The Wonderful World of ‘First Editions’ with Alyssa Smith Jewellery

How do you feel when you are told that you are second? You’re second in a race… you’re second in line to notice a brand-new release from your favourite designer… when you read on our website that ‘this piece is from the ‘second batch’ made’… it doesn’t quite have the same ring to it as being ‘first’ in line, or the ‘first to receive’, does it!?


No, it just doesn’t. Especially knowing that you could have had one of the very ‘first’ of something if you had just got there a little, teeeeeny bit sooner?

Now, how does it make you feel when you’re told that you are one of the first? One of the very first people in the world to bagsy special piece… one of the first to touch it… one of the first to BUY IT and WEAR IT!? No one else has anything like this just yet, and you will be one of the FIRST!

That makes you feel much better… right?! (Almost superior, but we won’t tell anyone that bit!) … Do you want to have that feeling all the time? To be able to show off one of the FIRST EVER pieces we made, in the world!?
And here’s the thing- When people tell you how much they love your new piece of jewellery (which, believe us- they will!) … you can then say (in your totally non-superior way!) … ‘Yeah, I got one of the first pieces ever made!’ … Love this feeling!? Then welcome to the world of first editions- this is the one for you!
 
We LOVE making our customers feel special, and anyone who has ever had a piece of jewellery from Alyssa Smith Jewellery will know that as well as spending a lot of time designing and creating wonderful jewellery for you all, we also pride ourselves on our excellent customer service, and genuinely ENJOY making your day extra sparkly with every parcel that you receive from us. We know what that feeling is like when you’re waiting for the postman (or lady!) to deliver your parcel, complete with added extras (sweeties…sparkles….)  And this is a big part of why we decided to create some wonderful first edition pieces just for you. We don’t offer our first edition pieces with every single piece we make, so you do have to wait for them to come up, but this just makes them even more sought after!



If you have followed the story of Alyssa Smith Jewellery for a while now, then you may remember the piece that started the remarkable ‘first edition’ saga, and took it by storm… Our 3D Hesketh Bear jewellery!
When we launched these incredible little bears back in April 2017, we were completely overwhelmed by how much everyone loved them, and were especially pleased when so many of you told us how excited you were that you managed to grab yourself one from the very first batch we had made- and were looking forward to receiving your mini first edition cards which came with him!



It was at this point that we realised just how much you all loved having a little authentication card to prove that you have a first edition piece.  The care that went into hand writing the product and date on each tiny card was quite time consuming (especially the amount of metallic gold pens we went through!) but the reaction from our customers over them was just incredible!
 
Thereafter, we decided to add the miniature first edition cards to some of our favourite and most special new designs (begged for by you!) such as Rainbow the baby unicorn, the Iconic Scooter and most recently, our stunning Kiwi bird and prancing horse and many, many more… And you guys seem to LOVE it and we can definitely see why! Like we say though, we don’t launch every single design as a first edition- and sometimes the first editions can range from just 10 available, right up to about 50- and they sell very quickly indeed! Once all of our first editions have gone, we can never issue any more first editions- so if you’re lucky enough to be the owner of one, don’t loose your little collector card!

 


How to get a first edition card and piece…

Okay, so here’s the low down! For those of you who may not have seen much of our jewellery before or have never managed to get your hands on our gorgeous first edition pieces, this is how it works:
  1. Go to our website www.alyssasmith.co.uk if you’re not already on it (why not save it as a favourite whilst you’re at it!? Aren’t we cheeky!)
  2. Type in the first edition piece that you recently saw i.e. Clarence the kiwi into the search bar
  3. Check the title of the jewellery you wish to order to see if it says FIRST EDITION
    • If yes; just add the amazing piece to your basket, go to checkout and place your order
    • If no; then you may have just missed out ☹ but that is okay, because we are always launching new designs based on what you want to see next, so fingers crossed you will get your hands on our next wonderful first edition piece!
  4. Alternatively, if you’re not sure which piece of jewellery you want and want to browse which pieces we currently have as first editions- you can type ‘first edition’ into our website search bar, and all of our current first editions will filter through!
  5. Once you have placed your order, all you need to do it tell EVERYONE that you managed to bag yourself an astonishing first edition piece from Alyssa Smith Jewellery and leave all the hard work to us
 
It is really that easy… so what are you waiting for? Be one of the first… not second!
Those of you who already have first edition piece(s)… Isn’t the feeling of opening your little box or pouch and reading your miniature first edition card a just the best? Looking at your piece and knowing that you have, in your hands, one of the first ever pieces of this kind?


