Tyson Joines’ interest in fashion began in high school, though when shopping, he noticed how men’s accessories sections seemed like an afterthought compared with the prominence of women’s departments.
"There is such a small market out there for men, and even more especially for fashion-conscious men in Hawaii, that I’d end up looking in the women’s section for such things as jewelry and accessories," he said.
Happily, not all the accessories and jewelry Joines discovered involved colored gemstones or girlie ribbons and cuteness. He found many pieces that were unisex, neither too masculine nor too feminine, in neutral metallics and hues of blacks, grays and whites.
"It was eye-opening in a sense that there’s that stigma that if you’re a guy, you can’t shop where girls shop," he said. "But if you don’t take it too literally, and take bits and pieces and make it your own, I think a lot of guys now are successful in pulling it off."
Since becoming involved in fashion promotion and styling for publications and boutiques, he’s met a lot of stylish individuals who’ve been interested in the pieces he’s collected, and a couple of years ago Joines began thinking of redistributing his collection of Uniccessories.
"In the last six months, it really moved to the forefront of what I want to do," he said.
Joines said it’s not hard to give up pieces.
"I don’t get attached to things. I’m not a materialistic person so I don’t feel a sentimental connection to things. If I meet someone who wants a piece more than I do, I want them to have it," he said.
Although he doesn’t make the pieces, they reflect his style picks over the years.
"I buy what I like at a particular time, but I like a lot of different things, so I think I have pieces that suit a wide range of tastes. They’re not all edgy," he said.
They include hippie pieces from the 1970s, made of wood and beads, as well as dramatic, show-stopping cuffs or necklaces purchased for various shoots.
"Sometimes you buy a statement piece because you know it’ll photograph well. You don’t know when you’ll ever get to use it, but you know you will use it."
Prices start at about $15 and go up to $80, with the bulk of items in the $15-to-$40 range.
"It’s not a business in a sense that I need to profit from it. I just want to give people with similar tastes as me more options, especially guys."
Thus far, his women clientele outnumber men 4-to-1, but that’s because women are well-versed in shopping and repurposing objects that will work for them.
"It’s a matter of looking at something and not assuming it’s for a guy or a girl, but training your eyes to see things as gender-free," Joines said.
E-mail Tyson Joines for jewelry showings at firstname.lastname@example.org.