Meet Ali, the Maker behind Accessory Alchemy Jewelry
Ali lives in Southern California, 100 years out of time, making Steampunk inspired jewelry reminiscent of the Victorian Era.
"I am inspired by a time when great pride and craftsmanship were taken in everything – jewelry, architecture, clothing, timepieces, etiquette; and when great mechanical feats of engineering couldn’t be cranked out by the hundreds per day.”
Read her story below
How’d you get your start?
I came upon operating Accessory Alchemy as a business very slowly. I’d been making jewelry forever, and just like with anyone who makes their own jewelry, there became a tipping point where I had to decide if I was a jewelry hoarder or a jewelry seller. The latter obviously legitimized my spending on jewelry supplies, so I chose that. I loved setting up my small traveling shop here and there, matching people up with the jewelry that fits their personality. With my heavy Steampunk and Victorian influence, I was always the ‘unusual’ jewelry artist at any venue, which worked in my favor. So, my business grew steadily online and at shows, as I honed my craft into, what I think, is the cohesive brand that I maintain today – and gosh do I have a lot of jewelry making supplies!
“Once you start tasting success, that becomes the driving factor to become your best at it.”
Describe your day at home or in your workspace?
I always have at least three different ideas that I’m working on.
But I have to start with a completely cleared off workspace, all jewelry components organized back to where they go. Then I’ll bring bits and chains out onto my work surface as I’m designing and making my jewelry. By the end of the day the work surface is covered in glues drying over here, glass bottles staged for filling over there, and it looks like organized chaos again...
Describe your perfect day out and about locally.
Definitely some coffee and thrifting – Portfolio Coffeehouse would start my stroll down Retro Row. I’m always looking for tiny vintage elements to include in my jewelry – little perfume bottles, skeleton keys, tiny hand painted ornaments, anything mechanical looking. Colorado Lagoon is a recently acquired hangout spot for me, especially if I’m meeting a friend for lunch. If my day’s travels cause me to end up at a pizza place, I consider the day a win!
"My perfect day out would start in the ocean. I got my BS in marine biology and the ocean is one of my favorite places to go."
What holds more value for you: creativity or knowledge?
Maybe it’s because the creativity is always there, and I have to go in search of the knowledge, but I’d definitely say knowledge. It has always been my thirst for knowledge that has driven me forward, and even shaped my business and creative work. I think, if you have the ability to be inspired by something enough to want to do it, then no formal training is necessary – just the willingness to put in the hours.
If you could move to any other place in this or any universe where would you go?
Ha-ha. I’ve always said that ‘I was born 100 years out of time’. I would love to live 100 years in the past, with caveats of course. It would have to be the highly romanticized Victorian times, like “from the movies”, where people clearly had access to dental hygiene – and there would have to be women’s rights, and birth control! But it would be my dream to live in a time where people got dressed up to go outside, and everybody wore hats, and had such pride in themselves and their jobs. To live in that time period where mechanical engineering was taking the world by storm, and lives were changing from horse buggy to automobile, warm food to refrigerated food, candle-light to electricity – how exciting that must have been!