Burlington-based designer Alessandra Tavolini has been designing from she was a teenager, creating some of the most unique jewelry in the city. She’s designed clothes, homes and now jewelry carefully leaving a piece of her in every creation.
Tell us a little about yourself, including what you do and how you got there.
AT: I’ve been an artist since I was younger. I was always involved in drawing, painting and arts & crafts. This was simply a hobby, I never dreamed I’d be working as an artist full-time.
I attended University where I obtained a BA in Business Management, afterwards I got married and had a baby. I had a normal life but something happened in 2008 that changed my life entirely. I found myself broken in pieces and it took me three years to realize that I would never be the same person again. During this time, I migrated to Canada although it was a great decision it wasn’t easy. I was battling with depression and couldn’t work so I decided to start making jewelry.
What happened in 2008 that changed your life?
AT: I tried to be superwoman. I wanted everything for myself and I couldn’t balance it all. I wanted to keep an eye on my daughter every single minute, I wanted to be a sexy and great wife and I wanted the best body, looks and hair. My body and mind refused to cooperate and I kind of died Jan.6, 2008.
What’s unique about your jewelry?
AT: It’s an expression of myself, my art and my creation. I use stones and crystals only because they’re from the essence of the earth. Every creation has a piece of myself.
What kind of woman wears your jewelry?
AT: It varies, sometimes I get eccentric in my pieces. But it’s intended for the different woman, extravagant but sassy.The woman that wants something different and one of a kind.
As a designer, where does your inspiration come from?
AT: Most of my inspiration comes from looking at a beautiful stone or an amazing crystal. I don’t work with precious stones, just semi precious gems and crystals. Every time I see the beauty, the reflection and the light I imagine what I can do with it. It’s just a connection I have with the materials I work with.
One fashion accessory you cannot live without?
AT: Earrings, for me this is like brushing my teeth. I can’t stand the way I look without earrings.
What is your favorite piece you’ve created? What made it so special?
AT: My statement rings. The very first I made was a sardonyx which is a different class of onyx but it has beautiful white stripes. It’s five centimeters long and 2 centimeters wide but the stone was meant to be a ring instead of a pendant and that day with no effort I made a beautiful statement ring.
What’s the one lesson you’ve learned in your career that you can’t help but share with others?
AT: If you’re going to do something, do it right. Be honest and be the best at what you do.
What’s one thing you’ve personally battled with? What sort of advice would you give on personally overcoming obstacles?
AT: I’ve always battled with chronic fatigue and bipolar disorder and it got worse after I got sick in 2008. No matter how bad I felt, I never gave up, I always looked for a solution. My advice is to keep trying! You can defeat anything if you persevere. The only thing that doesn’t have a solution is death.
Check out some of Alessandra’s work on Facebook.