kind of effect that she wanted. She agreed to it and then I sat with my girls to come up with something for her. Mind you we had a timeline as it was her birthday shoot and it was in three weeks.
In looking for materials for our design, one of our ladies Connie, reminded me of the calabashes I had them buy some months back. It was the "Eureka" moment we had been looking for. Upon our research we found out the gourd was the best element to work with. It was natural, easy to create shapes with and most importantly light weight. We set out on this project and made our first piece. It was exactly how we imagined it, of course there were a lot of tweaks we had work on, I mean, what product does not go through that process? We showed her the first prototype and she loved it. We tweaked it again and then sent her pair of custom made earrings.
February By Serwa had us remake them again for their holiday collection.
We knew this piece was one that many would love but something had to change. The initial piece we had designed was for a photoshoot so we knew this could not work for everyday use, focusing on the advantages of the calabash element, we had to remake this piece in such a way that it was a statement piece but could work for everyday use.
This was where we came up with Michene earrings. Made from the same material and technique but smaller. I decided to name it Michene to pay homage to the base material we use in making them. Michene is an English coinage of a two Ga words - 'Mi' (meaning 'my' or 'mine') and 'Tsene' (meaning calabash) pronounced "Chay-Nay". Put together we have My Calabash or Michene. Launching with our Inspired By You collection, we knew it would be a best seller.
Michene has been become part of the staples for most Adjeley women who not only buy for themselves but for their friends and loved ones. With many of you telling us they have become your grab and go statement piece because of it's light weight and versatility.
One of our clients told us of a shoot she had that she had to use her own Michene earrings in the shoot, the model asked if she could have the earrings after the shoot but she refused because it was a pair of earring she was not ready to part with. We have had some custom made piece in rose gold and silver ( we are considering add them to the Michene line soon).
Patricia (@passiboo) wearing her Michene Earrings during her Masters graduation ceremony.