 
We hope that you love all your miniature masterpieces from us (first edition or not) and we would love to hear all about how happy your little sparkles make you feel - and of course, the meanings behind why you chose that particular piece- Get in touch with us on social media or via email – we will always do our best to share your story with our other fans and jewellery lovers- what a lovely little community we have built, and we absolutely love having you all as a part of it! 😊
 

Don’t forget to sparkle!
Lots of love
#TeamAlyssa x

 
Written by- Jade
Edited by- Alyssa

 

LET’S TAKE A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE…

Can Team Alyssa scoop the trophy- commonly referred to the Oscars of the jewellery world!

The UK Jewellery Awards 2018 are fast approaching- the glittering awards night is taking place on July 4th this year (Alyssa’s dress is at the ready – you may have spotted it on social media!)

 

ALYSSA HAS MADE IT THROUGH AND BEEN NAMED A FINALIST IN THE CATEGORY FOR ‘BEST JEWELLERY DESIGNER OF THE YEAR’ (Eeeeekkkk!!!!)
 

We just cannot believe it!! For those outside of the industry and those who have never heard of these prestigious awards, we can only refer to them as the Oscars of the jewellery world. Nominee’s flashing up on the large screens will often include global brands and household names such as Pandora, John Lewis and Swarovski- but this year, there is a little boutique brand who will also be flashing up- and its designer- Alyssa, of Alyssa Smith Jewellery!

This award is one that Alyssa has always wanted (or more accurately, dreamed!) of being considered for- and this year, that has finally come true! We don’t find out if she’s won until July- but I think we can safely say that even making it through to the finals for this one is good enough in our books. Our boutique and niche jewellery brand are one that we are so proud of, and in the great scheme of things- is still a baby. Currently just 8 years old and started right after Alyssa graduated from University- it was a company that was born from nothing but pure passion for creating beautiful jewellery- and not from someone with any previous knowledge of training of business, or how to start or grow a brand. That being said- Alyssa soon learnt to leave her mark on the jewellery industry. Whilst we eagerly await the announcement (and we promise we won’t cry if we don’t win!) we thought this would be a brilliant opportunity to give you a little recap of our journey. This is for both our older customers who have followed our journey for many years and seen us grow, struggle, overcome and expand again, and a little reminder of the years gone past- and for those of you who are new to falling in love with our jewellery and brand! We would love you to see, in a nutshell so to speak, just how far we have come on our journey into the jewellery world until 2018. We still have a long way to go, and so many more designs to share with you all though, so don’t think it ends here!

 

Make yourself comfy, pour yourself your favourite brew and we shall begin…

 

Alyssa Smith Jewellery – Where It All Began

Let’s start with a look back to the early days of Alyssa Smith Jewellery and the first successful piece Alyssa designed – the Tweetie bird. This piece was inspired by the Twitter bird logo.
Travel back in time to 2010, social media was only just becoming BIG and Alyssa wanted to make something different, off the wall and totally unique. Something that had not been explored in jewellery before was the theme of social media its self - so this was a brilliant idea- and actually the reason Alyssa managed to break into the jewellery industry. She had made other designs before hand- inspired by nature, animals, you get the idea- but nothing that really stood out as totally UNIQUE.
Now, we must remind you that it wasn’t the exact Twitter bird and just inspired by, but perfect for all social media fans.  Alyssa also launched a series of other social media inspired pieces including a ‘totes’ necklace (which for those of you scratching your head, means Totally!) and a hashtag necklace too. It was the Tweetie design that helped us establish our place in the jewellery industry though with our unique, socially led brand. Celebrities such our very own Suzi Perry, as well as Sheridan Smith, Gail Porter, Dawn O ‘Porter to name but a few (wow!) were all posting photos of themselves in their Tweetie jewellery! Theo Paphitis even has Tweetie cufflinks (more about Theo’s role in ASJ’s later)! Before the Tweetie design was released, Alyssa Smith Jewellery didn’t even have its own website and people would just ring up to place an order and send a cheque. How things have changed!!!
We have since anchored out feet firmly within jewellery industry with our socially inspired, demand driven and unique miniature masterpieces.
Winning countless industry awards and crossing our fingers and toes for another title at the Jewellery Awards this year are just a few of the successes we’ve found along the way! (But hang on, just to let you know- it’s not all singing and dancing- we would be lying if we said we hadn’t had doors slammed in our faces, opportunities taken away from us and things go wrong. So, we would just like to add that for anyone out there who thinks business is all glorious!)
We hope our little business continues to grow in the way it has since 2010!! We may be tempted to bring this original, best-selling design back one day... but we might make many more new pieces instead.





