Someone who truly appreciates the everlasting allure of a classic piece is Nicole Maslowski. As the creative brain behind Maslo Jewelry, she believes designs should be kept clean and simple. In our chat with Nicole, we talked about her brand, designs and future plans.
Inspired by nature
Maslo’s pieces are inspired by minimalism, so it comes as no surprise that designer Nicole Maslowski herself is a minimalist. “Minimalism has always been in me. I had a grandmother who was a hoarder, and my dad also likes to keep stuff. It took me in the opposite direction of wanting to simplify things. I don't like trends. I try not to follow them. Sometimes it comes into play when I’m designing, but I try to create jewelry that will remain classic for years.”
Even though minimalism is a huge source of inspiration for the designer, it’s not the only element that influences her work. “It can be anything: a cool window in a building, a piece of clothing or even a tree branch. I take something basic and mix in different textures and materials. For this, I usually draw inspiration from the different textures in nature. It’s also the perfect place to see how different patterns work together.”
Quick and easy
Designed for collecting and layering, Maslo pieces work well together. Sometimes, just one piece is enough to create different styles. Nicole prefers versatile pieces that you can wear in different ways, like her very own golden Twisted Serpentine Necklace. “The texture of the chain adds interest to the piece while still keeping it classic.” Combine it with other necklaces, clasp it longer or shorter for the perfect layers, or wrap it around your arm as a bracelet.
Maslo’s pieces are perfect for dressing up and down. The classic designs add something extra to every outfit for every occasion. Another example of a very versatile piece is the Large Rope Chain Necklace. “I want to create pieces that you can wear on repeat and with ease. I want my pieces to be like your favorite pair of jeans or t-shirt. It’s just something you grab and put on without thinking.”
Past to present
Maslo pieces have more than one sustainable quality. Besides the pieces being timeless, also half of the materials used are vintage. “I’m a huge thrifter. When I started Maslo in 2007, I used mostly vintage finds. I searched for old jewelry, took those pieces apart and created unique, one-of-a-kind pieces. Later I transferred to vintage deadstock materials. This allowed me to make more of the same pieces, but without them being mass-produced.”
“When I find a good vintage piece, I think about what history held for it. Where did it come from? How was it used? The same goes for old furniture. I like mixing modern furniture with vintage pieces while still keeping everything modern. I love taking something old, turning it into something sustainable and giving it new life.”
The brand's Tiny Latch Hoops with Oval Rings are made with vintage parts and make the perfect everyday earrings. Maslo’s recurring element of versatility allows you to wear them with or without the oval drop at the bottom. Another piece made with old vintage components is the Small Flat Chain Bracelet. It comes with a matching necklace, so they're even easier to throw on.
When she first started, Nicole was already giving away a portion of her profit. The first organization she donated to was Pets For Vets. “Pets For Vets trains dogs to be support animals to people with PTSD. My dad was a prisoner of war in Vietnam. I liked the fact that he had such a special bond with his dog. These dogs bring people with PTSD lots of comfort.”
Later on in her career, Nicole realized she wanted to switch up who she was donating to. Now she’s always looking for new organizations to support. “Right now, it's Feed More, an organization that provides meals for people in the Richmond area. Before Christmas, I donated a lot of jewelry pieces to Dress For Success. These were mostly pieces that were either an older style or last cycle.” Instead of throwing them out, Nicole gave the pieces yet another life by donating them.
The collection consists of earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings that are all finished with a 14K gold plate. However, Maslo recently added some silver goodies to their webshop. “For the new line, we came out with pieces with a silver finish. I’m very excited because we’ve never done silver before. The line has photographs that are all super bright and airy. Silver really evokes that feeling.”
“We’re also incorporating some gold-filled pieces you can wear all the time, even in the shower. For next year, I’ve already started working on new jewelry. It’s going to be very fluid, organic, with a lot of movement.”