Several months ago, I met a darling little lady for coffee to chat about jewelry, fashion stuff and Long Beach State. I ordered my cappuccino, she an iced coffee and we hit it off. Many giggles were shared as the caffeine was consumed and we became fast friends. Since that time, I was able to help her create her first lookbook by styling it!
Name: Lacee Alexandra
Location: Long Beach, California
Graduated from: CSULB
Major: 3-D Media: Metals & Jewelry
Finds Inspiration from: Nature, Relics, Decay — loves raw & unrefined
Lacee graduated from CSULB, and I was excited to pick her brain about the Art Department and professors as I’m currently finishing up my Bachelor’s degree there.
When you started at CSULB did you know you wanted to major in Jewelry and be involved in the Art Department?
Not exactly – when I started at Long Beach I was an Industrial Design major and I wanted to go into furniture and lighting design. On a whim, I decided to take a metal-smithing class under the art department because I really liked jewelry. I took a class, fell in love and I decided to drop my major and change all my classes. I said to myself, “this is it.” It took an extra year, but that’s okay…
Did you have any background in jewelry making prior to this?
I had a small company in high school – like sophomore year, I was doing little crystal beads and had a jewelry club in high school. We’d go to Ruby Tuesday and buy beads at lunch and it’s funny to think back that I was already doing something like that when I was younger.
How have your designs changed or evolved since CSULB?
At Long Beach it was sculptural jewelry, a lot of copper and brass were used because they are cheaper. The concept of decay and grunge were in my original pieces but my pieces now are more sophisticated and chic. It has kind of an organic quality. My pieces before were raw, big and too avant-garde for everyday – all of my stuff was very dramatic and had a lot of bugs. It’s evolved since then because that was more gallery work and not boutique. So I’ve been able to find a balance between the two where I’ve found an aesthetic that is like my art. In the future, I’d love to create one of a kind pieces, but for now I’m establishing the brand.
What have you found are the most difficult things in starting your own line of jewelry and developing a brand?
There’s just no time to do it all. In one day I have to shift from creating samples to contacting stores and maintaining social media. It’s very difficult to balance it all but thankfully my parents encourage/help me and want me to pursue what I love. The other thing with developing a brand is having boutiques and stockists take a chance on a new name – I got very lucky and soon after I launched the line I was picked up by a boutique in Philadelphia, which I’m really excited about – I just wish it was a bit closer so I could check everything out. I have several boutiques that are really interested in my jewelry and want to see more as I develop my next line, so I’m very excited for that.
So your first line is called “Beneath the Surface”. What does that mean to you and where did you find the inspiration for that?
So Beneath the Surface is my first line that I launched at the end of April. The idea and inspiration behind it was looking for beauty under something you might not. Think rough rocks, very grungy and edgy – but at the same time can be very beautiful and delicate. A lot of the rings are made to stack, which is really cool because you can constantly mix it up.
You had mentioned that your other love is fine art and watercolors?
Yes! Growing up I spent many days in my grandmother’s studio painting miniature masterpieces and I dabbled with some of the art classes at Long Beach. My jewelry studio is actually in the back of my grandma’s watercolor studio – so it’s really cool to be able to share this love of all things creative and artistic with her.
How long does it usually take for you to construct a piece?
I carve the wax, cast it, clean it up and that is my creative process – I sketch a lot but things really evolve and change in the wax and carving process. I could spend a few weeks, a few days or a couple hours. It really depends on the piece and what I’m looking for. Sometimes I don’t have anything in mind and I just start playing with the wax until I create something that appeals to me!
Here’s a few images from the Lacee Alexandra lookbook that I helped style!
P.S. A GIVEAWAY is going on for this Treasure Pendant by Lacee Alexandra! Check out her Instagram for more details! Ends 7/28