where were you born and raised?
I was born and raised on the south side of Chicago
how did you come to be in nyc?
I needed to escape from my family and the monotony of Chicago and always wanted to study in New York. I applied to F.I.T. for fashion design and decided to make that move.
when did you start making things?
I’ve always made things for as long as I can remember. I guess I have a creative personality.
did you go to school/ were you trained?
I’ve been to many, many schools, but I got my degrees at the Fashion Institute of Technology for both Fashion and Jewelry Design.
when did you begin to sell what you were making?
I started selling my own jewelry when I was 11 in the 6th grade. I would sell little earrings and whatnot to teachers.
what is your ultimate goal with this line/ your work?
I would love to be seen in stores and places that have a gallery feel. I would really love to be in museums and places of that nature.
how do you see yourself expanding/ how do you want to grow?
I’m trying to do less shows and more wholesale. I can’t go to every state and think that if my items are in certain stores in certain places, they will be recognized and appreciated better. As much as I love one on one interaction with my customers it gets very taxing at times.
describe your process?
I think about what I need to create and then start looking at my library of items, my symbol books, my books of tribes around the world, etc, where I can gain inspiration from. Then I draw and try to create something.
describe your work space?
I am fortunate enough to have my studio in my living room. I have a proper jeweler’s bench and two desks where I do my other business stuff and keep most of my library of inspiration. I also have a polishing machine for large projects near my bench. I keep my tumbler, acid pickle and other things in my kitchen.
where do you find/ get inspiration?
I go to nature, old photographs of ethnic jewelry. I have also gotten many great designs from old mistakes that I reworked!
when you hit a wall, what do you do to get out of your funk?
I leave it and come back to it in a few months. Really.
what are your thoughts on the co-op?
I think the co op is great! The designers are great and I’m inspired to do more.
what do see of the future of bushwick?
I hope Bushwick becomes more of a shop -friendly place than it has been. You’re already around the corner from an amazing thrift store, with more to come. It would be nice to get the community was more involved.
what do you plan on doing at the co-op?
I plan on holding a few classes and making co-op exclusive jewelry. Stay tuned!
Come meet Alicia at our 1st First Friday event April 2nd