Gina Melosi is the founder of the jewellery brand with the same name. The label’s ethos, since Day 1, is to marry cutting-edge, conceptual jewellery design with ethical principles and materials. She founded her label in London for AW2011-12. Since the summer of 2018, she has been running her business from Berlin, based at AA-COLLECTED.
What City are you in and what is the situation there?
I currently live in Kreuzberg, Berlin. In the beginning, I split my time between London and here, but I’m now almost exclusively in Berlin. I’m pretty glad I’m not in London right now as the last place I lived was a live/work warehouse on an industrial estate with over 20 people! Thank goddess I live alone in Berlin and just around the corner from our studio/store. That also comes with some difficulties as I’m not used to spending quite SO much time alone; this has been equally a special time to grow and get to know myself better and at the same time rather challenging.
"This has been equally a special time to grow and get to know myself better and at the same time rather challenging."
For the most part, I have not left my neighbourhood for the last month, so I can only really speak for my kiez. But I’m very thankful that we have been able to exercise outside, and I have a couple of parks, the river and canals very nearby.
Somehow the death rate has managed to stay low in Berlin and overall in Germany. So I suppose the quarantine situation here (at least in Berlin) has been quite relaxed compared to many other places. Of course, any death is one too many here, and we could speculate as to why this or that is/isn’t working, but overall being a single, freelance artist, business owner living in a city 1,000s of miles away from my family and old friends, I would say I feel pretty grateful to be here right now.
How do your days look like during Quarantine?
I’ve been going to sleep quite a lot earlier than my pre-C self and still wake up around the same time, so I guess I’m getting better sleep at night. I have established a morning routine that I’m continually refining and am enjoying nurturing. Before I was always in a rush doing 5,000 different things, so morning routines (and often brekkie) got pushed to the wayside.
Once I wake up with some self reiki, I make sure to rehydrate before anything else, make my bed (v important!) and spritz some uplifting lemon myrtle stuff, set up my yoga mat and then do some breathing exercises, free movement/stretching, and meditation. I’m currently going through a 21 Days of Abundance meditation challenge which also involves a lot of journaling, so I spend time writing in the morning too. I make something healthy for breakfast whilst I listen to a daily podcast on Berlin news. Then I may have a quick check of emails, messages, social media, news, etc before I set myself up to study for at least one hour (I’m working my way through a wholistic business school program).
"I’m currently going through a 21 Days of Abundance meditation challenge which also involves a lot of journaling, so I spend time writing in the morning too."
Then the rest of the day from about noon onwards is spent working from home on my jewellery stuff and/or working from the studio, going for a walk, run, or cycle, picking up a coffee and reading my book in the sun, chatting with people, taking photos, pretending to finish painting my bedroom window, pretending to start using my sewing machine again, bugging someone to help me with some various German form, pretending to study German, cooking, watching some live drag show or streaming live Dj sets, having a glass of red wine, taking a bath, and and and... not very punk rock at the moment, but hey that’s the situation!
What is the biggest difference between your life now and pre quarantine?
Pre-C G was a very busy girl and was probably doing way too much. I think I was kind of exhausted and hadn’t factored in enough self-care time. I didn’t spend much time at home at ALL, I also travelled pretty extensively, had many freelance jobs and wasn’t cooking enough. Now I’m (almost) exclusively at home apart from working in the studio or doing my little getting some air outside thing.
" I was a very busy girl and was probably doing way too much."
What do you miss most from pre-quarantine?
I’ve made some really good changes in my life these last weeks, but damn I miss having some semblance of a social life! I miss hugs and kisses, massages and everything else. Going to the sauna, doing non-virtual yoga and dance classes, all the other things and work I used to do... and perhaps the bliss of ignorance that this new world was only around the corner. Also the Sabich Roll from Mugrabi.
Lessons you have learnt in Quarantine
My wellbeing (mind and body) is numero uno. I can be my own best friend. I don’t get bored. I like to be active. It’s important to have a tidy and welcoming nest. I crave human contact. It takes a pandemic for me to get stuff that’s been on my to-do list (since ever) done. I see many things much clearer, like a magnifying glass has been applied to every aspect of my life (and that which I’m globally connected to.)
"I can’t necessarily change the situation, but I change my reaction to it."
What would you tell your pre-quarantined self
Get all your German bureaucratic shit sorted. Get a cat.
Plans for now, plans for the future
Plans, for now, are: take it day-to-day whilst staying abreast of changes. Try to set some mid- range goals. Try to reassess my bigger goals for the year, as all that I had saved and planned for has been either cancelled or postponed. This is something I’m still working on. I had a big trip to Peru planned with the Fairmined organisation to visit several artisanal mines throughout the country, but this has all been put on hold now. I wanted to document that trip and build my next collection out of it. This will all have to wait now, so I keep trying to move along my trajectory yet remain flexible.
"Plans, for now, are: take it day-to-day whilst staying abreast of changes."
Favourite new hobby, pastime you have discovered.
They are not so much new hobbies, but I have been rediscovering taking self-portraits and photographs of my jewellery, wholesome cooking, reading books made out of paper, writing, cultivating my home space...
SEE HER COLLECTION HERE.