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Behind The Scenes

Natalie Mauro and Cole Morrall Get Bookish

Though moving to Los Angeles from NYC has made both Natalie Mauro and Cole Morrall really embrace nature as inspiration in a way that Runyon Canyon regulars could get behind, the creative duo behind the killer jewelry line Bones and Feathers Collective still can’t resist the allure of holing up with a good book—and using the characters they unearth there to drive their work. “A lot of the literary women we’re both drawn to are smart, savvy, and clever with their sexuality—but almost in a masculine way,” Cole explains. Here are the six that fit the BFC mold. —lauren caruso After working out of their homes for so long—their office is at Natalie’s, but the down-and-dirty craftsmanship takes place at Cole’s, too—it’s hard to tell whose stuff is whose.  Cole: “I’m very obsessed with F. Scott Fitzgerald—his short stories, his wife, and the kind of women that he writes about, like Ardita Farnam from The Offshore Pirate and Marjorie Harvey from Bernice Bobs Her Hair. Both characters, like most of Fitzgerald’s heroines, ooze confidence. They’re savvy and strong forces of femininity. Most of Fitzgerald’s female characters are supposedly molded after his wife Zelda—she’s such a spitfire. The idea of being a girl and standing your ground is just so attractive to both of us. Lolita, too, is a character who owned it. She’s a woman who’s really strong but still feminine, and women who are fearless in a crazy way are so awesome and admirable to me. I hope we can all be a little more like that.” Zelda Fitzgerald: a non-fiction female icon for these two. Natalie: “Brett Ashley in The Sun Also Rises is a great example. Same with Dominique Francon from The Fountainhead and Esther Greenwood from The Bell Jar. With some books, we actually imagine designing for the heroine herself, and others, we just take inspiration from the overall vibe of the book. The way that Hemingway, or Fitzgerald, or even Ayn Rand creates very character-driven literature—that’s where a lot of inspiration comes from. I’m inspired by their journey and struggle they have with their intelligence, creativity, and independence. They’re trying to burst out in the constraints of the society and time in which they live, and though Esther’s struggle is a bit more mental—even suicidal—both come out in the end doing things their own way.”  The BFC girls are baaack. Get their totally literary necklace here!
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How Bones and Feathers Collective Pulled Off Their First Of a Kind Edition

With their affinity for materials like animal vertebrae, it’s no shocker that Natalie Mauro and Cole Morrall are a little unorthodox with their process, too. For their L.A.-based jewelry line Bones and Feathers Collective, they’re huge proponents of diving right in, and here’s what it took to get their first Of a Kind edition to come together in the winning way that it has. —lauren caruso Natalie: “We don’t really make sketches or anything because we’d rather make an inspiration board of things we like. Then we get the materials and work them together like a puzzle. It’s a little more hands-on and organic, even though it’s not what I think a lot of designers do. It works best for us.” Cole: “For the piece we made for Of a Kind, it’s been very much about finding a combination of certain colors and textures that we like and fitting them together in a way that makes sense to us. We’re experimenting now with sketching and a more traditional way of designing, but innately, I think we’re both more about just figuring out how to incorporate what we’re inspired by as we go.” Natalie: “The metal components are all produced in L.A. We use pretty much only L.A.-based distributors and craftsmen. It’s very important to us that our product is made in the U.S., and we hope that as we grow as a company, we can figure out a way to keep our business in the U.S.” Cole: “We love the shape of the shark vertebrae, and we’re really inspired by these colors, so we tried to find the right bead and the right shape to fit with the shark. It was really just about keeping our eyes open—we’ve never done coral before.” Natalie: “The thing about the necklace is that the chain is adjustable. We’ve even had people use that necklace as a belt. You can wear it cross-body; you can wear it as a shorter necklace, as a longer necklace, or as a headpiece. There’s a lot of room for interpretation.” The girls are back with edition #2! Get their latest—equally colorful!—necklace here.
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