String for Pearls
By Athena Raypold

A DIY Creative

Melissa Ross, owner and designer of String for Pearls, is a mom and a creative person. “I’ve always been a DIY kind of girl,” she says. “Like ‘Oh, I can make that myself.’” From sewing her own dresses, to making sensory baby toys, to creating jewellery, Melissa has always been crafty.

Fashion-forward and driven, once she became a mom, Melissa found herself looking for jewellery that was practical and baby friendly, while also stylish and attractive. Everywhere she looked, teething jewellery had a bright, chunky, babyish aesthetic, which didn’t suit her personality or needs at all. “I’m one of those people who gets an idea in my mind and I can’t shake it,” she says. “I’ll go looking for something, and if I can’t find it, I’ll make it.”

For herself and her son, she “started making wooden pieces that were just really simple, easy to keep clean, and still had a nice aesthetic,” she says. “No one would recognize that it was a teething necklace or mom jewellery because, essentially, it wasn’t.”

The ultimate compliment is when someone who is not a mom says, ‘I’m going to wear this!’ That's when I feel I have achieved what I’m hoping to do with my brand. - Melissa Ross, owner and designer
String for Pearls designs teething jewellery that's understated and fashionable for moms, while also safe and sensory for babies.
Photo by Kendra Allen Design

Subtle, Understated Jewellery

Originally from Sydney, Australia, when Melissa she moved to Canada, she worried about how she’d keep busy during the long, cold winters. To allow herself to stay home with her children, and keep her from going stir crazy in the winters, Melissa decided to focus on designing a line of teething jewellery.

She came up with the name, String for Pearls, as a pun. “I have a background in English,” she says. “The play on words is a bit nerdy, but I didn't want a cute or 'momsy' name. I wanted something more subtle; it plays on the saying 'pearly whites' and a string of pearls – pretty but for a purpose.

Understated jewellery that appeals to the discerning eye is String for Pearls’ brand. “I don’t want to create jewellery that you look at and immediately recognize as a teething necklace or something made for a baby to chew on,” she says. “I like it when people have to touch it and feel the texture of the beds, ask what they are made of and, say 'oh, it's for babies!' The subtlety, yet function, of each piece is really the purpose of why I am making this jewellery.”

String for Pearls uses high-quality materials that exceed standards
Photo by Melissa Ross
String for Pearls draws inspiration from mainstream jewellery rather than other brands of teething jewellery
Photo by Melissa Ross

A Product that Meets Mom’s Scrutiny

As a mother and a creative person, Melissa values high-quality materials: well made and safe. Additionally, she employs suppliers that provide a high-quality product (one that exceeds food grade silicon standards) and the ability to work together in the design process.

To create original pieces, Melissa stays away from looking at other teething jewellery, instead drawing inspiration from the mainstream jewellery and fashion world. Always experimenting with new ideas, Melissa challenges her suppliers to create customized products for String for Pearls, such as silicon beads that look like marble.

Additionally, Melissa works sustainably by making her product to order and avoiding waste. Designing her jewellery with creative integrity, exceptional quality, and sustainable practices, Melissa’s ultimate priority is to design products that are both classic and on trend while also kinesthetic and sensory for babies. “The ultimate compliment is when someone who is not a mom says, ‘I’m going to wear this!’ That's when I feel I have achieved what I’m hoping to do with my brand,” she says.

String for Pearls produces non-toxic teething jewellery that also adds pops of colour to outfits
Photo by Melissa Ross

Fashionable and Practical

Ultimately, Melissa is a mom and aims to give other moms versatile, resilient jewellery that they can wear with a tee shirt and jeans or a fancy dress, without the worry of babies breaking it or putting toxic materials in their mouths.

String for Pearls offers a solution to the nursing or baby wearing mom’s fashion dilemmas. “Your wardrobe changes when you’re a mom, especially if you’re nursing,” says Melissa. “It really limits you in terms of your style. I feel like most of what I used to wear, I can’t anymore. I would love to wear dresses every day, but now I need to think, 'is this accessible for nursing?' If I’m going to be baby-wearing and chasing a toddler in the park, how practical is this? As a mom, you end up wearing the simplest things on repeat.” By making jewellery for moms to accessorize their outfits, while remaining practical, Melissa says her business "places value on moms, on who they are, the season that their life is in."

String for Pearls designs teething jewellery that's understated and fashionable for moms, while also safe and sensory for babies.
Photo by Melissa Ross
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