Moving into Motorsports Jewellery

Fast forwarding from 2010, but actually way back in 2013-  Suzi Perry landed the prestigious job as Motorsports TV Broadcaster, which of course she was fantastic at. Suzi (who had worn some of Alyssa’s early designs including the Tweetie bird above) and was a huge support to Alyssa, asked her to make her something F1 inspired for her to wear for her new job - so Alyssa cut around a teeny chequered flag and waved it with pliers to create the VERY FIRST PIECE of motorsports jewellery - and Twitter went absolutely crazy for it!
It was first designed and made just for Suzi to wear on TV, but soon- you all wanted one too (and we can see why)!!! This was the first motorsports themed piece we ever launched and that is how the Smith & Perry collection was born. It really was that simple! There was no great plan or mastermind behind it really- and Alyssa then started making small race tracks and sending them all over the world to Suzi’s hotel for her to wear at each race on TV - the demand for it was huge!

Since then, the collection has grown and grown, with us adding a few new tracks each year and we now have so many race tracks for sale, and even pistons which move on a tiny hinge now! You may also not be aware that we donate proceeds from the sale of each piece from the Smith and Perry collection to Promise Dreams Children’s Charity, which Suzi is patron of. So, every piece you purchase has contributed to the £10,000+ we have already donated to them. Amazing!!! We are so proud of this!
 
Find our flags here, which are still available in our very original design as the necklace, and now in even SMALLER perfectly engineered designs as charms and earrings too




Theo’s advice was golden

For the next chapter of our wonderful story, we are fast forwarding another 2 years to 2015.

After a meeting with entrepreneur, Theo Paphitis, Alyssa was given a very valuable golden nugget of advice from him (thank you Theo!!!) - He strongly suggested that Alyssa needed to work out how to make her designs in 3D - and give them an extra edge. Feeling that she had hit a brick wall, Alyssa left feeling this was never going to be achievable and that she would never grow the company in the way she wanted.
But not one to give up, she saved as many profits from the business as possible and designed the very first 3D piece - the miniature solid sterling silver crash helmet! This took Facebook (as well as twitter) by storm and we sold out of our first batch in just 1 week (wow!!!). They were signed by Suzi herself on the back on the helmet. We have now expanded the range to include one with a Silverstone logo on the back, driver/rider numbers and a personalisation service to choose your own engraving too! The helmet is still as popular today as it was when it first launched. A firm favourite with you all!


2015 really was a fabulous year for ASJ and actually, a turning point in both terms of design and growth!!! The first 3D design was born, and the creation of Team Alyssa too!... Find out how Nat and Jade joined the team in our next chapter!!!

 

Team Alyssa was born!!!

Around the same time as Alyssa's incredibly useful meeting with Theo, Natalie and Jade joined Alyssa's magical kingdom- commonly and actually now officially (even by royal mail!) known as Sparkle Towers HQ.  
Natalie actually came on to the scene way back in 2011 as a customer (after spotting the Tweetie design on Dawn O ‘Porter) and soon became a walking, talking, sparkly advert for ASJ! Hehe!! 😉

 

Natalie joined Alyssa in July 2015 to help with social media and general customer enquiries, she knew almost as much about Alyssa’s products as Alyssa herself, so she was the obvious choice when the position became available. She is regularly seen floating around in cyber space helping you with all your queries!! Don't forget to say hi to her next time you visit our social media pages! In the October, Jade joined the team as Apprentice extraordinaire, Alyssa’s PA, and helped with the endless customer enquires too (we all love chatting to you all…by the way!)

