Most of you will know about Alyssa Smith. Her marvellous motorsport jewellery has caught the imagination of thousands and are adored by both fans and those in the media. Taking time from her crazy schedule, I managed to catch up with Alyssa to find out where the idea of a motorsport collection came about and what life as a jewellery designer is really like.
“The motorsport themed jewellery came about when motorsports presenter Suzi Perry and I were talking about making her some new jewellery,” Alyssa recalled. “Suzi had just landed the job of Formula 1 TV presenter with the BBC, and she said to me ‘I need some new jewellery to wear whilst I’m presenting the Formula 1’.
“We then had a brain storm and decided that I would try to make a little silver flag. I hand cut this from a sheet of silver, piercing out every single chequered flag square by hand very carefully, and then kinked the flag with pliers to make it look like it was blowing in the wind! I had no idea that everyone would love it so much! Suzi then wore this on TV whilst she presented the F1 and everyone started to tweet her asking where they could buy one! So that’s where the motorsports themed jewellery started really.
“We then decided that I would make each track that Suzi was going to. I’d go round cutting each track out, hand polishing it, make it into a necklace and then send it to her hotel, using Malaysia as an example, ready for her to wear just before the race! It was almost a race against time for me to make each track and send it around the world in time for each race, but it was such fun. The reaction from people all over the world was incredible, and so this is when the race track jewellery was born!
“Suzi had the original love and passion for all things motorsport, and my passion was within jewellery and making miniature masterpieces- when the two passions were married together, the result was, I hope you will agree- amazing! We now make lots of different motorsports themed jewellery, and have branched out into other motorsports themes such as MOTOGP, and are slowly adding more and more mini masterpieces to the collection.”
It’s clear the passion Alyssa has for her craft. She not only creates exquisite pieces that offer the customer something unique and stylish, but also fantastic quality. In addition to having Perry as the face of the motorsport collection, he has support from ex-Dragons Den star Theo Paphitis who has offered brilliant business advice and is a huge fan of her cufflinks.
Constantly creating her miniature works of art, I wanted to know how long it takes to make an item of jewellery?
“That’s actually very similar to the time old question of ‘how long is a piece of string?’. Jewellery making really does vary from piece to piece – based on the intricacy of the item, the size, the metal and also the amount of work in the piece, soldering, engraving, stone setting and detail required as examples. It is very varied from piece to piece. I do however enjoy each and every project I make- traditional silversmithing techniques are something I am very familiar with, and being so passionate about my job means that it never feels as though I’m ‘working’. I love seeing projects come to life from my initial ideas, sketches and doodles- I’ll never get bored of that!
As well as selling online, Alyssa Smith Ltd were gifted some incredible opportunities last year.
“We are very lucky to have gained exclusive permission from some of the top circuits to sell their track in jewellery, which is a huge achievement- including Silverstone. We even had exclusive showcases at this years F1, and MotoGP. With that we got to meet some of our amazing customers and show people in person our miniature masterpieces – as we don’t actually stock any jewellers anywhere- and normally, the only place you can buy our pieces is online! People loved seeing the jewellery in real life, and trying on some fully loaded charm bracelets it was a great experience and we hope to do it again next year.
“We also donate a proportion of all proceeds from our motorsports themed jewellery to the children’s charity, Promise Dreams. They grant terminally and seriously poorly children wishes- it’s so great to be a part of that.
Thumbnail Source. I do not own the image and have tried to give credit where possible.