Meredith Frederick — whose work graces R & M Woodrow Jewelers in Rye — wasn’t always a jewelry designer, but fate would have it so.
“It just kind of happened organically,” she says.
Frederick, the founder of the eponymous brand based in Brooklyn, began her career as an executive pastry chef in New York City. But nearly 17 years ago, the Long Island native sought a new creative outlet and found herself designing jewelry.
Her collection was first inspired by a set of unusual plastic Macedonian bracelets that she saw while traveling in Europe. After purchasing one herself, she immediately wished to recreate the look.
“I looked at them and they just really spoke to me,” she says. “I became obsessed with them.”
The Macedonian bracelets were crafted using an ancient European beading technique that became popular during the Victorian era, Frederick says. The craftsmanship of the jewelry left hollow spaces among the beadwork, allowing the wearer to keep small knickknacks inside.
“I liked the whole history,” she says.
Though Frederick’s jewelry isn’t made for hiding novelties, her work features tiny, tightly woven beads made from internationally sourced materials like 14- and 18-karat gold, silver and precious and semiprecious stones in an array of fashionable colors and styles.
“Everything inspires me,” she says.
All of the jewelry is handmade by the designer herself or by families living near her Brooklyn studio. Frederick enjoys producing the brand locally in an effort to help out her community. Since each piece is handcrafted, no two items are identical, and each customer receives a one-of-a-kind accessory.
“There are a lot of people that have their hands on helping us make the product and we feel that the product has a lot of personal energy in it,” she says. “We hope that when people buy it, they feel that sense of well-being when they wear one of our pieces.”
Frederick launches two collections annually — spring/summer and fall/winter. Each collection features approximately 60 new pieces, including bracelets, earrings and necklaces, though she also does custom work upon request. For this season, the collection includes combinations of pink and orange, motifs in turquoise and coral and basics like pyrite and silver. There will also be a new wrap-style bracelet that goes around the wrist four times and closes with a small clasp.
But with the new color schemes featured in each collection, black remains a staple for Frederick’s local clients.
“We’re New Yorkers,” she says with a laugh. “New Yorkers love black. I can never do enough combinations in black. Anything that has black, people snap up.”