Sabrina A. Melendez Janine Jewels

Sabrina A. Melendez is the jewelry designer behind the brand Janine Jewels. Each of her creations is unique - no two pieces will look exactly the same - and is made with exceptional quality & craftsmanship. Sustainability is also central to Sabrina's entire process.

Sabrina is a classically trained high jeweller from Geneva living & working in Toronto. She specializes in design, CAD, jewellery fabrication & stone setting and has been honing her craft for 16 years now.Her jewellery journey began at NYU, where she took a jewellery-making class and hated it! But adversity sparked her curiosity, so she flew to Geneva to learn jewellery-making from the best! Sabrina is half Swiss and half Peruvian. She had already lived in 8 different countries before her 14th birthday. She is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu blackbelt and competed internationally! She is the mother of 3 (two kids and 1 dog). That's Sabrina in a nutshell!

We're happy to present a short interview to make you discover a bit more who Sabrina is and what inspires her!

Who are the artists you love the most, who inspire you or accompany you?  Do they influence your work, and if so, in what way?

I have my guiding star jewellers, who I admire and love.

Love for Hemmerle

They are a boutique jeweller based out of Germany. What I love most about them is they sometimes use non-precious materials such as steel, copper and titanium, to list a few, and through their design and vision, they elevate it to a piece of one-of-a-kind high jewellery. Their pieces are works of art. They inspire me to find those customers who aren't interested in the big brand name; they are interested in something tailor-made, exclusive, and a work of art.

Love for Nadia Morgenthaler

I am biased because she was my colleague and then boss in the boutique jewellery shop I apprenticed in Geneva, Switzerland. Her work is delicate, stunning and colourful. I am very lucky to have started my career in such a fantastic workshop! Naturally, her work influenced me because she and the entire workshop were my teachers and mentors for four years. She taught me perfection and influenced my style.

How do you think art can have an impact on society or on people's lives?How does your own work fit into this broader context?

Art has a major impact on society. It’s one of the oldest forms of communication humans have explored and embraced. I would label design as a subgroup of Art, and I think design enables us to digest and make sense of information. It invokes feelings and memories. Art creates conversation and reminds us of beauty.

Art is not only visual; it is tactile and auditory, and it can enlist many of our senses, which makes art an experience. I want my work to inspire people positively. When someone wears one of my pieces, I want it to make them feel great about themselves, like they can do anything. I want it to symbolize love for themselves and/or love from someone special, the gifter.

How do you deal with times when you feel stuck or frustrated in your work?

Do you have any strategies for overcoming these obstacles?

I'm always brimming with ideas; my biggest challenge is time. I don't have enough time to accomplish everything.
I try to be patient with myself and just do what I can as best I can. I also have to check in with myself.
Some things I do outside of work directly affect my productivity and mindset, such as working out, meditation and sleep.
I must ensure I'm keeping up and incorporating these activities into my everyday life.

Is there a film you can watch over and over again without getting bored?

No! 🤣

If you could meet one person from history, who would it be and why?

I'm not sure about all of history. But a person alive today that I would love to meet is Ru Paul. I am obsessed with Ru Paul’s Drag Race and love his vibe!

Ru Paul brought a marginalized group and artform into the spotlight and made it mainstream and global. The competitions themselves are so fun and creative. He's also a brand and marketing genius.

I would love to meet Ru Paul, for me, he reveals and promotes the ultimate underdog story.

Thank you for sharing a little of yourself with us, Sabrina!