Melissa Preddie’s art focuses on sustainability
Melissa Andrea Preddie has channelled her love for the environment and sustainable living into a eco-friendly business. Preddie is the owner of Aviola Accessories, a brand that supplies handmade jewellery, paintings and home décor pieces from her affiliate brand, Su Casa by Aviola. Su casa, a Spanish phrase translates to “your house” in English.
Aviola, she shared, is a combination of Andrea, her middle name, the middle name of her grandmother and mother; Viola, and Austin, her father’s name.
“I was told I got my creativity from all of them, and they’re no longer with me, so this is how I take them with me,” Preddie told The Gleaner at the first staging of the Jamaica Art and Gift Festival (JAGFest) held on Murray’s Farm in Toll Gate, Clarendon.
She stated too, that her love for family was also influential in the choice of material she uses for her products, as sustainability, to her, also means being able to pass on sentimental pieces throughout generations.
Expressing a love for the environment, Preddie said the core of her business is founded on sustainability and preservation of the environment. She initially ventured into making jewellery from recycled bottles, however, a health concern brought her endeavours to a halt.
“I started doing some more research and I realised that there’s more to sustainable jewellery than just recycling plastics hence, I am now using sustainable metal such as brass and bronze, and sustainable crystals, so this is how I still maintain the ecofriendly aspect of my business,” she added.
Aviola supplies statement jewellery pieces including necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings. Preddie said earrings are the best-sellers.
“The metal that we use, we make sure they’re skin friendly and recycled, and we want to bring that across to our consumers to let them know that yes, there is fast fashion, but think about the environment when you’re shopping. We want to educate them on the importance of shopping sustainable, as opposed to buying something just because you have a need,” said Preddie on the concept of her jewellery line.
As for paintings, she said, “I use acrylic paints which are eco-friendly as opposed to regular paint that will leave a negative impact on the environment.”
Apart from supplying unique, statement pieces, Preddie told The Gleaner that at the top her list is educating the public on ways to preserve the environment to boost sustainable development.