Jade is just about to complete level 3 of her apprenticeship and will soon be progressing to management training with Alyssa! Well done Jade! It’s a fantastic achievement whilst working full time too!

Team Alyssa was then born! Team Alyssa are often seen causing mischief and mayhem wherever they go – and you wouldn’t want to see it any other way, right? 😉

Wow!! 2015 really was a fabulous year for ASJ!!! The first 3D design and an expansion of the team!! Thank you to Theo for such valuable advice, which has helped to shape ASJ today!! Alyssa proved that ‘I’m possible’ even when it seemed ‘impossible’ to produce a 3D design.  


DREAM BIG, SHINE BRIGHT

What year is it now!? Oh! Yes- 3 years later and we’re in 2018 in our penultimate chapter of the story.

Since she can remember, Alyssa has always dreamed being in the same category and awarding body as the large brands such as Pandora, Swarovski and John Lewis - and this year we have made our mark in the jewellery industry with our innovative designs! We can’t wait to find out if we have won at the UK Jewellery Awards this July - but even getting this far is such a huge achievement for a boutique, niche brand such as ours. And wearing a sparkly dress to the awards do is an added bonus!!! 😉

Moving into more 3D designs was a turning point for Alyssa Smith Jewellery. We also designed and added our very first MOVING piece to the collection in 2016, the incredible miniature sterling silver piston, this innovative design has proved very popular with the motorsport community - and also our stunning tyre which actually spins - we love playing with these on our bracelets and we hope you do too.

Following on from this, our first non-motorsports 3D piece arrived!!! A teeny-weeny dinosaur came back from extinction – and we welcomed Dinky the dinosaur into the ASJ family!!! This little guy is still one of our favourites (and yours too) and he has a few more friends to play with now! 😉

Both the motorsports and non-motorsports areas of the brand are expanding and growing with new 3D pieces being added to the collection each year! We now have miniature cars (scaled down replicas of the real thing (incredible!!!), motorbikes, engine parts, an entire zoo of animals and our incredible opening Babushka locket with a secret!! Wow!!


 

Facing the judges

You may remember that Alyssa attended the judging day on 11th May 2018 for the UK Jewellery Awards, taking with her a selection of our finest miniature masterpieces. These were our most innovative and revolutionary pieces from over the past 12 months – we hope the judges loved them. The requirements for the awards were that we had to take along, 5 pieces that had been designed and made between January 2017 and January 2018.

First up was our miniature Hesketh 308 car, this is a replica of James Hunt’s actual racing car, scaled right down into thumb nail size. We spent MONTHS of designing and product development before they were ready to show to our lovely customers!! Attention to detail is totally our 'thing' when it comes to jewellery- even down to the brush stroke sized gold-plated stripes and miniature 308 logo which has been applied to the base of EVERY....SINGLE....ONE!


Next up was our Hesketh Bear, a 2D yellow bear turned into 3-dimensional perfect form. This tiny bear features an engraved union jack across his helmet, and the base of every bear features the ‘Hesketh by ASJ’ logo. Perfect for those wanting to wear a little piece of history every day!

We also took our incredible piston (our first ever moving piece!!!!) a miniature engine part which isn’t the car itself, but part of the inside. Making something normally not wearable - into a wearable item. And the movement on this piece makes it stand out!!!

Last, but most definitely not least, we took our miniature opening Russian doll locket. This incredible piece opens on the tiniest of hinges to reveal a secret inside! A glittering crystal to represent a birthday, anniversary of special date. Wow!! She is made entirely in sterling silver, with delicate engraved features. She has been a firm favourite with you all since her arrival.

 
We really hope the judges were blown away with our miniature masterpieces. Fingers, toes and anything else you can think of crossed for a happy ending for Alyssa and the Team - getting to the finals is insane and a huge honour anyway, but we would be over the moon if our designs were considered different enough to win!!! Squeeeee!!!! 
 
Thanks to all our customers for your continued support, it really means the world to us. Our aim is to continue bringing you even more amazing, miniature masterpieces and more collaborations with organisations and brands who we feel you would love. Don’t forget though- we also have a bespoke jewellery service where we can make you a unique design just for yourself (or a loved one!) This is a great way to make something personal for yourself that you can love and keep forever- we just love making sentimental pieces for you and it brings another dimension to our jewellery design!
 
