For many years I’ve wondered what I would do when I grew up and when I would have to let go of the love I have for making things and settle into a job.
That day just never came and here I am, 33 years later, still doing what I love, making things.
I’ve been making things with my hands ever since I can remember. I have memories as a little kid, whittling thick sticks into beautiful instruments-we would stand across from each other and in a very choreographed dance, we would strike them together adding words to punctuate our motions. I always put much effort into making sure my sticks had lovely swirls and patterns on the grips. We braided long grasses into bracelets and wore them with each other until they fell off, usually meaning that the end of summer was near.
I’ve been blessed with printed press, national awards and interviews but the greatest honor and achievement of my career is the people I’ve been surrounded with. Collectors of my work that keep coming back for more, attending our events and supporting all our new collections. And the greatest gift, the talented craftsmen and women that work side by side with me. Sharing the love of making things, we blend our skills and what we produce together is something brand new, every single time.
I started in the jewelry industry in 1999 as a part time sales person at a custom design shop in Champaign, IL while going to college for agricultural engineering. After a couple agricultural engineering internships and a couple years building lasting relationships with jewelry clients, I decided my career path needed to be in jewelry. I worked my way up to general manager within 5 years of full time employment and started my jewelry business management degree at Gemological Institute of America. I loved being able to apply the lessons I learned in my education directly during my daily work. In 2010 I finished my degree. In 2012 I moved to Minneapolis to manage T Lee’s shop because of her passion and creativity developing lasting relationships with her clients. I am very proud to be an integral part of the jewelry industry’s Dream Team!
When I sit down to design a piece of jewelry, it’s like reading a story I know nothing about but, at the same time, I am the author.
My first introduction to jewelry was in junior high school. Part of the curriculum was jewelry making. The instructor, ex golden glove boxer turned art teacher, made beautiful pieces. This strange combination intrigued me. I found that designing and making jewelry came naturally to me.
I was captivated!
I continued to experiment and practice. Learning from books, I taught myself more and more. Eventually getting to that wonderful place where I could make exactly what I drew.
In college, I majored in drawing, painting, ceramics, and sculpture. But wherever I lived I always had a jeweler’s bench set up.
Having started my own business, worked with large corporations, small boutiques and wholesale jewelers as well as participated in art fairs and hosted numerous art openings, I am always exploring, learning and playing.
I can’t wait for the next story!
As a child, Alice was very creative, using any materials she could find. From the clay in a neighboring pond to the leftover scraps of fabric at home, she made tiny sculptures all the way up to 10 foot patchwork animals. Later on as a college student, art and design seemed like a natural fit. While earning a degree in visual communications at the University of Minnesota she was able to explore color theory, illustration, 2 & 3 dimensional design, and jewelry design & manufacturing. It was here that she first met T, and it was here that began a lifetime love of designing and fabricating designs in stone and metal. Post college Alice held many positions from jewelry sales to pharmacy technician and pharmacy benefits specialist, all while maintaining a jewelry bench at home. This enabled her to do custom work and also create jewelry for T’s art fair clients while her 2 children were young. As they grew older and the business grew, she began working full time at the store. As an October baby, Alice’s favorite stone is opal, and she loves to work with 18 karat gold. She loves fabricating jewelry and gets great satisfaction from seeing a beautiful finished piece, and the joy that it brings a client. She is honored to be a part of the creation of jewelry that can become family heirlooms, just don’t look too closely at her fingers.