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Eco-Minded Designers Fête New Ventures in NYC

Melissa Joy Manning and Karyn Craven both held events on Thursday.

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ECO ECONOMY: Two designers who subscribe to the sustainability credo held events in New York Thursday to celebrate their new ventures.

Melissa Joy Manning, a fine jeweler known for her use of organic stones; sliced agate and raw fire opals for instance and up-cycled materials such as fossilized paint drippings, has opened her first New York store.

The space on lower Wooster Street is a classic SoHo loft building with exposed brick walls and wainscoting. The designer sought to utilize reclaimed materials such as the original stock shelves and rolling ladder that house the stores decor, vintage windows for a transom and a piece of iron machinery was transformed into a lamp. To make the space into a modern retail, wholesale and design area while retaining as much of it’s original detailing as possible, the jeweler worked with architect Jeremy Barbour of Tacklebox Architecture known for projects like the 3.1 Phillip Lim store.

Co-hosting the event was model-actress Amber Valletta with whom the designer has found a kindred spirit in sustainability. “I started carrying Melissa’s jewelry on my site Master & Muse “(in collaboration with Yoox). The two got to know each through the CFDA Lexus Eco challenge project where they were both on the committee in 2013 (and Manning a winner in 2012) and as Valletta describes it they realized there was “a lot of synergy” in their philosophies. The store will also feature a wall sculpture made from agate sourced from around the world that will change and rotate once sold.

Across town, LA based designer Karyn Craven who produces Burning Torch, a line of up-cylced rich hippie embellished silk separates has launched a line of jewelry made mostly from silver, gold vermeil and semi-precious stones. Called Craven Iteri (meaning again in latin) the hand-crafted aesthetic of the jewelry was inspired by her travels to Bali. She designed a necklace based on an ancient scroll whose proceeds when sold will benefit The John Fawcett Foundation, a charity that provides primarily medical assistance to those in need in Indonesia.

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