 
Lots of love and thank you so much for reading our story so far!
 
 Team Alyssa xoxo
 
Written by-Natalie
Edited by- Alyssa

And Now for a little bit of history - Combining the old with the new!


At ASJ we have long been fans of the super cute "babushka dolls" that you are probably already familiar with from your own childhood memories. Probably to put it more accurately, anything collectable, tiny and adorable has got our names all over it!

 

In case you aren’t too familiar, this little traditional set of wooden dolls decrease in size, and fit one inside another- the smallest one being everyones favourite- right?

 

Nat’s mum has a set of Russian Dolls which are very traditional in appearance with the well known facial features and colours, and Nat always remembers playing with them as a child; unpacking and packing the little dolls together, and getting to the teeny tiny baby at the centre- which was always her favourite!

 

Alyssa, on the other hand collected wooden Russian Dolls as a child, but would always take the teeniest, baby doll out and replace that with something else- taking the baby doll out and introducing it as the new baby to her other collection of Sylvanian families!

 

But there is something we will always remember about these little collectables- and it’s the noise! Who remembers the noise of the screeching wooden dolls as you stacked and unstacked them?

 

And for a little bit of history- These dolls are also known as Matryoshka dolls, Russian nesting dolls or stacking dolls- The outer layer is traditionally always a Russian woman or Babushka (meaning "grandmother" or "old woman"), dressed in a sarafan, a traditional Russian peasant jumper dress.

 

The smallest doll is typically a tiny baby, crafted from a single piece of wood- and the smallest baby doll does not open. 

 

These lovely little dolls are thought to symbolise fertility (due to their egg-like shape!) and generally show different generations of a family, starting with the grandmother down to the younger family members- isn’t that just lovely?

 

 

According to history, the first Russian doll set was made in 1890, and over time they have become a symbol of Russia itself.

 

 

We just love an intricate pattern, so it’s no wonder we are so fascinated with these little dolls-

 

You’ve probably noticed that these dolls are beautifully decorated in bright colours and patterns- usually in a folk style, with flowers being one of the most traditional themes! Each type of flower represents the city where the dolls are crafted; usually, the flowers are painted as designs on the shawls and aprons of the Babushka. We’ve incorporated this intricate floral design into our tiny, miniature version in sterling silver- using special laser engraving techniques- because if one thing is for sure, we couldn’t miss the beautiful patterns from our own version, could we?

 

 

The Babushka doll is a symbol of a strong female matriarch, and traditionally a central figure in the Russian family. As an up and coming British brand with strong and dedicated females at the heart of the company, we thought this new piece was not just a beautiful new addition to our jewellery collection, but that she is also a perfect symbol of #girlpower!

 

Our new “Babushka” is expertly crafted in sterling silver (as all our pieces are) and she is so tiny! She stands no bigger than a finger nail in size, at just 1.3cm in height – and has a pretty incredible surprise too…. Not the kinder surprise type- this surprise is even better!

 

Both our Babushka necklace and charm open in the middle, just like the traditional dolls, but on a tiny, weeny secret hinge! You have the option to have our Babushka as plain sterling silver, or you can add a little Swarovski crystal birthstone inside your Babushka to represent a special birthday or anniversary. You can even opt for a rose quartz coloured Swarovski crystal to symbolise the stone of ‘love’!

 

Only you will know Babushka’s secret!! How special is that!?

 

We really hope you will love this strong symbolic piece as much as we have enjoyed the project of it’s design and innovation…We think it’s just zoomed straight to the top of our favourites list!!!

 

Writer- Natalie

Editor- Alyssa

Love is in the air- and it’s not all just about mathematics, either!

The infinity symbol is all very pretty, but what does it actually mean?

Gaining popularity over recent years, especially in jewellery and tattoos, it would be easy to mistake this pretty and aesthetically pleasing symbol as a new, trendy arrival on the fashion scene- with everyone seeming to have one in their jewellery wardrobe. But this little symbol is now one of the most worn, and loved jewellery designs that's ever been, and the trend for Infinity jewellery sees no sign of slowing down or losing popularity any time soon!

