With lots of 90s fashion trends making a comeback, (including the “kachupoy” or the middle part hairstyle!) it’s time to start looking for beaded accessories to enhance your #OOTDs. If you’ve watched the American sitcom “Friends,” Rachel, Monica, and Phoebe’s fashion choices probably caught your eye—and you’re not alone.
Like many of us, sisters Sheila and Julia Advincula have re-watched the series for the nth time already. But for them, watching this show has led not only to a few minutes of entertainment, but also to the birth of a passion project that later on became an online business.
Find out how these sisters’ love for “Friends” and 90s fashion trends turned into “Vim by May & Marie.”
Photos: Vim by May & Marie
The start of Vim
“Vim by May & Marie” is a local online jewelry shop that sells beautiful accessories made of natural stone beads. The name “Vim,” which means energy and enthusiasm, was chosen by the sisters because they wanted their brand “to be associated with confidence and positive energy.” They also added their nicknames, May and Marie, to signify how personal this endeavor is for them.
According to Sheila, the inspiration to start Vim came to her while she was watching “Friends.” As a fashion enthusiast, it’s not just the characters’ clothes that called to her, but their jewelry, too! “The girls’ accessories in [“Friends”] always grabbed my attention,” she said.
Sheila admits that although she loves 90s-inspired fashion, she hasn’t been the biggest fan of beaded necklaces before. Julia also noted that there weren’t a lot of choices to begin with, and most of the designs they saw weren’t what they were looking for—so they decided to make their own.
“I knew that creating and selling accessories was something that I wanted to do, so I shared my idea with my sister… And she wanted to be on board, too,” Sheila said.
Starting this online business also means more to them aside from fangirling and fashion. Julia, who recently resigned from her job, said, “Launching ‘Vim by May & Marie’ was actually very empowering for me… It’s fulfilling to see even just one product shipped out and worn by a customer. The high of seeing a stranger wear something you made with your own hands is amazing! And of course, I am very, very happy to do this with my sister,” Julia said.
Photo: Vim by May & Marie
The brand’s first collection includes five necklaces named Julia, Sheila, Abby, Audrey, and Gail. Aptly named the “Sisters Collection,” Abby and Gail were named after the founders’ younger sister, while Audrey was named in honor of their family’s dog, who passed away eleven years ago. And of course, Julia and Sheila were named after the two women behind Vim.
The sisters spent months to plan, design, and prepare everything so you’ll surely be getting only the best from them. All pieces from Vim are handmade and some designs would even take three to four hours to finish! “We crafted the designs with details that you will hardly see anywhere else, [they’re] somewhat more eccentric and unusual.”
Photo: Vim by May & Marie
Julia’s personal favorite is her namesake, the Julia necklace, because it has a “Victorian Royalty look.” It was named after her since it’s her first design, which makes it even more special!
This necklace has an elegant combination of silver seed beads and green chalcedony stones. “I love statement accessories and I think this design gives the strongest statement out of the whole collection,” she said.
Meanwhile, Sheila’s favorite at the moment is the Audrey necklace. “I love how it goes with most of my clothes. I’ve even worn it with a swimsuit and it really completed the summer vibe that I wanted to achieve.”
What’s your favorite piece from the “Sisters Collection?” Take your pick among these unique and elegant 90s-inspired beaded accessories:
Julia (P750) and Sheila (P650)
Abby (P600), Audrey (P550), and Gail (P500)