STORY BY DAVID CLEWETT
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JENNIFER ANDERSON
“It has always been a dream to make jewelry my full time profession. I was an esthetician for thirty years. A year ago I gave all my clients notice that I would be changing professions in order to make jewelry full time. I decided that I want part two of my life to be all about jumping out of bed excited about what I’m doing,” Anderson explains.
Anderson had been making and selling jewelry for twenty years. Last year she committed full-time to her craft and rebranded her jewelry line by renaming the company Allora. The Italian word meaning then, thus or so signified the next step in her jewelry-making endeavor.
“Allora is a seque into something good, something new or unexpected, preparing the listener for what lies ahead. It is alerting us the good part of the story is just around the bend,” Anderson says.
Observing her father tinkering around with making jewelry originally fueled Anderson’s passion. “He was always making something new and I was interested in what he was doing. One evening he sent me home with some materials and tools and I stayed up all night working. I mean, all night until the sun came up. That’s when I was hooked,” Anderson remembers.
The pursuit of creating fine jewelry led Anderson to begin learning to solder, rivet, wax cast, set stones and take metalsmithing classes. With her passion for the unlimited possibilities combined with a more formal education, Anderson began making wearable works of art. Anderson began taking her jewelry to the beauty shop to share with her clients and coworkers. “The jewelry sold immediately and that is when I knew I was on to something,” she says.
The 2017 Eclipse jewelry line has been popular among Anderson’s customers. The jewelry is hand-stamped with 2017 Eclipse and can include coordinates to commemorate the August 2017 solar eclipse event. “It is a great souvenir and something of a collector’s piece. I will definitely do something similar for any future events like the eclipse,” Anderson offers.
Anderson’s primary goal in making jewelry is to empower women and help them feel strong and beautiful. “One thing that I’ve been wanting to do is to have women put on my jewelry and feature them as an empowered woman in the local community. Once per month I want to identify a woman who is doing something incredible and put my jewelry on her and interview her. I created this business and raised two boys on my own so it is my goal to empower women to make it on their own like I have.”
Anderson finds inspiration for her jewelry mostly by observing what people are wearing. “Every day I am always scanning what people are wearing. I take pictures in my head and recall what I have seen, what is working and draw inspiration from the colors and patterns I see. Then I make them my own.”
Anderson’s bracelets, necklaces, rings and earrings have a simplistic design that provides a classy and elegant look. They are all handcrafted with love and a keen attention to detail.
Anderson’s jewelry is available locally at Ju-bee-lee, desperado a boutique, Wander + NW, Local Joe, St. Charles Gift Shop, Sunriver Lodge Merchant Trader, Pomegranate, Magnolia Ranch in Terrebonne and in Redmond at Central Oregon Pharmacy and Compounding. Anderson can be contacted and orders can be placed at https://allorajewelry.com/jen-anderson.