But the infinity symbol is indeed something which has been used for a very long time, throughout the ages. Various cultures including Indian and Tibetan cultures used the infinity symbol to represent different concepts and ideas. In some cultures, the symbol represented perfection and equilibrium between the male and female gender. It was also used in Celtic knot designs, (you may have seen our Celtic knot earrings)…and Celtic knots (very much like the infinity symbol!) have no beginning and no end. The infinity design is also present in the Celtic cross. If you start looking, you might even see the infinity figure of 8 in many other pieces of artwork, jewellery and designs too- once you know what you're looking for! We have used the infinity symbol in many of our designs over the years, even hiding them inside hearts for some of our pieces.



This being said, the modern-day infinity symbol was discovered by English mathematician John Wallis, in 1655- a mathematical symbol which symbolises a quantity with no end, and something larger than the highest of numbers.

In ancient times, Greek mathematicians and philosophers knew the infinity as the Lemniscate, which means ‘ribbon’. The idea came form The Ouroboros, an ancient symbol depicting a serpent biting its own tail. It was said to represent infinite immortality, continuity, self-fertilization and eternal return.
Today, we appreciate the Infinity symbol as not just a mathematical quantity- but an endless symbol celebrating love or connection. The two circles inter-connect, and represent relationship, and the idea of being together for ever/eternal love. On a non-romantic level, it can also be a connection of everlasting love for other things, such as sister to sister, friend to friend, mother and daughter. 

You can pick up a pen or pencil, and draw this symbol in one, swift movement. You will see that it has neither a beginning or an end- so also symbolises the idea of no limitations and infinite possibilities- which we love!

This symbol isn't just perfect for those who wish it to represent love and connection, but also those who believe in infinite possibilities and no limits... Have a think about how the infinity symbol could be personal to you- because it means so much more than love!


View our entire range of infinity jewellery here- including earrings, necklaces, bracelets and gorgeous anklets! We like to keep our infinity designs small, delicate and perfect for every day wear

Lots of love,

#TeamAlyssa x
 

Celebrating a 4 times world champion in the sparkliest of ways!

A little message to all our Formula One loving customers and fans… Who remembers back in 2008 when Lewis Hamilton won his first ever Formula One world title? An unforgettable moment in history! 9 years later and trusty Lewis has now been crowned the incredible 4-times Formula One world champion – How time flies right?! And who would have thought it back when Lewis was racing his go karts as a young teen!

At Alyssa Smith Jewellery, we are extremely proud to be world renowned for our motorsports themed jewellery, which consists of everything from expertly crafted miniature race tracks in sterling silver to miniature car parts, including a tiny piston which moves on a hinge! Some of our much-loved pieces include the Silverstone circuit which we have exclusive rights to reproduce in jewellery, our #44 engraved helmet, and something you may not have seen- our gorgeous entwined triple ring necklace and earrings



 

Did you know, these were originally designed and made to celebrate when Lewis won his 3rd world title!? That’s right, the three rings are completely entwined, featuring two silvers and one rose gold ring, and a gorgeous star in the centre! This collection has been fantastic for our Lewis fans, but is equally as popular with our other non-Formula One loving customers because it really is so beautiful, and goes with pretty much everything!

Over the years, Team Alyssa have been huge supporters of Lewis Hamilton as he was born in the same county as us, and was in the year above Alyssa at school- In fact, Alyssa’s MUM’S claim to fame is that she once made Lewis a Ribena when he popped over to Alyssa’s house when they were teenagers!

We have been very proud to launch all our celebratory pieces for Lewis, which have all been carefully thought out in both meaning, and design. Does anyone else remember the awesome piece that we launched when Lewis won his 2nd world title? For those who don’t remember, or who are relatively new to the world of ASJ, we created a piece that incorporated the Yas Marina track which was the last track that was raced around that year where he was crowned, and the number 44, which was hand carved inside the track! Alyssa hand made 44 of these incredible pieces, and each one came with a special edition card which stated which of the 44 they owned!



