Thank You, Oakhurst....

October 11, 2009

Thank you,
Oakhurst Arts & Music Festival, for showing me how community can come together to enrich the lives of its residents.

Only one week after my trip to St. Louis for the Taste festival, I was back in Atlanta the next weekend to participate as a juried vendor in the Oakhurst festival located in Decatur, GA. The day (luckily) was sunny, and my boothmate-in-crime,
Tasha Hussey, was in full glowing pregnancy mode, and was ready to sell!
The crowds were small, but pleased to be there (and that's all I ever need to be happy). We were located right by the stage, and as a result had the full fledged sound of music in our ears. Lucky for us, the entertainment was good and varied throughout the course of the day, from folk, to the blues, to African, to alternative.

I was enchanted by the true, generous community feel of the festival's patrons. I think that if I were to live in a small community in the midst of a big city, a festival just like this one would be the ticket to making the neighborhood feel like a true home. As I reach "motherhood" age, and my wonderful husband and I consider having a baby, I'll keep this neighborhood in mind, and will definitely do this festival again next year.

By the middle of the day, my jewelry-making assistant, Shannon, also popped by to grace us with her presence (she's putting on her full mo-del face for you all here). When she arrived, she brought along our newest creations from iram-inal, which we debuted at Oakhurst to test the market. The new SL line of fabric necklaces was a great hit!
We call it the "SL line" because Shannon, who is the fantastic designer of her own line of apparel - Shannon Lynnette - helped me to bring my vision of fabric necklaces to fruition through her skill and creativity. So, because we're vast believers that independent artists need to help each other out, we're looking at the SL line as a collaborative line, and we're so proud of it. If you want a look that is chic, voluminous, lightweight and eco-friendly, this collection is for you. Stay tuned for more info on this line as we continue to develop it!

So once again, thank you, Oakhurst, for showing me community, neighborly love, and a great time filled with music and cheer. See you next year!

Taste of St. Louis Was the Bee's Knees!

October 4, 2009

The "Taste" (as locals call it) is a festival that me and Mari and dedicated to doing every single year until we can't do it any more. The people are fantastic, the music is AWE-SOOOME, and the food is always on point.

Driving through St. Louis reminded me of how beautiful this city really is.... I've been to many places around this fair country of ours, and I think many of our larger cities (outside of the Northeastern region) don't take care to preserve and maintain the original structures that helped to create their cities. St. Louis is not one of those locations.

The architecture, the Arch, and the feel of the place moved me so much on the second sunny day there that I had to take pictures while driving in my car (wrong, I know). While I'm now mesmerized, I realize that I didn't appreciate the beauty of this thriving metropolis at all when growing up here.
Setup on the first day was amazingly frustrating, as there were gale-force winds up to 30 miles an hour. Luckily, our family friend, Cory, was there to help out so he helped to keep me sane by holding the tent down from blowing away (even though I had 150 pounds of weights already holding it.... we had to get more before the day's end). Eventually, my sister came to save me and added another 150 pounds to the tent to fully secure it for the eve. The festival began on Friday at 5:00pm. Normally, we are so busy in our tent that we don't have time to sample any of the delicious goods provided by over 30 St. Louis restaurants, but this year I wanted to TASTE! So, taste we did.... and I mean everything. Wish I had some photos of the great food for you folks, but it's IN OUR BELLIES! (and yes, please think Austin Powers).

This 3-day festival is one of the biggest in the city, bringing out over 150,000 patrons (some say closer to 250,000) to sample yummies, fill their tummies, and shop from fantastic artists from all over the country.

This year, we were fortunate to have our booth located on the corner of the main fairway between the juried Artists' Market and the Taste Row.... this made for a very, very, very busy 3 days. With the festival always running long (until about 11:30pm), it is exhausting work, but the great people always make up for that feeling.

Additionally, we had some great surprise visitors that weekend, from our beautiful mama, to Mari's good friend (and great supporter of iram-inal), Tim.

All in all, it was a fantastic, exhausting three days filled with great sales, new friends and fabulous finds (which I'll talk about in a later posting). Thank you to the many who purchased iram-inal designs' creations, and we'll see you next year!

