Maria Fuentes is a Spanish accessory designer, currently based in Belgium. Her brand called "Mirissa Concept" was launched just a few months ago. Mirissa Concept mainly sells earrings made mostly from polymer clay, which are designed and handcrafted by Maria herself.
How did you start your accessory brand? What are your sources of inspiration?
I started the brand a few months ago when I discovered the polymer clay world and all the accessories that can be handcrafted with it. Regarding my sources of inspiration, I'd say I'm inspired by nature, more concrete by the sea and the sand. I also love interior design which I find an inspiring way to get some shapes and colour ideas.
Maria always wanted to launch her own brand. But just launching the brand was not her entire dream. She also wanted to participate in the creativity and the handcraft process. When she discovered the world of polymer clay, she thought it was a great opportunity to finally create something according to her values.
Regarding the question, what do I like about making accessories, I must say that for me it's currently a hobby I really enjoy, and I like all the areas: to design, handcraft, the marketing side, taking pictures, planning, organizing the stock, creating the website. For me it's a way to express my creativity, not only with the earrings designs but also with all the creation brand process.
Do you have a signature style? Tell us more about your most popular designs.
The style of the earrings is timeless and minimalist. For the moment all the earrings are black and beige based because they are colours which will never go out of style and they represent the minimalism that the brand is grounded on.
We would love to hear about your studio/making time and how you connect with your clients.
The making time is always very inspiring and peaceful, that's what I like the most about it; it really makes me disconnect from the chaos in outside world and have a peaceful and creative time on my own. At the moment, I connect with my clients via Instagram, but I'd like to extend the communication to some other channels like Facebook in the future.
What makes you a happy artist?
What makes me happy is to have a way to express my creativity and see my clients wearing my creations and adoring them.
What is your dream project? If there are no limitations, what would you like to create?
My dream project is to expose my products worldwide in different events and also to sell my products in physical small shops. I really want to enjoy this process and want manage to support a charity with some of the incomes I receive from the brand.
Maria’s styling advice for her clients -
Less is more, and in case you want to upgrade your look in an easy and not expensive way, just add a sparkling pair of earrings.
What skills are necessary to be a successful designer? Do you have any tips for the aspiring artists who want to start their own accessory brand?
To be persistent, create things according to your values and to avoid trying to follow the current trends if they are not your style. Also, don't try to make accessories for everyone, but try to get to the people who may have a similar taste like you.
Which of your designs is your favourite? Can you tell us the story behind it?
One of my favourite designs is the "Lombok in beige". It was inspired by a lamp I saw on Instagram which I thought, oh, this lamp shape would be really nice in a pair of earrings.
Tell us one secret that not many designers or customers know about accessory making.
There is even more competence in this world that it may look like! When I discovered the polymer clay, I thought it was kind of something new and I'd never imagined so many people were into it already!
What's your prediction on trends for accessories? What style or colour would you recommend for 2021/22 Autumn/Winter?
Some of the main pillars of my brand are durability and slow fashion, so according to that, for the moment all the earring collections are black or beige, sometimes with a sparkling touch. I try to support slow fashion by creating timeless designs and encourage the clients to invest in a good pair of earrings which are never out of trend.
London Accessory Week Team