You may be asking about his first world title…
“What about when Lewis won his first world championship?” … As this was in 2008, it was before our time! Alyssa Smith Jewellery was only born in 2010, meaning we weren’t able to make a celebratory piece for his first ever title… But we definitely think we have made up for it…
 
Now for the great reveal…!
You may (if you’ve been stalking our social media)! or may not have seen (if you haven’t…why!?)… our BRAND NEW release of the stunning Yas Marina race track pendant with a gorgeous and unique iridescent mystic topaz set into it, which has a variation of colours from blue to purple in different lights! For those who are unsure what the symbolisation is for the stone, as the last race for this year is in November and at Yas Marina, the stone that represents the November month is a Topaz.  
We couldn’t just use any topaz though could we? This is a very special commemorative and celebratory piece, so we have searched high and low for a Topaz to match this special occasion, and we think you will agree- this stone is just PERFECT!



But here’s the thing, we will only be making 10 of these special edition pieces, all of which will be hand-made to order, for each customer! This means that you will need to allow for some time for these to be made, but remember, once these 10 are gone, we will not be making anymore! These spectacular pieces will also come with a miniature first edition card numbered from 1-10.  What number will you get?
 
If you do happen to miss out (because these are already selling fast!) then please do feel free to contact us (your favourite jewellery elves!) via email or on Facebook for information on our bespoke service. Also, if you were looking to have a different stone set (maybe your birthstone or a stone representing an important month to you) then let us know and we will give you all the details for this
 
Enjoy our very special new addition to ASJ, and have a wonderful day!
Lots of love,
#TeamAlyssa x
 

Deep in the Heart of Herts is where the magic happens!

A glimpse behind the scenes at Alyssa Smith Jewellery! Come and see inside our world and our magical workshop of a place that we like to call Sparkle Towers! - By Alyssa Smith

Side car, Sidecar

And deep inside the heart of the countryside is where the magic happens on a daily basis!
The sparkly elves from Hertfordshires Best Retailer 2017; Alyssa Smith Jewellery practice their workshop skills all year round (elves are for life you see, not just for Christmas!)
 

biz4biz

We spend our days and nights turning ideas, innovative concepts and customers popular requests (you all know who you are!) into hand drawn sketches consisting of good old fashioned pen or pencil, on paper! And yes, you did read the right- days AND nights! I have even been known to wake up in the night with an idea which simply cannot wait until morning to be written down- so I’ve ended up drawing basic concepts, ideas and stories onto whatever I have to hand at that time. The latest ‘ideas book’ was the side of my specsavers contact lens box as it was the only thing I had close by with a big enough surface area to take my random doodles! Even our Jade is now at it, and has even been known to get her ideas book out during a DATE (I know..a DATE!) and sketch something out before she forgets. Wonder if she saw him again… Chuckle chuckle!
 
So back to the elves (us). Once our designs are sketched properly (about a million times) and the concept is clear and precise, the little sparkly elves wave their magic wands and turn these hand drawn sketches and concepts into miniature, exquisite and collectable masterpieces in precious metals! If only it was as quick as waving a magic wand though- sometimes the development and prototyping stage for each piece can take months- I think the longest time frame our designs have been in development stage is around 11 months. The piece which took the longest to make was our incredible 3 dimensional helmet necklace- as seen on tv presenter Suzi Perry
 

Helmet

 
This piece was our VERY FIRST 3 dimensional design, and getting it just right (wearable, affordable, durable, looking just SO!) took ages! Other designs which have taken extra long to design and prototype was our first origami piece, the incredible crane- as scaling down something normally made in paper, with such a complexity of folds, and making it in sterling silver was really hard- but worth it! Our spinning tyre and motorbike took ages too. The detail inside the wheel on both of these items was incredibly hard to master, but we’re so pleased to say that all of these items are our best sellers, so the saying ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ certainly applies to our designs too!
So if you’ve ever wondered how our ideas are born, nurtured and then turned into our beloved ‘borrower’ sized pieces, then pull up a chair, make yourself a nice brew, and feast your eyes on these awesome photos from behind the scenes at #teamalyssa’s amazing workshop!
The first time we ever shared these ‘behind the scenes’ photoboards was in a newsletter to our club Alyssa members in May 2017, but as time has gone on, we thought it would be lovely to write a blog so those of you who missed the newsletter could also see a little bit of the behind the scenes action!
Now, whether you’re into your Motorsports, like many of our customers- or you’re not into your Motorsports (also like many of our customers!) … there is no doubt about it that you will enjoy seeing the design process, and how our designs come to life. We’re going to share with you the design process for one of our popular motorsports themed pieces- the sidecar!
 
