John Wind of Maximal Art with the Cheshire Cat
John Wind of Maximal Art tells his Disney Story…
In the late 90’s, we were approached by Natalie Nelson, the buyer for the Walt Disney Gallery Stores, about designing custom jewelry for this new retail division.
The stores were largely geared to adult collectors and fans, so we were encouraged to be dramatic (you don’t have to ask me twice!) and make ‘red-carpet’ statement pieces as well as simpler pieces. Pins were a big category for us then, so there are a lot of pins, as well as cool bracelets and necklaces.
The collections we did included:
Vintage (b+w) Mickey, Mickey Mouse Club Era Mickey, Beauty and the Beast and 101 Dalmatians.
Mickey Charm Bracelet by John Wind at Maximal Art
The work did great, but unfortunately the division eventually closed. I’ve seen our pieces on eBay, and one “Target Mickey” collectors bracelet found its way to France and sold for $700! (original retail about $250…)
Time passed, and about 5 years ago I met Disney buyer Deanne Hill at the LA gift show. I told Deanne about our history with Disney, and she offered us a new opportunity to design for the Disneyana Store at Disneyland.
We started slowly with a classic Mickey group (recreating some of our earlier designs and adding new ones).
Since then we’ve added Nightmare Before Christmas, Cinderella, Mickey Mouse Club Mickey and Alice in Wonderland.
Jack Skellington Charm Bracelet by John Wind of Maximal Art
And the pieces are now also available at New Century Jewelers on Main St. and the jewelry shop in New Orleans Square at Disneyland, plus the Vault in Downtown Disney, and coming soon, several locations at Walt Disney World!
For a designer whose work centers around imagery, the opportunity to go to the Disney archives and pick my favorite images of these iconic characters has been incredible!
Plus, becoming part of the rich history of the Walt Disney Company is a huge honor and a very gratifying collaboration.
John’s work has most recently been featured on the Official Disney Fairy Tale Weddings and Honeymoons Facebook Page. You can check out and purchase his wearable art at MaximalArt.com.
Recently featured on the Official Disney Facebook Page for Fairy Tale Weddings and Honeymoons