Alli Rae Jewelry brings us some beautiful handmade pieces using Swarovski crystals and pearls. She also creates items using hand dyed lucite flowers (love these!) that come in a variety of colors.
I am an aspiring writer. I use the profits from Alli Rae Jewelry to save up for writing classes and seminars.
My favorite authors are J. R. R. Tolkein, C. S. Lewis, and Jane Austen. They have even inspired some of my designs.
I have a stuffed penguin named Gwendolyn.
My ancestral homeland is Scotland. My husband took me there for our honeymoon, and I have yet to recover from its beauty. "My heart's in the highlands!"
The name of my business, Alli Rae, came from my little sister's nickname for me.
What got you started crafting?
One day my sister brought a book home from the library about making beaded jewelry. I started flipping through it and thought, "Hey, that looks fun!" So I bought supplies and tools for two of the projects and entered my work in the county fair. Both got blue ribbons!
A few weeks later my mom suggested I make more jewelry and sell at a local music festival. I went under the name "Allison's Creations" and made about $40 (not much), but I'd already been infected with the beading bug! That Christmas I had a jewelry party hosted by my aunt. It was a big success and I got tons of custom orders! It was around then that I first got on Etsy, but for the next couple years I did virtually nothing on it, only selling at the same music festival and doing a couple of parties a year.
In 2010 I decided I needed a new name. Something that exuded my personality. I liked the quirkiness of taking my nickname and middle name and combining them. Thus Alli Rae Jewelry was born.
What is your source of inspiration?
I keep a small camera with me always. Whenever I see something that inspires me, like a combination of colors or another piece of jewelry, I snap a picture of it. Books can also inspire me. Austen's books have inspired Regency themed jewelry. The Lord of the Rings has inspired me to create a Helms Deep chainmaille necklace, dragon scale necklace, and most recently, hobbit door jewelry.
What have you made recently?
The vintage lucite blossom earrings are my new favorite design. I took brass beadcaps, formed them to the trumpet-shaped blossoms, and paired them with complementary colors of Swarovski crystals. These have been very popular and I plan on making them in many different colors of hand-dyed lucite flowers.
Where do you sell your crafts presently?
I do most of my selling through Wellspring Christian Resources, a brick-and-mortar bookstore that also sells gifts extensively. I'm putting a lot of work into my online presence, especially my Etsy shop. I also sell at the occasional festival and do house parties.
Why are handmade crafts important to you?
I would much rather support a fellow artist than buy something mass-produced in a factory. What sells me on a handmade item? The story! The object and the person who made it has a unique story, and that's what I want to hear about!