Miles Taylor’s family owns Brown Water Design (“BWD”), and she is the creative force and teen designer behind one of BWD’s latest releases: the Mermaids Collection, which has sold more than 10,000 pieces since April 1.
When Miles Taylor, who just recently turned 14, isn’t busy with the Jackson Academy Dance Team, Student Council, show choir or practicing guitar, piano, ukulele, singing and writing her own music (phew..!), she’s a teen designer.
CALZICO dove in with Miles Taylor to ask her about the inspiration behind the Mermaids Collection, and what it’s like being a young designer.
So you’re the creative mind behind the Mermaids Collection at Brown Water Designs – what can you tell us about the collection?
The Mermaid Collection is a collection of chokers and bracelets. They are called Mermaids because the beads have this beautiful shimmer that reminded me of a mermaid’s tail when I first discovered them.
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When did you first discover the beads and come up with the idea for the Mermaid Collection?
Earlier this year, we were in Dallas, TX for a concert and my mom was shopping for beads. My best friend Susannah and I saw these beads and said, “Hey, these would be really cute for a necklace!” My mom was busy at the time looking for other beads, so it was actually my dad who bought the first two strands: one for me, and one for Sus.
What are your responsibilities for the Mermaid Collection?
I get to model a lot for the collection – and because I designed the bracelets and chokers, I actually love wearing every design – and my friends do too. I was selling them to my friends at school before BWD even started selling to retailers. I also have a hand in assembling and packaging the products.
How did you choose the colors and styles? What inspires you?
These beads are so shimmery and gorgeous in all colors, so at first, I actually just wanted a choker and bracelet in every color! From there, I started thinking about what combinations of colors go together best, and different themes. I decided on blue and white for my school, Jackson Academy, then red and blue for Ole Miss, and maroon and grey for the big colleges in Mississippi. That’s how I came up with the Game Day Beads collection.
What has been your favorite part about working on this collection and in your family’s business?
My favorite thing has been watching the Mermaid Collection actually come to life, and grow – it’s so cool seeing the bracelets and chokers in stores. And they’re not only in Mississippi, but other states as well! I love that they’ve become so popular!
Which task is most difficult?
When time allows, I actually sit down and bead them myself. Sometimes in the studio, I host stringing nights with a few friends. We listen to music, eat pizza, and make an evening of it. I want every bracelet and choker to be perfect, and this isn’t something you can rush. It takes a lot of time and patience.
Do you have a favorite Mermaid choker or bracelet?
I really love the clear choker. These were actually the first beads I picked out, and the Clear Mermaid was the original design – it’s the best seller as well, so I guess people love it as much as I do. It’s so shimmery, but I can wear it all the time because it’s clear. I hardly ever take it off. I also love the grey choker and bracelet.
The Mermaid Collection is now sold in several retail stores! How did it feel the first time you saw your Mermaids collection in stores?
At the beginning, I was running stalls at some small flea markets and I was selling direct to my friends also. Now, I’m back in school and super busy, so I can’t do as much as I would like. So when I can’t do them, Brown Water Design makes them and wholesales them to retailers.
Seeing the Mermaids Collection in retailers is so crazy..! Walking through a store and seeing something I have made and wondering who will buy them and where they will wear them…! Then I’ll just be scrolling through my Instagram and see girls from different schools wearing them…so the collection is spreading.
In the future, I’d love to include more school color collections so they spread even more. I love seeing my friends wearing them as well.
As a result of their rising popularity, BWD has also applied to trademark the Mermaids name. To learn more about the Mermaids Collection and Brown Water Design or to order your own, visit them here.