Dress-ups for most young girls is a time for make-believe. For Ash Golinelli it was a time when she would dress-up in her mother’s heels and jewellery. She was particularly drawn by a pair of her mother’s Chanel drop pearl earrings which would be the beginning of her life’s passion… jewellery.
This passion has given birth to Angelina Alvarez – a luxury handcrafted range of jewellery named after and inspired by her Spanish grandmother, Angelina.
Angelina Alvarez epitomises Angelina’s effortless European style. Each piece is meticulously crafted with precious and semi-precious handpicked stones with rich gold hues and bold colours which makes getting ready to leave the house an event in itself.
A favourite with celebrities and influencers, Angelina Alvarez has been seen on and adored by people such as Jennifer Hawkins, Lauren Phillips, Rozalia Russian, Lauren Vickers, Erin Holland and Tayla Damir – just to name a few.
The jewellery house designs a range of crowns, statement earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings, and all jewellery is plated in 24 k gold, rose gold or silver.
See the collection here: www.angelina-alvarez.com
We sat down with Ash to get a bit of insight behind her life and brand:
How did you get into jewellery design?
My love of jewellery, especially semi-precious stones, was sparked from a young age when I would play in my mother’s jewellery box (while she wasn’t looking of course). On a trip to Cusco, Peru, this passion was reignited. The jewellery selection and colours I saw there were endless. I had always wanted to be a jewellery designer and have my own business, but my family and I felt that it was important to go to university. After graduating with a law and commerce degree, I worked in finance for 6 years before starting Angelina Alvarez. I was also inspired by my grandmother, whom the label is named after. Angelina was born in Spain and epitomises the European style of being immaculately dressed. She would never dream of leaving the house without her lipstick and jewellery.
My wedding was a catalyst for me, I had spent weeks and weeks searching for the perfect pearl earrings to wear on my wedding day and couldn’t find the right pair. I ended up combining a pair of my mother’s Paspaley Lavalier pearl earrings with a pave diamond stud earrings to create my wedding earrings. This was the moment that it became clear that if I couldn’t find the perfect pair of earrings there was a gap in the market and I have now created what I wanted.
I wanted to create luxury statement jewellery and crowns that were good quality and reasonably priced so that woman could invest in key pieces to elevate their wardrobe. There is a lot of bad quality jewellery out there and then a lot of fine jewellery so I saw there was a need for jewellery that is exceptional quality and luxe without the thousand dollar price tag.
From concept to product, what is the process when adding new pieces to the collection?
When designing a new piece and collection, I spend weeks researching vintage jewellery and fashion, travels, tiles etc. I then decide on a theme for the collection and create a mood folder (I like to keep as much electronic as I can to save paper). I then plan out the different motifs/designs I want to use and sketch them. I then work on the measurements and proportions and the pieces I am going to create with the designs.
All our pieces are designed by me in my office. Once the sketch has been completed my factory either make an electronic CAD 3D image of my design and then use the CAD image to made a wax piece or they make a wax carving out of a block of wax into a model of the setting. Once the wax piece is made it is placed inside a metal tube and surrounded by plaster. This mould is then heated in a commercial oven to melt away the wax piece leaving a plaster mould. The plaster mould is then cast with metal. Once our metal piece has been made it will be soldered to other parts of the piece and filed to ensure that any join marks or rough edges have been removed.
Once our setting is complete, our unique gemstones are set in the setting. This piece is them plated with 24kt gold. The piece is then polished and handed over to our expert quality checking team to make sure each piece that makes it to us is perfect.
What are your top 3 tips for anyone wanting to start their own jewellery line or fashion business?
My top 3 tips…
- Design with your customer in mind – Have a clear idea of who your customer avatar is… what’s her name, what does she do for work, where does she go on the weekend, what drives her, what scares her, what does she want people to think about… once you have that design with her in mind. Previously we have designed something that is beautiful and on it’s own is a stunning item but if it isn’t tailored for your target market it won’t be on theme with our brand and customers won’t buy it.
- Understand your unique selling proposition (“USP”) and place in market – Understand why you are doing what you do. Don’t just start a business because you like the idea of owning a fashion label. You need to have a clear USP – for us we make luxury statement jewellery that is 24kt gold plated when most of our competitors are not using gold plating but gold tone polish. We also make our earring backs and posts in 925 silver which makes our earrings hypoallergenic.
- Be unassailable – Running your own business can be challenging and certainly not a walk in the park. Chasing your dreams can sometimes land you in difficult situations but if you continue to push through the rainy days you will see the sun come out. There are days where you will feel defeated and want to give up – don’t allow the small disappointments to let you lose sight of your dreams. Become so good that they can’t ignore you. Try to have thick skin and be persistent – anything worth having takes work and you will get there!
Do you live by the statement; more is more, or less is more when it comes to wearing jewellery?
I certainly don’t think it is a good look to wear every piece of jewellery that you own but I do love statement pieces as they can elevate an outfit. You can layer statement necklaces and bracelets to create a great effect.