Beer, bikes and … jewelry

Accessories emerge to complement Minnesota Fashion Week‘s ensemble of vendors

Rachelle Thorpe, left, and Hollie Olson, right, work in Olson’s apartment Sunday morning in Uptown. Thorpe and Olson use recycled bike parts to make jewelry for their new business Split Personality designs.

Erin Westover

Rachelle Thorpe, left, and Hollie Olson, right, work in Olson’s apartment Sunday morning in Uptown. Thorpe and Olson use recycled bike parts to make jewelry for their new business Split Personality designs.

Grace Gouker

Who: Split Personality Designs

What: Launch Party

Where: The Hub Bike Co-op at 301 Cedar Ave. South, Minneapolis

When: Saturday, Sept. 25 from 7 p.m. -10 p.m.

 

The Hub seems an unlikely venue for a jewelry show. Bicyclists are too busy buying bike polo sticks, neon green rims and mace to think about accessories to put on themselves. But during Minnesota Fashion Week, the bike co-op is playing host to fashionistas and bike paraphernalia lovers alike.

“We thought it would be best to involve the bike community,” said Rachelle Thorpe, who recognizes the atypical circumstances. She is one of the designers and founders of Split Personality Designs based in Minneapolis. Both Thorpe and co-founder Hollie Olson will be showcasing their creations —composed entirely of recycled bicycle parts.

“We really wanted to incorporate recycling in our line because it’s something the both of us strongly believe in,” Olson explained. “We wanted to translate our beliefs into something unique.”

The pieces Olson and Thorpe have put together include chain link, roller earrings and sprocket necklaces. Paired with matching rings and bracelets, these items can finish any Pearl Izumi getup wonderfully.

The two women knew each other long before they decided to make a jewelry line together, which has made their creative visions much more succinct. The best friends and avid cyclists decided to collaborate just in time for fashion week. Considering they’ve only been working for a month as Split Personality Designs, things have been moving faster than they anticipated.

“We were constantly bouncing ideas off of one another and suddenly thought ‘How on Earth did we get from this to that in two weeks?’ ” Olson said.

The two designers also made it a point to discuss other positives about the launch party, including beer. Surly has provided the beverages to be served along with various hors d’oeuvres throughout the event.

Environmental considerations prompted Olson and Thorpe to create pieces together that held true to their interests. A newcomer to the D.I.Y. arena is just as able to create pieces that hold to this creed.

“Anything, any found object, whether it’s a bottle cap or whether it’s a found piece of tin or something — you can always turn it into something else,” Olson said.

People can be environmentally conscious and look good at the same time. Who would have guessed?