Designer Spotlight: Alexis Garrett
A brief story of what you do and why you do it:
I design and make accessories that are effortless to wear and that tell a story. Each piece has meaning, whether it is a gift that was given or an occasion of celebration, our jewelry and accessories accent the personality and style of the wearer.
How did you get into jewelry design?
I fell in to jewelry design by accident. During a foundry class in college, I was struggling with our bigger 3D projects. My professor suggested I visit with this metalsmith/sculptor who needed an intern. He wondered if working for him might help me get over my “sculptors block”. The first day at his studio he asked me where my sketchbook was what I wanted to make. I explained to him that I never wore jewelry and wasn’t sure what to start with. This was in the Fall of that year and by Christmas I had an entire collection and was gearing up for my first Trunk show. It was a leap out of my comfort zone, but has been apart of my artist career since then.
What makes your collection unique?
My collection is unique because each piece is hand-cast, and hand-finished, allowing for each piece to be perfectly imperfect. Our jewelry is simple enough for every day wear and layers well with other pieces. Our style is timeless and one that fits every personality so it is an easy gift to give as well as get because it layers with what you already have and transitions easily from workplace to night out.
What are your inspirations?
I am inspired by architecture and the history that surrounds our country and others. I am intrigued by the simplicity of less being more and the idea of clothing/accessories getting better with wear. Wearing something not just to accessorize, but to share your personality and meaning with others.
How are you making a difference in your life?
The importance of giving back within our communities is very important. Alexis Drake, LLC donates to many local charities within Wyoming as well as other charities throughout the US. Additionally, we have partnered with schools within our community to create artwork on backpacks that will be sold to benefit the building of our Children’s Museum here in Cheyenne. Getting our whole community excited about being involved in our future is how we can grow and build relationships within our city and state.
What's something unusual about you that makes you “you”?
As an artist, being different has always been ok, not necessarily comfortable, but normal. I am an only child, and growing up spent lots of time with adults. I am outgoing and social, however, I realize I thrive when I am by myself at my workbench. I lose track of time and it nurtures my soul to design and make. I used to get energy and inspiration from the big city (we lived in Chicago for a while) – the artist community there was amazingly supportive and always moving forward. Now that we live in a smaller town, my art students give me that same energy, always amazing me with their ideas and creations. Looking for that love and exploration of art in the smallest of learners has been the biggest “aha” of my career.
What's the biggest struggle in running your jewelry business like a business? OR What is your biggest success in running your business like a business?
My biggest struggle has been balancing my family life with my work life. Making that family time take priority even of my “design brain” is tricky sometimes and usually it is something that I work at all the time. This summer I have not only scheduled time with my kids, but scheduled time walking the dog and working out. I know that if I am keeping myself healthy, then I can keep my family healthy.
I am a wife and mother of 2 who teaches art education to K-6th graders by day and runs a growing jewelry and leather goods business by night. I enjoy hiking and camping with my family along with Pilates and our newest adventure, stand up paddle boarding.