It seems your heritage played a large role in the development of your collections. Where did you grow up?
I grew up in West Virginia and have always been very inspired by the Greenbrier Hotel. It’s where all of our look books are shot. The hotel is so colorful and I’m super-inspired by colors. My collection is all derived from growing up there. Even the community was inspired by it—everyone dressed in really bright, loud colors and prints.
Do you think you have an old school American aesthetic?
Yes, totally. With a quirky edge. But it is definitely super American.
You launched Meredith Wendell in 2008 with your husband, Wendell German. Do the two of you work together well?
Yes, especially when each of us is right 100% of the time. Ha. But we do work well together, I couldn’t do it without him.
Are you each responsible for different elements in the designs?
Yes, I design the product and Ross does all the production layout, branding, and website. He is a graphic designer. It is amazing how easy he makes it look. He also is responsible for, “Reining me in.”
What’s your design background?
I studied studio art in college—painting and drawing. After school I worked in the windows at Saks, which was amazing. I learned so much about fashion but could still paint everyday. After that I got an internship at Marc by Marc Jacobs in the accessories design department. I worked there for five and a half years moving from accessories to shoes and I was so lucky to learn from the most talented stylists and designers in the industry.
Can you briefly explain the steps involved in producing one of your pieces of jewelry? (design, production, manufacturing, etc)
We do a sketch for the factory and they make a proto or two depending on the collection. Then we make market samples for buyers to see and then we make what people have ordered. Then produce it in a (hopefully) timely fashion.
Had you not pursued design, which other careers might you have chosen?
Definitely a travel agent or I would love to give people facials.
What’s next for Meredith Wendell?
What advice would you give to a young designer just starting out?
Don’t give up. Work for other people as much as you can to gain experience. Take it slow!
Which designer piece from Fall would you like to drop bank on?
I am including “PreFall” in this question. Celine Leopard Coat.
If you had an entire day to yourself, free of all responsibility, how would you spend it?
A fun, big lunch outside with friends and our dog, Dalton.
(image: Meredith Wendell Spring lookbook)