Meet Our Vendor: Indigo Alice Designs
We are excited to have new vendor Indigo Alice Designs at our winter show!
Who are you and what do you do?
We’re Billie Alice and Olivia Indigo, a team of two long time friends who love making jewelry. We make all of our jewelry entirely from hand, instead of getting parts manufactured elsewhere, through casting or other procedures. This is not the most precise way to do it, and definitely not the fastest, but for us, the process is just as important as the final product. Neither of us are very girly, and we believe that you don’t have to be a fancy femme to wear jewelry. We try to convey this in our photography, using non-traditional models from a variety of backgrounds. We aim to make handmade jewelry accessible to many budgets, so you don’t have to be rich either. Handcrafted jewelry for all!
What’s the latest thing you’ve been working on?
Silver, silver, silver! We got a lot of feedback from customers at last year’s show asking for more silver jewelry, so we listened! We have lots of new designs, and have started offering some older designs in silver too.
Any new exciting news you’d like to share with our readers?
We have now started carrying Septum rings! I was tired of my boring old ring, and decided to make a new one. They turned out to be a hit! We have a couple styles, in mostly Sterling silver, but we’re working on expanding the offerings.
What was your first memory of making something?
Both of us were raised by craftspeople, including a jeweler. I loved making Shrinky Dink jewelry as a little kid. Not much has changed, we just don’t put our earrings in the toaster oven anymore.
What is your favorite new product for 2017?
I am pretty into the new Snake Earrings, which feature vintage glass beads from Czechoslovakia that were traded into Africa in the early 20th century. They are these neat interlocking chevron shaped beads that can slide up and down the earring. We don’t often use a lot of bright colors in our jewelry, but I’m excited about the bright reds, yellows and blues we use in these.
How far will you be traveling to come to UCU?
Just from Portland. I like to think of Seattle as Portland’s big sister, feels close enough to be family, but a little bigger and more grown up.
What do you love most about craft show vending?
Most of the time we sell our jewelry to stores, and don’t get to interact with the public very much. It’s so rewarding to get to see people interact with our jewelry and get to talk to them about how we make it.
How did you get started in your business?
In our high school years we would get together and make jewelry on Billie’s coffee table from old beer cans and vintage beads from Olivia’s mom. We would then set up a small table at the local First Friday Art Walk and sell our wares. We always had a lot of fun doing this which probably set the wheels in motion for our business partnership. So, when Billie moved to Portland we decided to make it official.
Where do you see your business in 3 years?
We would love to expand our business in the next three years. Our ideal situation would be to move to a bigger studio and have employees to help with production. We have both spent years working as production assistants for other small jewelry businesses and have truly appreciated all they have done for us. We want to give that experience back to young people interested in the field while paying them fairly and teaching them the craft.
Who’s your biggest fan?
Probably our friend and former neighbor Amy. She was one of our first customers, and even did some modeling for us. She still orders from us regularly, even from her new home in Hawaii.
What’s something you’ve learned through running your business in the past 12 months?
To keep things simple. Sometimes the best designs are the simplest.
What’s your favorite item that you sell?
The best thing about having a jewelry company is designing new things, I make a new favorite item every month! But I do have a soft spot for our beloved Billie Hoops. Billie still wears them everyday, and still gets compliments on them. They’re big and bold, but lightweight and comfortable at the same time. The hooked closure also means that they work for people with gauged ears as well.
What do your customers love most about your product(s)?
We’ve gotten lots of good feedback from our customers. People say they like that we stand out from the crowd by staying true to our unique aesthetic. It can be difficult to set yourself apart when there’s so much jewelry out there. We try to be different while keeping our designs wearable for everyday people.
What’s the best experience you’ve ever had with one of your customers?
I love seeing men and gender neutral people trying on our jewelry, dispelling the myth that big hoops are just for ladies!
Be sure you follow us on Instagram for your chance to win your own Snake Necklace. Choose from three different color combos!