Meet Locketship! Stellar Animal Accessory Makers

From left: Locketship Solar Cat Ring, Circus Fire Hoop Earrings, and Cat’s Cradle Ring.
Photo: Courtesy of Locketship

Intergalactic cats, dapper bunnies, pensive pugs, and unicorn princesses. Welcome to the wonderful whimsical world of Locketship, an L.A.-based accessory company specializing in animal-themed pendant jewelry. Founded by designer Maria Ewing, Locketship is all about adorning your ensembles with a bit of imaginative flair. When we first spied the label’s Floating Cat Ring featuring a tabby kitten tumbling through a star-laden galaxy, we were completely smitten. We spent ages perusing the vast array of rings, necklaces, and earrings Locketship offers, squealing with delight at everything from a giant Persian cat face ring to one depicting a Brussels Griffon pup snarling in a pink sweater. Sold through its online shop and on Modcloth (as well as in shops in Belgium and Japan), the line is becoming something of a MUST for any accessory fan. Who wouldn’t want to accessorize with an asteroid bunny? We spoke to designer Maria Ewing about how she started her own line, why she’s so into animal faces, her accessory hero Katy Perry, and what to expect from her next collection.

Locketship Floating Cat Ring and Sneaky Cat Necklace.
Photo: Courtesy of Locketship

MTV Style: How did you start designing?
Maria Ewing: I started making clothing and accessories in high school. My first commission was a homecoming dress. Then I started getting requests for other things like costumes for school shows, hand-stitched custom pillows, and purses with people’s faces on them.

And this eventually led to Locketship?
Locketship kind of just happened. I used to go to the bookstore and buy tons of craft books. I was always trying to search for new things to make. One day I found a book that showed how to make jewelry out of bottle caps. It reminded me of a locket with no cover on it. It was great because you could see what’s inside! I started making them with photos and giving them to friends and family. I started getting requests and doing custom work but was anxious to be more creative and make things that I could actually wear. That’s when I started Locketship.

Locketship Galactic Bunny Ring and Bunny Bow Necklace.
Photo: Courtesy of Locketship

Why do you choose to feature animals in your creations?
I’ve always been a HUGE animal lover! I’ve been around dogs, horses, rabbits, rats, chinchillas, birds, fish, but surprisingly the animal that I’ve only most recently been around are cats. Now I’m obsessed, and I completely understand the meaning of a “Crazy Cat Lady!” I’ve tried making pieces without animals and it’s just not as fun. I like hearing people “ooh” and “aw” over the cute little fuzzy faces.

Does living in California influence your designs?
Yes! I’ve done collaborations with other designers and artists, and it really helps to meet new people who are trying to make it in the same field that you are. Living in CA definitely influences my designs. There are so many different cultures and landmarks within a small area that you can visit. Little Tokyo, Chinatown, Olvera Street, Disneyland, Hollywood Blvd. are all within driving distance! Whenever I have designer’s block, I just visit one of these places for inspiration.

Locketship Unicorn Princess Ring and Necklace.
Photo: Courtesy of Locketship

Who are some of your accessory heroes?
Betsey Johnson, Gwen Stefani, Katy Perry, Hello Kitty, and Emma Pillsbury on Glee.

What music do you listen to when you design?
If I’m designing something really girly and fun with lots of bright colors, I’ll listen to Britney Spears, Katy Perry, or Selena Gomez. If I’m designing something more simple and toned down I’ll listen to country music like Taylor Swift or Rascal Flatts.

What can we look forward to seeing in your new collections?
The next two collections are very different from each other. One will be very colorful and sugary sweet with lots of candy and cupcakes. The other will feature dinosaurs with darker colors like browns, blues, greens, and gold. Both collections should have something for everyone whether their style is bright and bold or simple girl next door. I mean who doesn’t love cupcakes, right?

A Locketship Cat Lady.
Photo: Courtesy of Locketship

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