Spreading the LOVE, xo
Alyssa Davis, the creative force behind a new Boston Brand, Skiler Love, started designing jewelry about a year and a half ago. She graduated college, was working a 9-5 desk job and needed a creative outlet. Fast-forward to summer, and she began work on her first cohesive collection, called Bohemian Luxe, which featured mixed metals, turquoise and red hues, and brass and ivory skull pendants. Although designing was new to Davis, working in the fashion industry was not.
Skiler Love is designed with an edgy girl in mind who searches for pieces that are unique, and for a girl whose style is constantly evolving. Many of the pieces in the Skiler Love collection are versatile. The Utilitarian Body Chain, for instance, turns into three separate necklaces and can be worn a variety of ways.
Alyssa focuses on making pieces that are “a little different,” and her vision is to create handmade jewelry of exceptional quality. “I love to make statement pieces that are easily noticed and it makes me feel great when a client tells me that they are constantly receiving compliments on a Skiler Love piece- especially if it's custom made!”
Creating new pieces can take anywhere from a few hours to a few months, and Alyssa always designs way more pieces than she knows will actually be reproduced and sold. “Feedback from real people that you trust is a great way to narrow and edit pieces. When designing editorial pieces, I create with a different mind frame. Instead of thinking about my customer, I design for the shock factor that photographers and publicists crave. That is the beauty of working with chain and zero boundaries - complete creative freedom.”
Every week in the studio is a different experience, and Alyssa is busy planning, setting up and making pieces for upcoming photoshoots or events. “When there are upcoming photo shoots, you can find me confirming models, photographers, and studio locations, creating mood boards and sending out and picking up samples. For upcoming tradeshows and events I'm usually in studio recreating pieces to have in stock, ordering marketing materials, and building displays -I'm very DIY in everything I do! But I love it.”
As a featured Boston RAW artist, Skiler Love has been showcased alongside various artists in apparel and accessory design to photography, sculpting, singing and more. “To me, being a RAW artist is an honor. It opens the doors to meet and network with a variety of different individuals in the industry. I also have the chance to introduce my work to a new crowd in the Boston area. After models walked down the runway in never before seen editorial pieces that I designed specifically for RAW, I was blown away by the positive reactions and number of supporters I had encountered- it's an amazing feeling!”
For RAW, I was excited to collaborate with Make-Up Artist Ashleigh Taylor and Hair Stylist Alyssa Ashley. Together they designed unique looks for five models, each of whom was wearing a custom Skiler Love piece. “We were excited to debut the looks for the first time in March and love to see the public's reactions. I must admit, I do enjoy the shock factor! Being the first individuals to join forces for a RAW event was a lot of fun - and inspiring. I'm even starting to notice other RAW jewelry designers and make-up artists who are following in our footsteps.”
Some of Skiler Love’s other collaborations include, designing a custom chain body suit for photographer, Matt Shields, which was later featured in Boston’s, YNE Magazine. Skiler Love is also in the process of working with a team called, Models Against Bullying. “I was asked to come on board in early January 2013 to design custom pieces for a cause that donates money to the Girls and Boys Club to prevent bullying in the Boston community. Models will sport necklaces and bracelets featuring encouraging phrases, like ‘Fall 7 times, Stand up 8’ and ‘Find beauty within the flaws.’ The event to follow the launch will take place June 2013.”
And what’s ahead for Skiler Love? Bohemain head chains, for one. “I will start brainstorming for my Fall 2013 Boston Fashion Week Event to happen in September, to debut a new collection. Skiler Love will also hopefully be making it's way into a few stores in the Northeast as well!” Wicked Peacock looks forward to carrying pieces from the collection in our new retail boutique, located at 17 Dock Square, Rockport, MA.
We asked Alyssa to offer advice to aspiring entrepreneurs about taking the leap, and starting a jewelry line. Here’s what she had to say:
“While building a new business, you will receive many offers to participate in upcoming tradeshows, events, and fashion shows. This year I've definitely had my share of successful and unsuccessful events. My advice would be to do your research. See how long a particular event or company has been around, the demographic that it caters to, and even speak to previous vendors if you have the ability to, before signing contracts or writing checks for costly vendor fees. Sometimes I determine whether an event is successful depending on the estimated effect it will have on not only current sales but on the future sales for my line. For instance when attending Styleweek Northeast as a participant in the accessories showcase, I had to consider not only vendor fees but the cost of hotels, travel, and meals for myself and interns, then weigh totals sales earned for the week as well as overall brand exposure. Evaluating this information helps me decide whether the time and cost was worth it and whether or not I will participate in the event in future seasons.”