This same process is present throughout all of our designs, and we hope this blog post will give you a small insight into our jewellery, what we get up to every week (when we’re not drinking coffee, being silly and eating the sweets that were supposed to go in all of your packages!) Hopefully after you’ve read this, it will even also add a new dimension to your love for your favourite little jewellery company!



First things first. The concept! Without a concept or an idea, you of course have no product!

Our initial inspiration has always, and will always come from our wonderful customers and their requests and suggestions....which is then translated into pen on paper as rough designs.  This is of course after extensive research into each subject matter, legalities, whether it would work or not, whether it’s already ‘been done’, and even perhaps if the idea is past its sell by date! (to put it bluntly!)! At this stage, we will also decide how big (or should we say, SMALL!) our new creation should be! This is super duper important, because if something is made too big, it becomes clunky, clumsy, unwearable and potentially very expensive. If it’s too small, we risk losing important detail to the intricate design, and sometimes the detail is too important to be missed!  


 
Look and look again! Revisions of the designs are always important, allowing us to make changes and make sure we get things spot on before we proceed to the next stage. In case you didn’t know, Alyssa is a perfectionist and nothing passes by her without every millimetre being inspected, but when you're working in such miniature form...you have to be a perfectionist!

 

It is also important to note that designs are ALWAYS produced with the accompaniment of snacks, and also usually wine! We really don’t have a set place or routine to come up with our new designs, but involving food always makes things way more fun- and after reading a recent news article, apparently a few glasses of wine ‘loosens you up’ creatively, so it’s no surprise most of our excellent brain waves and designs involve wine. Now, whoever wrote that article is probably trying to kid themselves that wine is good for you, but in this instance, we definitely agree!


 
Next steps- After design is decided upon, sizes are worked out and we are generally happy bunnies with a new design, the long and painful process of computer aided design takes up a lot of time during the design stage of our jewellery. It's important we get every angle of our new design correct.

When the piece is a 3d engineered item, the final thing won't look perfect unless it’s perfect from every single angle.... So at this stage, we will move areas of the design, around slightly, or change an angle of something- sometimes even by less than a millimetre… even if it's just by a fraction, it still needs to be perfect!!
In this image you can see how the space between the wheels has been moved a FEW millimetres closer together... this is just one of the changes we will make at this stage before progressing with the design any further!
 
Once Alyssa is happy with every last detail of the computer generated design images, from every single angle... and has looked at it, compared it with sketches and other important bits & bobs.... the design is taken to the next stage!!

How to make it wearable! This may sound straight forward, but there is a lot to thin about at this stage! …Where will it suspend from!? …Where will an earring back be soldered on… How will it hang to make it look the best it possibly can? …If it’s a charm, we need to make sure it’s suspended in a way that the dangling bits won’t catch on things too! This stage is where the finer details are applied before translating it into a metal 'master'.

Of course, how exactly that is done will remain in our Secrets Box, at the top of our Top Secret Shelf, which is locked with a Top Secret key!


 
What’s next!? Do we just twiddle our thumbs and wait!?
Hehe, NO! Now the master has been made- we will use this to create the jewellery from... but in solid sterling silver! We make our jewellery in small batches, so you will often see things sell out, or items on ‘pre order’, where you can order something and wait to have it delivered when the next batch is finished… Once the jewellery is finished being made, it has to have a final polish, pass through our quality control, and let’s not forget that lots of our pieces are also hallmarked too.



We take such pride in absolutely everything we make, right from the concept stage, to the actual manufacture, and even packaging the jewellery up when it leaves our workshop is important to us! All of our jewellery collections have their own packaging and mini information cards… and let’s not forget the sparkling extras we pop into your parcels and yummy sweets!
We hope you have loved seeing the designs come to life, and if you own our jewellery already.... you will have another bit of the story to add to your piece...now you know exactly how it's made! YAY! If you’re yet to own some of our jewellery, then hopefully this will be something you can look forward to in the future! Each piece of ASJ is made, and packaged with love and sparkles!!

Title- Behind the Scenes at Alyssa Smith Jewellery
Publisher- Alyssa Smith
Editor- Alyssa Smith
Date- 14/09/17