I decided to do a set of mini interviews with people I’ve interacted with and have extraordinary backgrounds. Many I’ve met via Facebook and many I’ll meet when I attend SDCC for the first time this July. Next up is Janelle Powell!
Name: Janelle Badali Powell
Online Handle: CutesyMender253
Site: www.BadaliJewelry.com www.facebook.com/BadaliJewelrySpecialties
Favorite cartoon/book/movie/whatever: 90’s X-Men; way too many to list; 5th Element; Fable I, II, and III.
L: If I’m not mistaken, you design and manage badalijewelry.com, a site dedicated to gorgeously detailed pieces. How do you get ideas and inspiration to do that?
JP: We take our inspiration from our personal interests. Whether the inspiration comes from a novel that one of us has just discovered, a book series we have long loved, a personal geek-centric interest we have or have had, or something cool one of us dreamed up, our designs are always rooted in a deep personal interest. By being fans of the content that we take inspiration from, the items we create are far higher in quality, design and storytelling than if we we’re only making items according to what was only popular at the time. We only design and make items that we would want to wear ourselves. For some items, like the Lord of The Rings line, we have spent a lifetime dreaming up what they should look like and being able to make them come to life is dream come true.
One of my favorite lines that I personally designed is the Cthulhu and H.P. Lovecraft line. At the time when I pitched the idea, no one else in the shop had read HPL’s works but they all supported me in designing the line. As I created and shared the histories and stories I was pouring into my designs I was able to share something I love with the people that mater the most to me. It’s kind of amazing to work side by side with my family and share a love of the finer geek things in life. What really blows my mind is when other fans become fans of my jewelry. The day I got an order from Guillermo Del Toro for one of my Miskatonic University Class Rings I’m pretty sure I had a stroke from fan-girling out so bad. Seriously, my palms still get sweaty thinking about it.
L: Uh, YEAH. It’s Guillermo Del Toro!!!! Was it hard to gather the licenses for some of the jewelry done from famous properties like Lord of the Rings?
JP: We have been incredibly lucky with the licenses we have secured. My father gained our licensing for The Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit about a year before the movies were realized and it was surprisingly smooth and easy to do so. The wonderful people at the Saul Zants company are some of the nicest you will ever meet. In fact, everyone involved with our licensed lines have been an absolute pleasure to work with. We have tried dipping our toes into the movie/TV side of things, but due to our “Mom and Pop” size, we have decided that working directly with authors is our preferred arena. That may change one day, but for now there is nothing more fulfilling then working with an author to bring to life something that has ever only existed on a page or in your mind. There have been a couple of books we have not been able to secure that we really would have liked to, but that typically happened because a movie or TV series has been locked in, making sub licensing more difficult to secure.
L: Since you seem constantly doing something amazingly cool, what kind of projects do you have in the works?
JP: I just finished up a bunch of zombie inspired jewelry, which if time permits, I would really love to add to. We are working on a bunch of new pieces for our Hobbit and Lord of The Rings lines, three of which we are shooting to show at this year’s SDCC: the secret way key that the Dwarves use to gain entrance to the Misty Mountain, a Bag End door necklace, and Ellessar, which was given to Aragorn by Galadriel. We are still adding to our Wheel of Time line and have just gotten approval for Lanfear’s Signet Ring which should be available online in a week or so. There will be at least one new piece for Patrick Rothfuss’ Kingkiller Chronicles line this year; yet again I’m shooting to debut that at SDCC as well. We will also be unveiling a new licensed line this year for Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive. There are a lot of other little projects I would love to sink my teeth into, but there just never seems to be enough time in a year to get it all done.
L: Everyone has a science fiction property that means the world to them, be it Star Wars, Back to the Future, or even E.T. What’s yours?
JP: Oh man, that’s a toss-up for me. I would have to say it’s equal parts Marvel and Doctor Who. That pretty much sums up what made me who I am and my entire reason for living.
L: Is there anything that you’d love to be able to create stuff for? A dream piece to do, so to speak?
JP: I would die to be able to create stuff from Doctor Who, just about any BioWare game, or Game of Thrones. The latter we have attempted for years to get licensing for, but due to his crazy busy schedule we have not been able to approach talks with George RR Martin. *P.S. If anyone has his ear, please tell him that a very cool jewelry company called Badali Jewelry Specialties would love to work with him!!!*
L: …If I EVER come into contact with GRRM, believe you me, I shall make it known I must have jewelry based on his books! Last thing, I swear: I ask this question of everyone, so be honest: If aliens landed in front of you and, in exchange for anything you desire, offered you any position on their planet, what position would you want? I know I’d crap my pants.
JP: Easy: Intergalactic Travel Show Host. I would imagine that even aliens would need to know where to go, what to see and what to eat when they’re not invading and conquering worlds.
Lots of love and thanks to Janelle! Be sure to check out her really bitchin’ jewelry when you have a chance.