BC Armor Designer Profile: Morgana McNelis
BC Armor Designer Profile: Morgana McNelis of Maison de Morgana
Growing up in Georgia, the cost of freedom was not lost on Morgana. Her late grandfather served in the U.S. Air Force during WWII, then later as border control in Arizona. She personally understood the bravery and danger it took of letting go, of risking it all, in order to protect and serve America.
“My dream has always been to give back through charity.” — Morgana
This was the start of my very first conversation with Morgana… that and me digging for all her beauty secrets. Just look at her photos! The woman is gorgeous! (Note to self: lemon ginger water before all photo shoots and events).
I’ve spent months wearing some of the sample pieces from the BC Armor Collection that Morgana was creating for the Boot Campaign. Every time I put on one of the BC Armor necklaces, not only did I receive compliments, but I was also left with questions about the woman behind the design… primarily why she was compelled to design a line that would support our military.
Morgana grew up in the South surrounded by jewelry lovers. She tells me that her grandmother, and in fact all of the women in her life, were drawn to jewelry… especially statement pieces that provided the extra ‘pop’ to any outfit. Morgana entered the fashion industry as a model, learning what pieces got the eye of designers and photographers. She eventually enrolled in classes that would teach her to become a goldsmith and how to create leather accessories. She was drawn to fine jewelry, but came to appreciate the creative freedom of “bridge jewelry”. Bridge jewelry combines precious stones and metals such as brass, bronze and sterling silver to create jewelry pieces of all sizes and price ranges. After years more of applying her craftsmanship, and learning the business side of the industry, Morgana opened her own company – Maison de Morgana—based in Los Angeles.
From the initial design sketch to personally hand checking every piece that is made, Morgana is enthralled in the process. “Quality pieces last,” she tells me. I think back to my own piece of “Morgana” jewelry, a delicate brass necklace lined with small stars that has held up through countless Boot Campaign events and travels, still in perfect condition. I’ve literally been wearing my multi-star necklace daily and layering it with other pieces. It’s so versatile!
When asked why she chose the “Star” motif for the BC Armor line that she created for the Boot Campaign, she tells me it’s partly about “wishing upon a star,” but it’s also a lot more than that. The Star is about “hope, the future, forging a new path. It’s a symbol of our country.” There’s a small pause as she tells me, “it’s a show of my support for everyone who serves.”
She tells me how she hopes her grandfather is looking down and feeling proud of her. “I feel such respect for what they do to serve and go through. It’s only fair that we as citizen help fill in the gap.” You know what, Morgana? I couldn’t agree more!
To purchase the BC Armor Collection visit: http://bootcampaign.com/store
To find out more about Maison De Morgana visit: http://maisondemorgana.com
Boot Girl Meghan