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The Flor-Ala

The Student News Site of University of North Alabama

The Flor-Ala

The Student News Site of University of North Alabama

The Flor-Ala

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Cortney Oliver combines food and fashion

Courtesy of Cortney Oliver

Cortney Oliver, a University of North Alabama alumnus and former Flor-Ala graphic designer, has had a passion for artistic creativity for the majority of her life. Oliver’s versatility is noteworthy. Not only is she skilled with a Canon camera; she also knows her way around a digital painting medium.

Today, Oliver operates a small business called Midnight Snacks. She makes and vends a variety of accessories, perhaps most significantly a series of funky earrings. There is no such thing as a typical pair of Midnight Snax earrings. As the name implies, more than a few pairs resemble miniature iterations of popular snack foods. One, for example, is a couple tiny, plastic versions of a traditional Ramen dish. Another is two large and surprisingly light balls of fluff.

“I’m all about picking up different hobbies, especially in the arts and crafts realm,” said Oliver. “[The idea for Midnight Snax] just kind of dawned on me one day. I thought, ‘You know what would be really fun? Snack-themed earrings.’ They’re a lot of fun, if you’re looking to change up your wardrobe every now and again. I came up with Midnight Snax, then I sort of went down a rabbit hole, brainstorming all of the different things I could turn into earrings. Vintage trinkets, toy lollipops, you name it.” Oliver describes Midnight Snacks as “found-objects art”.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic that confined most to their homes, Oliver had ample time to concentrate on her craft.

“I started making jewelry during the pandemic as a hobby,” said Oliver. “Everything was shut down, and I was getting bored. Mainly, I guess I started making jewelry because jewelry can get too expensive!” Midnight Snax sees Oliver crafting cute statement pieces at affordable prices.

“I’m pretty specific, style-wise. I mean, I tend to go through seasons. The idea that I can add some flare to an outfit at a moment’s notice is super appealing to me. I’m all about pushing fun costume jewelry. It breaks up what can be a sometimes monotonous life.”

In 2015, Oliver graduated from UNA with a Bachelor of Science (BS) focused in Art and Art Studies. Ever since, she has been working steadily, exploring local opportunities to execute her creative vision. She is, after all, a Florence native.

From 2018 to 2019, Oliver was a Freelance Assistant Photographer at national designer boutique Billy Reid, before she was promoted to In-House Studio Stylist. Oliver was a stylist until last year. She attributes her departure to conflicting goals between herself and the business.

Worth mentioning is Oliver’s stint as a graphic designer. Studying at UNA, she was certain she would pursue a career in digital media. She eventually, however, discovered the frustration of having to reconcile her original ideas with those of potential clients and decided to set her sights on jobs wherein she would have creative autonomy.

Those interested in Midnight Snax should check out All The Best, a unique record shop and convenience store in downtown Florence that sells, among other things, Oliver’s accessories.

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About the Contributor
Mary-Stella Mangina
Mary-Stella Mangina, Arts & Entertainment Editor
Mary-Stella is a junior majoring in both Professional Management and French for Commerce.

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