As a child, freelance journalist Olivia Fleming was a huge fan of the 1991 movie My Girl, and of main character Veda’s talismanic mood ring. When the 28-year-old was growing up, the faddish 1970s ring had become popular toy jewelry worn by pre-teen girls.
For years, the New Zealand native searched in vain for a grown-up version that was made out of gold or silver, not plastic or brass.
“They are usually from the $2 shop, but I wanted to make grown-up rings for girls like me who loved mood rings,” Ms. Fleming said, over breakfast at Five Leaves in Brooklyn.
Two summers ago, Ms. Fleming and her boyfriend, Matt, were having dinner at a family friend’s, who asked her guests to name a product they had always wanted to make. Ms. Fleming mentioned her ongoing search for the perfect mood rings. “So why don’t you?” the friend asked.
So she did. And the result is Olivia Kane Jewelry, a collection of mood rings for adults.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever done something outside of writing,” said Ms. Fleming, who writes about lifestyle, culture and style for a range of publications. “I never thought this was something I could actually achieve.”
But like writing an article, a big part of the year-long-process was doing research to figure out how something works and finding sources willing to help. Helped by a friend who had worked at the Brooklyn-based clothes and jewellery brand In God We Trust, Ms. Fleming figured out sourcing, production, and, ultimately, branding.
The heat-sensitive stone, which is said to change color based on the wearer’s mood, is made of a clear material that’s painted or injected with a solution of liquid crystal. Instead of plastic or glass, she uses clear quartz, supplied from a place in Singapore. Metal workers helped fashion and create the precious metal base.
There are six made-to-order styles, ranging from the classic one-stone to an open design that incorporates other semi-precious stones like amber, all available in a choice of silver, yellow or rose gold.
So far, Ms. Fleming has sold 200 rings since she launched almost two months ago. It isn’t hard to see the appeal: they are at once a nostalgic nod to childhood, and a hip take on current preference for the understated yet eye-catching.
“I think there’s a big group of 24 to 40-year-old women that mood rings resonate with,” Ms. Fleming said. “But it also fits with the more dainty, elegant jewelry that’s popular right now.”