It's Been So Long, and We Have So Much to Share....

Party People, this is my first blog in a long time, and it surely isn't purposeful. Due to being busy (that's a great thing, right?), I've had no time to cater to the curious by reporting back iram-inal's activities.

I have to say that the past few months have been AMAZING! New stores, new designs, new connections and runways have been an integral part of our lives, and we're loving every minute of it. I'll be reporting back frequently about the growth of our lil' love business, and believe me there's a lot to say. :)

Until then.....

Jewelry Pick of the Day - The Gold Wood Woven Necklace


We want people to be fine, fitting and flashy at all times. We believe that gold is the key to all of these things. All in all, WE LOVE GOOOOOOOOLD (and yes, we're saying it like Goldfinger in Austin Powers).

Sometimes, a woman doesn't want to be weighed down by the weight that beautiful gold or brass pieces cause after a long day's wear, so why not choose an option that is shiny, fabulous, lightweight and eco-friendly? Well, we've found the perfect way - introducing the Green Collection gold woven necklace!

Made from South American sustainable palm tree wood, this necklace is chunky, fashion-forward and perfect for your holiday season party, in a suit, or for your weekend out in your LBD. And it also weighs in well under one pound, so prepare to get your disco on!

This necklace will be ready for sale on the iram-inal website starting September 2009. For any questions about this product, contact us any time at

Jewelry Pick of the Day - Handcast Resin Hair Accessories


We've decided to add a new column to our blog for you called the "Jewelry Pick of the Day." Yeah, it's a bit cruel and unusual to keep you waiting for our new fall line to debut, so we'll remedy that by featuring new creations that will soon be for sale online and in our boutiques across the U.S. See this as a "sneak peek" of what we're currently excited about in the world of iram-inal.

The first item: Hand-Casted Resin Hair Accessories
we are truly amped about our latest endeavor into the world of "chemistry" using liquid polyurethane resin to make fantastic creations. when we stumbled upon these vintage nickel-free brass barrettes, we had to grab them up. Featuring a wide variety of designs, from translucent, transparent and opaque solid colors, to beautiful mod-inspired print designs, you'll find our "bird on a wire" barrettes (and more!) on the website starting in September. Email us at with any questions you may have about this fab product!

Come One, Come All.... Sidewalk Sale Trunk Show at Charm this Weekend

July 8, 2009

This weekend, the MBA Allstar Game is being held in St. Louis, MO. Yuppers, that's quite the big event for me and my sis's good ol' hometown. It is anticipated that thousands of people will flock the streets of downtown to see the game and their favorite baseball players in all of their glory.

While you're downtown, we highly recommend you stop by Charm Boutique (313 N. 11th Street, ST. Louis, MO) to visit a slew of very talented local designers who will be selling their wares in a joint sidewalk sale/trunk show in conjunction with fantastic stores UMA (better known as the store that has the coolest everything) and the restaurant voted 'the best breakfast in STL, Rooster.

Find sales on jewelry, home goods, good eats, the newest designs from iram-inal and more this Saturday from 10am - 5pm. See you there!

Boutique Announcement - Sole Shoes and Accessories


We are proud to say that you can now find our jewelry at Sole Shoes and Accessories in the Edgewood Shopping Center in Inman Park (Atlanta)! This beautiful boutique is a place that we've had our eyes on for some time now. Their reputation in the designer community is impeccable, and as a designer, you always seek to partner with stores that offer fashion-forward design and are business-minded at the same time.

The owner Abigail, and store manager, Crysta, are top-notch, and constantly seek to provide their customers with the most current designer apparel, fashion-foward jewelry and shoes. I can guarantee you that you will find shoe and clothing selections that you will not be able to find anywhere else in Atlanta, and just for that, it's worth the trip alone.

To find out more about Sole, you can visit their website at, or (even better) visit them in person at 1245 Caroline Street, Suite 1, Atlanta, GA 30307.

Taste of Central West End.... Fun, Lots of Sun, and the Best Customers EVER

June 15, 2009
This year, we had a booth for the second time at the Taste of Central West End Festival in the hip and happenin' CWE area of St. Louis.

