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BLF Fashion: Interview with Marissa Kendrick, Founder and CEO of Deleay Lashay

Many in the fashion industry ask and get asked: what’s in a name? Actually, a lot. If you have a brand you have the opportunity to make it greater than average by creating art and making impact in your sphere of influence and beyond. At the age of 25, Gary, Indiana native Marissa Kendrick has been making a name for herself and inspiring others along the way with her jewelry line, Deleay Lashay.

Pronounced “Dee-Lee-ay Lah-shay,” artist, designer and humanitarian Marissa Kendrick revealed that Deleay Lashay is her middle name, a creative combination of her grandmother, father and mother’s names. Carrying the distinguished meaning of “determined lady,” the Deleay Lashay brand’s purpose is to empower and inspire individuals through wearable art.

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Kendrick is interested in creating art from mixed media including hardware items not typically considered for jewelry, making many of the components from scratch. Metals, painted components, and raw, rough-edged stones combine to create jewelry from earrings to necklaces and more. When it comes to the creative process, the best pieces that are “unplanned and unexpected,” she stated.

The brand started in 2009 as just a hobby and which grew into a full-fledged line with two collections for women and one for men. With her passions and educational background in painting, drawing, fine art and performance art, jewelry design was self taught and “another outlet that grew and become successful for me.”

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The jewelry is inspired by the art first. “Inspiration comes from self documentation, an idea of faith, freedom, liberty, and empowering oneself. That process has to do with documentation that transforms to illustration, and then the creation of the wearable art,” shared Kendrick. “The season that I’m in affects my work.” For instance, the hardware pieces in her collection reflect that we as people are works in progress: a little rough on the edges, but still beautiful.

Deleay Lashay recently hosted a pop up shop at the Elephant Room in Chicago’s South Loop area that featured her original paintings, writings, collections and introduced a full line of men’s jewelry called the “Handyman Collection” featuring men’s dog tag style necklaces she calls ‘god tags.’ “Labels have a significant meaning to me; what you call something is very important. What you call yourself is very important. Think of yourself as a god, because you were created from God, not to be treated like a dog with a dog-like mentality. It reflects strength, power, and respect,” shares Kendrick.

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She also gave an artist talk about the inspiration behind her pieces and her personal journey with shop attendees and customers. Deleay Lashay has given back in the form of fundraiser events and held a three day summer camp this year, teaching teen girls how to build their self esteem through self help activities. Marissa’s commitment to empowering those in her community also has her working with organizations such as the Chicago Abused Women Coalition.

When asked about her plans for the brand in 2015, Kendrick was delighted to share that Deleay Lashay is introducing a wearable fashion clothing line for women as wearable art, from everyday wear to couture special pieces. People can purchase jewelry online at deleaylashay.com or collaborate with Kendrick personally through email to create one of a kind pieces for gifts or special events. Marissa is currently working on the next pop up shop for the winter, so check with her website to get your unique pieces.

 

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