A Q&A with Alison Kelley, jewelry crafter and handmade seller
She's been making her jewelry for more than 17 years, and says she's inspired by her family's roots in Malta, a tiny island located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea. "Breathtaking Maltese seascapes are inspiration for many of my jewelry designs," she says. "You can see its influence in my nautical designs that feature blue and green colors of the mystical sea and natural materials such as shell and pearls."
Meet Alison in person at Jingle Fest 2013, an awesome handmade fair happening in San Jose, California this weekend! You can find more info below.
How many hours a
week do you spend crafting? What's your favorite time of day to work?
Besides having my own business, I am a stay-at-home mom to three boys, but I try very hard to work my business full time. I probably work 35 to 45 hours a week and more when it’s show season. I work hard to balance both home and business and to not make either one feel neglected. My favorite time to work is while my kids are at school; it’s my quiet time.
What’s your personal favorite item in your shop?
My favorite piece are the crescent dangle earrings (pictured above). They’re my go-to pair and they go great with most of my necklaces.
What is your dream craft project?
My dream project would be to design jewelry pieces that would be used for a movie. I’m a big movie buff and I love and enjoy costume designs used in movies. Costume and jewelry can really set the mood.
What's one important lesson you've learned about your craft?
That it’s an ongoing learning experience and to keep an open mind because there is so much to learn about jewelry making, so many techniques and skills you can learn to better your designs. To not hold yourself back by thinking your style will never change. Change is good and styles are always changing, so go with it and be open to learning and new experiences.
Have any advice for those aspiring to do what you do?
Be true to yourself. Make what you love. Love what you do. But mostly be realistic. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when deadlines are close or when everything seems to be happening all at one time around your life, staying focused and prioritizing will get you though those tough times.
Are you located in the San Jose, California, area? Alison will be among the many talented crafters vending handmade goods at Jingle Fest 2013, The South Bay's largest handmade craft show!
Mark your calendar for November 24, 2013 (10am-5pm) and get all the details at EventCalifornia.com.