I (Malene) drove into a horrendous and violent tornado-warning storm storm (what we like to call normal summer weather in the Midwest) while commuting from Atlanta to St. Louis for the festival. Because every radio station in ears-length was screaming out the fact that a tornado was on the ground - and that I was driving right into the heart of the storm at night - I surged on and did not let the rain dampen my spirits and hoped for a great weekend (okay, I'm completely lying... I was scared out of my mind)....

scary St. Louis weather (seriously, ya'll)

I had thoughts of turning around and stomping right back to lovely Atlanta (where we only have to worry about the heat wave), but persevered. I arrived safely in St. Louis two hours after my scheduled arrival time and kissed the ground when I arrived at Mari's house.

Mari did this festival by herself last year, and realized it was an extraordinarily busy event. With the success of last year, we decided to give it another go with the two of us this time around.
our booth at the festival

Despite the scary commute to St. Louis, the weather over the 2 and 1/2 day festival was FAB-U-LOUS, and the customers came out in droves. Admittedly, were placed in quite an odd area off the main drag of vendors, but were placed toward an exit area, which resulted in a great flow of buying customers.

standing room only!

Anyone who has ever worked a festival knows that it's a trying, tiring effort that that takes all the strength you can muster. This particular festival went from 11am to 11pm every night, so we needed help just to make it throughout the day. We're thankful to have wonderful friends and family who are always willing to stop by and help. Big "ooo-ooooh's!" and hugs to our mama and great friends, Mike, Cara and Liz. We can't thank you enough.
We also had the pleasure of neighboring with a fellow jewelry designer named Melissa. Her jewelry was also chunky and funky, and she had a good weekend overall. Spending time with her and her parents was great fun.
our beautiful mama modeling our necklace and ring

the brains and the brawn for the weekend, our friend, Mike

our booth neighbor and fellow jewelry designer, Melissa
The biggest advantage of doing festivals is that we get to meet our buyers in person. There's no better test of your product and marketing efforts than seeing how your own product presents itself in the face of the potential buyer.

I'm proud - and unabashed - to say that our customers are the BEST new business owners could ask for... they're always honest in their assessment of our new designs, and are happy to give recommendations (and plenty of compliments) on our lines as a whole.
As it says in the liner of this entry, we also have the most fly and cutest customers ever! From indie, to sophisticated, to conservative, we create designs that look great on all. The best part?

Our oh-so-cool customers allow us to take photos of them wearing their purchases! If ever you visit our website - - and are unsure whether or necklaces will fit right on your frame, or whether they're too big for you, just take a look at these lovely ladies wearing some of our creations:

yellow jade woven necklace

rust recycled palm wood woven necklace

green recycled palm wood double woven necklace

gray agate slab single strand necklace

It was a fantastic festival full of great music, great food, and great people. We look forward to seeing you all next year!

The 2009 Indie Craft Experience - Beehive Style

This weekend heralded the 2009 Indie Craft Experience Festival in Atlanta's Centennial Olympic Park. For the first time, at the ICE Festival, 12 talented designers from the Beehive Co-op joined together to create one big "mega booth." While sales were slower than last year, the ultimate result was a day of fun filled with lots of light, laughter and learning.
I.C.E. Patrons braving the heat Our Beehive "Mega Booth"
For this link, I'm going to give some shouts out to my fellow designers, and give you links to their websites so you can learn a little more about them and their wonderful products.
Brandi of Just Add Honey
Hazel Studstill of HJ Designs
Carrie and Sara of Brightshop
My booth, shared with uber-talented designers and friends, Shannon Edwards and Tasha Hussey
My boothmate, Shannon Edwards of Shannon Lynnette
My other wonderful boothmate, Tasha Hussey of Tasha Hussey Designs
Amy Leff of Throwing Stars Jewelry and Julia Farrill of Red Bird Ink
Julia and Amy shared a booth with the inimitable Arwen Fine of A. Fine Shirt
Alejandra Dunphy of Alejandra Dunphy Designs
An old Beehiver and friend, Wendy Burnley of Bella Bee
I encourage you to check out each of their sites. Their products are well made, handmade, and are local! Shop away!!!