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Accessorizing Your Spring Wardrobe

Accessorizing Your Spring Wardrobe

Spring has sprung which means it's time to revamp your wardrobe.  For me that means weaving in more color and being more adventurous with accessories.  Mind of Meaux had the opportunity to collaborate with a fabulous new Houston-based small business, Foxy Mermaid Boutique, to jazz up spring styles with some unique accessories that make a statement. As a music industry executive and now jewelry designer, boutique owner Niki (who just so happens to be my cousin) has always enjoyed exploring her creative side.  With her new business venture, Niki channels her creative energy by putting her heart and soul into the pieces that she creates & curates. 

I had the great fortune to spend a glorious afternoon with Niki to dish all about her love for accessories, her leap of faith in starting the business, and her ideas for how to accessorize some of my favorite spring outfits for various occasions.  The day was made even sweeter because I had the chance to be in front of the camera to model some of her pieces for this article and watch Niki work.  In addition to all of her accolades, she's a damn fine photographer as well!  Now that's a boss chick!!! Check out my interview below as well as shots of some of her pieces which are all available on her site

  For a night out, combine a versatile and feminine statement piece like this  hand crocheted pearl and rhinestone necklace  with a  chunky earring  that balances out the look perfectly.

For a night out, combine a versatile and feminine statement piece like this hand crocheted pearl and rhinestone necklace with a chunky earring that balances out the look perfectly.

Meaux: Explain how you came up with that fantastic name for your business?

Niki:  The origin of the name, Foxy Mermaid, can be considered as several loves uniting to give birth to an entity. When I modelled my first hand crocheted pearl necklace, I told my husband it made me feel like a foxy mermaid and in one fell swoop, I had named my company.  Three of my favorites merged in bringing forth that concept. 1) I have always loved to live near the water, especially on beaches (i.e...Venice, Santa Monica, Playa Del Rey, St Maarten in the Caribbean),  2) I loved the Blaxploitation film "Foxy Brownand her strong positive character and 3) I have been fascinated with mermaids since my early days especially the 80s movie “Splash” with Tom Hanks and Darryl Hannah. The logo is an ode to a trilogy of sorts: the beach, the Foxy tough chick with an afro and the smooth elegantly slinky mermaid bedazzled in jewelry. That necklace made me feel like a little bit of both as if I had a special foxy mermaid glow.

  Need a classic brunch look?  Pair a    crisp white shirt  with a  vintage gold necklace  and  earrings  and a hand-made oversized  freshwater pearl ring .  White also goes great with an  abalone and fresh water pearl stunner  paired with lovely  dominica green earrings  pictured below. 

Need a classic brunch look?  Pair a crisp white shirt with a vintage gold necklace and earrings and a hand-made oversized freshwater pearl ring.  White also goes great with an abalone and fresh water pearl stunner paired with lovely dominica green earrings pictured below. 

Meaux: What made you start your business?

Niki:  I would describe it as a Passion Dictated/Demanded Venture opportunity.  I started Foxy Mermaid Boutique because I have always had a passion for accessories especially jewelry and shoes. I have always been a collector. Unfortunately, a large part of my collection got lost in my move from California to Houston. To soothe my grief and fill the void, I decided to start taking jewelry classes as a hobby to further my reach and to experiment with creating new loves.    When I wore my first original creation, I received so many compliments that it inspired me to continue.   The subsequent creations prompted similar responses which ultimately inspired me to do a shop that featured my creations as well as hand-picked vintage items that I love.

Meaux: What is your favorite accessory from your own collection?

Niki:  That's a hard one but I think my favorite accessory from my collection would be my original foxy mermaid hand crocheted pearl necklace. It was my inspiration to start the company. I wear it all the time and I feel incredible in it and that's what jewelry is supposed to do… make you feel amazing. But then there are the vintage pieces and curating as well as discovering their historic relevance is so much fun.  I really have a connection to every piece in the boutique.

  To add a little drama to an everyday tank/blazer look, go with a  standout earring  and a  vintage gold necklace  that doubles as a belt (see alternate looks below).

