December 1, 2022

Connecting Louisiana Through Design

WRITTEN BY

Connection is the art of bringing people together, and from festivals to food, no state does it better than Louisiana. As a Louisiana native, Madeline Ellis has always found solace and inspiration in that spirit of connection and the beauty of the land surrounding her. With her deep love of Louisiana and an inherently creative spirit, Madeline created MIMOSA Handcrafted to channel these wonderfully unique aspects of our state into one-of-a-kind wearable pieces of art.

Her handcrafted jewelry designs draw largely from distinct Louisiana traits, and having a degree in landscape architecture from LSU, it’s no wonder that the state’s landscape serves as the muse for many of Madeline’s pieces. She has a way of finding the parts of our state that we all love, the elements that make it feel like home but that often go unnoticed, and presenting them in a way that inspires a new appreciation.  

“Landscape and nature are so important to me,” explains Madeline. “A lot of my pieces are inspired by that. I’m trying to connect people to the land and the natural world around them, especially in Louisiana, to remind them that there is so much rich beauty here that we may have lost touch with or take for granted.”

Some of MIMOSA’s most recognizable and popular collections are odes to distinctly Louisiana places and things such as the Old State Capitol, the Mississippi River, the pelican, or the Mimosa tree after which the business is named. Beyond connecting to the state itself, Madeline also utilizes her designs to connect people to each other. Her pieces include those meant to be shared among friends, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, or anyone who shares a special bond. Whether it’s a place or a person who holds a special space in your heart, Madeline wants to give you a special way to represent them.

“In Louisiana, we love (with a capital L) the things we love,” Madeline shares. “From our traditions to the food that we eat to the music that we listen to, anybody who's spent time here or lives here can immediately conjure up in their mind the things that represent Louisiana to them. What we’re doing is creating physical objects that symbolically represent all those things we love.”

While Madeline has been celebrating Louisiana artistically and giving others the means to do so for many years, she has also found ways to elevate the state along the way. With the growing success of MIMOSA Handcrafted, she began to institute Louisiana Loyal practices and address the need she saw around her community, whether through the devastation of a hurricane or the ravages of mental illness.  

Today, MIMOSA donates one percent of every sale, allowing customers to select from a list of charitable causes such as the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank or the Mental Health Association for Greater Baton Rouge. During the most challenging days of the pandemic, proceeds from MIMOSA’s sales of specialty designs supplied over $20,000 worth of meals to healthcare workers and 100 bike kits to in-need children through Front Yard Bikes. When Hurricane Ida struck, MIMOSA launched a fundraising campaign through necklace sales. As a result, they raised $50,000 for the Helio Foundation out of Houma to support those most severely affected by the storm.

Madeline will tell you that Louisiana is in her bones. It is home and the inspiration behind nearly every piece she creates. She wants to see it thrive and is willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen. Her greatest wish is that every citizen of our state would do the same.

“My dream for Louisiana would be that we could look in the mirror and see our self-worth,” says Madeline. “That we could value all of the riches we have to offer and say, ‘We love this place so much that we’re going to take care of it. We love our people so much that it matters to us that they’re safe, taken care of, and fed.’ If we appreciate what’s around us more, we’ll take better care of it and, in turn, be a better state.”

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