meet your jewelry maker

The story of how Betsy met Alyssa while they were both jewelry makers at a different company is one of my favorites. After they both left that job, their paths crossed again, and this time, Betsy told Will that they had to find a way to hire Alyssa. As with most things they collectively set out to do, Betsy & Will made it happen. That was five years ago, and ever since, Alyssa has been behind the workbench for b&i producing jewelry for thousands of happy customers (perhaps even you!). Since I began working with her, Alyssa has continuously provided the humor, perspective, and expert shoe advice that I've now come to not only expect from her, but rely on in order to function at my best at work. No one can rock a vintage dress and a wink quite like Alyssa; the woman can communicate a whole sentence – nay, paragraph – with a single eyebrow raise. She's the rare kind of coworker whose presence brings both calm and spice to the workplace, sometimes simultaneously. Last fall, I had the unique opportunity to introduce her to the culinary delicacy known as a Walking Taco, and for that, I hope she is forever grateful. Certainly after this factoid, you're dying to know more. Let's get to it!

Name: Alyssa (Editor's Note: Ms. Hacmac if you're nasty)

Hometown: Milwaukie, OR (suburb of Portland)

Star Sign: Gemini

I've been making jewelry for: 7 years

Portland jewelry maker L to R: In between making jewelry, Alyssa moonlights as my model; Her reaction to build out progress- pure joy!; Safety never looked so chic.

Items of jewelry you make most oftenMulti-component necklaces and earrings. Most of the leather necklaces. Anything fiddly. That's my jam!

Before I was a maker at b&i I was: A receptionist at a chiropractic office and also a jewelry maker for another company.

Describe your path to becoming a maker in an ice cream flavor & why: Take a great simple vanilla ice cream and spoon over a little berry jam and crack over some pepper. I don't know what this says about my journey, but it's my favorite.

Favorite b&i piece to make: Treasure Pleasure earrings. They are really fiddly and they fight you the whole way so finishing them always feels like an accomplishment.

silver dangle earrings with African trade beads Wham, bam, thank you ma'am (for this perfect pair of Treasure Pleasure earrings!).

Favorite b&i piece to wear: Two Captains hoops. All day, e'rry day!

sculptural brass hoop earrings

What are some of your favorite tools to work with: I love my cheapie crafting pliers. They are small and have sparkly handles. No ergonomic fatty handles for me! I want the tools made for children!

Portland jewelry maker workbench Aforementioned tool seen here at the base of Alyssa's workstation all set up to make Tabor earrings. Also note: glam pen.

Do you listen to music while you make? If so, what are some of your fave jams? Lately I have been loving my Blondie station on Pandora.

Being a maker has taught me: That the best way to do something is usually the simplest and most organic. If it is feeling too complicated, it probably is.

Egg Press Valentine's Day cards

If you really want to get those eyelashes ^^^^ batting - and trust me, you do - bring up a date, perhaps a nice Old Fashioned & maybe some piping hot donuts with her trifecta of dream men:  Jeff Goldblum, Steve Martin, & Bill Murray. I'll leave you with that, dear reader. Want to know  more about this maker? Follow @hacmaca on Instagram! If you have specific questions you’d like to see answered in future maker profiles, please email me at anna@betsyandiya.com. Cheers, Anna ***Song of the Moment: Goodies by Ciara***

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