Vintage Nouveau

I love multicoloured, handcrafted anything... so when I walked into House of Ray I fell in love with everything!  This super- saturated designwear studio is located on the corner of the Albion in Gravenhurst, ON and co-owned by Melinda Jean- Marie and Anne Hopkins.  When I went in the lovely Melinda and her mother were creating exquisite wire jewelry but I wasn't able to meet Anne as she was at home pumping out new crocheted re-creations for The Clothing Show in Toronto where you can check them out for yourselves!

I tried on a number of different pieces, and was pleasantly surprised to receive a real opinion on each (which was that the first dress I tried really didn't fit and the second wasn't my colour) so I knew Melinda was telling the truth when she said the whimsical, purple-blue, faeriesque top I finally found was the perfect fit.  My bestest friend and co-owner of many of my clothing pieces, Tori, also apparently loved it as she literally took it off me within 20 minutes of meeting up so I had to bring her back to get her own.  After she (we) selected a  mermaid-like green-y-blue top that fit us both, she left on the Northlander without it so I get to wear both tops until I see her next!  Yay!

Anne Hopkins first created her secondhand consignment business in 2007, but after moving the shop a few times she took a break before re-opening the store as House of Ray in its current location.  While she will still be accepting some clothing for consignment, the new space is intended primarily as a studio for local designers and artists to display their wares including her own reworked and crocheted creations.  Anne also designs a line for the local fashion show she organizes called Naked in Muskoka. 

Melinda is the heart behind the beaded and spiraled jewelry found in the studio, a hobby she has now developed into a pro-business.  She has called Muskoka home for most of her life and you can see the inspiration she has drawn from nature in the earthtone bracelets and sunset coloured necklaces she creates.  The names of her pieces are also fantastic, ranging from spiritual mementos to racehorses!  As for the name of her line itself: "Molly M." was an internet persona she created for security reasons and it just stuck.

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