Today I am sharing another great New England designer with you guys, The ROPES Maine. The ROPES celebrates the often overlooked beauty in utility, durability, and function. Each piece is handmade in Maine from authentic marine ropes, dock line, and hardware. The ROPES are great for stacking and also make a statement on their own. They come in a vast variety of color combinations and a few different styles. I like all the styles but because I am so small myself, I am partial to the more petite styles as pictured above.
Shana Ready, the founder and designer, is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. The ROPES is a homage to both the natural beauty of the Maine coast and the communities, traditions, and way of life that define it. This is the story The ROPES tells in the textures of the dock line, the weight of the hardware, and the faded color of a weathered rope. Each individual bracelet tells the story of the Maine coast and the journey you take it on. Shana was kind enough to answer a few questions for me in order to give you guys a little more insight into The ROPES:
Q: How did you get started with The ROPES?
A: For me, jewelry has always been a vehicle to keep memories alive - some of my favorite pieces I inherited from my grandmother and I've always respected the power jewelry has as a tether to a certain person or time. As a child, I was always very interested in weaving and beading. So, basically as far back as I can remember I've been making jewelry for myself and for friends. But it was just a hobby that I never thought much of, especially when I was focused on my career in apparel design. Funnily enough though, The ROPES was actually born from this childhood habit. One snowy winter day I was fooling around with some of my husband's lobster gear and made two bracelets which would become the Kennebunkport and Portland styles. I started wearing them around; my friends and family loved them and encouraged me to approach local stores.
Q: Can you tell me a little bit about your creative process when you are designing pieces?
A: My creative process is deeply connected to my surroundings and that means progress in the studio often means getting outside of the studio. All the threads of my collection are tied to my environment, neon for instance, is commonly used in fishing and boating for easy visibility at sea, so it has a natural place in my work. I am also drawn to the natural progression and fading of color, and the story that tells. Like how a buoy starts out bright and shiny and over the years becomes weathered and worn down, but takes on a whole new beauty, entirely unique, that tells a story.
Q: What is your favorite thing about living in Maine?
A: I loved living in Boston and New York City, the nearly effortless access to art and culture is unparalleled. After a while though, it was just that, the sheer saturation that I loved as a consumer, I found challenging as a creator. In Maine, inspiration is less obvious, it needs to be sought out, unearthed, earned a bit more, and that's where my creative process lives.
You can purchase The ROPES online at the following retailers: Springer's, Spaces Kennebunkport, Love & Pieces, M. Flynn Accessories, Mark & Graham, Bliss. You can also find a list of retailers by state here.
All images via Springer's.