Alt Jewelry: Launching my first line of handmade, sustainable jewelry.
Who I Am
I'm Alison Headley, and I've been making jewelry for the past ten years. I've started my own business called Alt, offering unique, handmade jewelry made with sustainable materials, and I’m asking for your support in launching my first line.
I've lived in Texas my whole life, mostly in Houston, and I moved to Austin in 2005. My work experience is in web design, graphic design, photography, writing, and of course jewelry making. I also enjoy sewing, knitting, woodworking, and making just about anything I can.
I love teaching myself to make new things. To be able to build something myself instead of buying it is such a powerful, freeing feeling, and it makes me happy to know that my hobbies are helping the environment, too.
What I Make
I make jewelry for people who want to buy with their conscience -- for people who want to both love and feel good about the things they own. I use as much recycled and sustainable material as I can in my jewelry -- sterling silver, gold fill, copper, stainless steel, wood, brass, thread, concrete, recycled leather, and glass.
Why I Make It
When looking into what type of jewelry I wanted to make for Alt, I found out that a lot of materials used to make jewelry are not very friendly to the earth or to the people that mine or process them.
- Silver mining and processing is terribly harmful to the environment.
- Semi-precious gemstone beads are made in countries with unfair labor practices, and the gemstone dust produced when making these beads damage workers’ respiratory systems.
- Additional types of beads are made of coral, bone, exotic wood, and other non-renewable resources.
I decided to use sustainable materials in my jewelry. I source as much recycled metal as I can, and try to find other recycled materials such as recycled leather, glass, and vintage components. For each piece of jewelry, I provide information as to which materials are recycled or sustainably produced.
Many jewelry merchants use plastic bags, plastic tape, and plastic bubble mailers to package and ship their jewelry. I use recycled or recyclable packaging for my gift wrapping and shipping.
All of my jewelry is handmade by me in my studio, and any employees I hire in the future will be paid a fair, livable wage.
What I'll Do With The Kickstarter Funds
If I reach my funding goal, I plan to make my jewelry available to wholesale customers. It's not very difficult to service retail customers: make a necklace, photograph it, put it in your shop, and when someone buys it, it's no longer available. Wholesale customers like to buy things in multiples: 10 of this necklace, 5 pairs of these earrings, etc. For wholesale customers, I'll need enough supplies to make multiples of each item in my line.
More specifically, this is what I’ll do with my funding:
- Incorporate! I want to be an LLC.
- Register my business with the city and state.
- Purchase enough jewelry supplies to be able to make multiple copies of my designs for wholesale use.
- Acquire a representative to help me sell my jewelry to retailers.
- Purchase a few much-needed tools: a flex shaft, a disc cutter, a tumbler, etc.
- Purchase enough packaging and shipping supplies to use for wholesale orders.
- Acquire some display items for craft and trade show booths.
Why I Can Do This
Why me and not somebody else? I have great design ideas that people love, and I enjoy expressing myself through an art that people can wear, and enjoy and feel good about.
I've done this before. I had my own jewelry business in Houston, and I've worked for a small jewelry business in Austin. I've learned a lot about jewelry design, producing jewelry in volume for wholesale use, working with suppliers, processing and shipping wholesale and retail orders, and more.
My background in web and graphic design means I’ve been able to design my own logo, business cards, postcards and line sheets. My experience in photography means I can shoot my own product and lifestyle photos.
Level 1 -$5
A hearty thanks from me!
Level 2 -$10
A handwritten thank-you postcard mailed to you.
Level 3 -$20
A one-inch round stainless steel keychain or pet tag. I'll stamp it with your dog's name and phone number, your name, a P.O. box address, or anything you want, with a 20-character limit. Small split ring for pet tag, large split ring for keychain.
Level 4 -$50
A one-inch round sterling silver disc stamped with whatever you want. I'll put it on a sterling chain for a necklace or a large stainless steel split ring for a keychain. You can have it stamped with your name, someone else's name, a favorite saying, etc, with a 20-character limit. Once the project is funded I will contact backers with chain length and lettering options.
Level 5 -$75
A wooden threaded pendant necklace. I stain, finish, drill and thread the pendant myself, and I put it on a long stainless steel curb chain with a lobster clasp. Once the project is funded I will contact backers with chain length options.
Level 6 -$100
A necklace and a matching pair of earrings. The necklace is made of sterling silver, copper and a vintage green glass bead, and is 18 inches long. The hand-hammered earrings are two inches long and are made of recycled sterling silver and vintage green glass beads. Once the project is funded I will contact backers with necklace chain length options.
Level 7 -$200
A necklace, bracelet and a pair of earrings in a beautiful wooden gift box. The 18” necklace is made of recycled hand-hammered sterling silver, gold-filled chain and rings. The earrings are hand-hammered brass, recycled sterling silver and gold-filled ear wires, and are three inches long. The bracelet is hand-hammered brass and copper, and is 7 ½” long. Once the project is funded I will contact backers with necklace and bracelet length options.
Level 8 -$400
Lots of stuff! The necklace, bracelet and a pair of earrings in a beautiful wooden gift box with gift wrapping from Level 7. A one-inch round stainless steel keychain or pet tag from Level 3. A handwritten thank-you postcard mailed to you from Level 2. Once the project is funded I will contact backers with necklace and bracelet length options.
Risks and challenges
I’m pretty fast when it comes to putting together most pieces of jewelry, but the stamped tags and pendants are probably going to take me awhile! I have done my best to allow enough time to get it all done.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (20 days)