To add a little drama to an everyday tank/blazer look, go with a standout earring and a vintage gold necklace that doubles as a belt (see alternate looks below).

Meaux: How would you describe your own personal style?  Explain your method of starting from a basic style uniform and building upon that for your everyday look.

Niki:  I would describe my style as casual chic. I’m always on the pursuit for the perfect pair of jeans, the fit, the wash, the pocket placement, flared leg, skinny leg…there is always a reason to keep the search going. I'm also always on the search for the perfect T-shirt. I feel like once I find a fabulous  pair of jeans or an amazing T-shirt or a great sweater,  I tend to buy them in multiples... like one in every color. I'm a collector. I definitely can also do the dress-up thing and I just get inspired by what actually is moving me at the moment. Sometimes it's patterns, sometimes it's solids; sometimes it's retro; sometimes it's girly; sometimes it's tomboy. Most often it’s the perfect pair of jeans and a great t-shirt with jewelry and shoes making the statement.

Meaux:  What are some staples that you think every woman should have in her accessory collection?

Niki:  Definitely a great pair of earrings that frame her face, a delicate everyday necklace as well as a statement necklace. I am also a ring fanatic and collect stackable gold rings which I never take off. I call them my built-in instant jewelry. I feel like I always leave the house semi-put together because I always have my rings on at least. Also, a face flattering pair of sunglasses so when you're running out during the day, all you have to do is put on your lip, your sunglasses, your instant jewelry and you're good to go.

  For a fun spring shower or garden party, pair a feminine floral dress with delicate  colorful earrings  and two  interesting strands of turquoise stones .  Don't be afraid to go bold on the outfit and bolder on the accessories.  Your personality will pull it all together!

For a fun spring shower or garden party, pair a feminine floral dress with delicate colorful earrings and two interesting strands of turquoise stones.  Don't be afraid to go bold on the outfit and bolder on the accessories.  Your personality will pull it all together!

Meaux: Are there any accessory trends that you are excited about this season?

Niki:  I definitely am an avid reader of fashion magazines but I am not necessarily drawn to trends.  I like statement & delicate necklaces, statement & delicate earrings, stackable gold rings, and big gold plated 80’s vintage jewelry from Paris. I kind of have an eclectic and very liberal view on trends.

Meaux: Who is your style icon and where do you get your style inspiration from?

Niki:  I love the fashion from television shows I watched in the 80's. I feel like those shows that I watched when I was younger shaped my fashion outlook pretty early. I think I have the same basic style now that I did when I was 10 years old although obviously now expressed in a more sophisticated fashion. I've always loved the style of Charlie's Angels. I watch the episodes because I love shows about ass kicking women and their fashion was incredible. They really nailed the tomboy sexy chic look. They looked great in dresses as well as jeans and a t-shirt. Although this show was primarily based in the 70’s, I definitely considered them very fashion forward and their style transcended time. I still, on occasion, watch an episode for inspiration. When I saw Naomi Campbell in George Michael’s "Freedom" music video I thought that she was the most beautiful woman on the face of the planet. Although I love her style it's her overall appeal and beauty that really influenced me to embrace my femininity and to have confidence. She always looks incredible dressed up or down. Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, a New Yorker born and raised like myself, epitomized NYC style for me. She was effortlessly fashionable. Her style looked like it came from within and just worked. She also loved to wear all black, as do I, and she made it look interesting.  She was so naturally chic.  Finally, I was very much influenced by my grandmother, Selma Tate. She was the queen of accessorizing. One of my most enjoyable and influential memories was to visit her in Houston and invade her jewelry boxes and model them all. That was the epitome of FUN!

  Let your accessories make a statement (like  this pencil )....

Let your accessories make a statement (like this pencil)....

Thank you Niki for collaborating with me on this fun experiment!  Special thanks to Hotel ZaZa for always providing the perfect backdrop for memorable moments.

Don't forget to check out Foxy Mermaid Boutique on Etsy to find all the pieces featured here and more.  Thank you for supporting the businesses that support Mind of Meaux!

Photo Credit:  Niki Benjamin

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