When you are truly passionate about something, you will somehow make your idea work. Even when you move to a brand new city with no where to live, no money in your pocket and you don’t even know what your next move is, your passion will be enough currency to move you forward in the right direction. Today’s Boss Babe took a risk by diving right into the concrete jungle by following her heart and hustling her way to the top. You know, because she’s a boss like that.
Susan Alexandra is one of the most coolest babes you will ever meet. She is brimmed with positivity and will make you feel like you have known her for years. After moving to NYC and styling for some of the biggest companies in the biz, she had decided to explore the jewelry world and started to craft bracelets that would easily ignite the inner child inside of you. That’s when Susan Alexandra was born — the funnest bracelets your eyes will ever see. Each piece is handmade and designed with symbols and shapes that could easily be in a bowl of Lucky Charms. Basically, your arms will have the ultimate sugar rush with all this arm candy. Now, everyone from Miley Cyrus to Elle Magazine has been talking about her bracelets, and that’s why we think you need to meet this one-of-a-kind Boss Babe.
We got to hang with Susan at Tacombi in the West Village where we chatted about Susan Alexandra, her go-to NYC places to eat, and her personal style — all while eating guac and chips, of course. Meet the chica that is going to be your new favorite jewelry designer, Susan Alexandra .
In my bed, drinking a “Mother F***in’ Fireball” elixir from Juice Press, next to all of my plants, listening to the sound of rain.
A song you can’t get stuck out of your head?
“Today.” It’s the really beautiful theme song from Transparent.
Describe your personal style in three words:
Funny, Found Objects, Emotional
Go-to hip hop album:
Kanye West — The College Dropout. A lot of memories are tied to this album.
A beauty product to cure dry skin?
Sometimes Olive Oil a la Sophia Loren, Aloe Gel by Epicurean or DAILĒ!
Cocktail of choice:
Green juice on the rocks with tequila and lime.
Your next travel destination:
LA and then perhaps Cuba!
We are in love with your jewelry! Tell us how you made your passion of jewelry making into a career?
I had been making jewelry for fun since I was very little. Three years ago, on a whim, I took some metal working classes. I really enjoyed the process but I’m not incredible at creating perfect lines and angles — it’s not my thing. To cover up my wonky metalwork, I began enameling. All of a sudden, people started to notice and I made a quick website and put some pieces online. Shortly after, I connected to a wholesale showroom and orders began to roll in. It was all very serendipitous — everything rolled into place. I feel so incredibly lucky.
Before you created Susan Alexandra, you actually used to style for some big companies. How do you see those two skills correlating with one another?
When you’re styling, you are creating a person. You are thinking “Who is this girl? Where is she going? What is she feeling? Why does she dress this way?” All of those thoughts circulate through my head when I’m creating. I’m thinking about who will need this piece of jewelry and what is drawing them towards it? I am sensitive in general and I try to be sensitive and thoughtful when I create as well.
Moving to New York, you knew nobody and had no place to live. How did you stay positive and push through all the tough times of just wanting to give up?
In New York every day is a struggle and a hustle. It was so difficult when I first started here and it still is. I think to be in NYC you have to have this hunger and drive to really make it. If you want to live here, you can make it work. I think admitting that you’re scared and alone is a huge first step because that leads to connecting with other people. Vulnerability leads to connection. I was on the 6 train on the first month I lived here, totally scared and feeling so alone, not knowing where I fit in the world and I had an epiphany that my mission is to one day create a safe space for people like me, who felt so scared, lost and alone, to connect to others. That idea really resonated with me, and that’s still my goal that with jewelry as my platform.
Coming from the midwest, how do you feel your background has influenced your work?
I grew up with a very funny, neurotic, brilliant family who have always supported me and my art. From them, I was taught to really appreciate tiny, small beauties and that weird is good.
All of your items are made by hand. Why do you feel that is important when it comes to crafting jewelry?
Currently production is all handled by me. I really love making the pieces and yes, it’s a lot of work, but it really brings me joy. I obsessively monitor the quality and designs. I sleep better knowing every piece is the best it could be!
But you know, I’m still learning, every day and I would like to figure out a way that other artists could assist. One day I would love to work with a women’s collective to create the jewelry.
Is there any artist you are dying to collaborate with or that you are currently crushing on?
I LOVE this Brooklyn based artist, Art Baby Girl aka Grace Miceli. She’s a huge advocate of girl artists and sheds light on lesser known creators. We’re actually doing a collaboration in the new year, shhhh it’s a semi secret!
I am also majorly crushing on a Chicago based artist, Aleia Murawski (@aleia._), she makes these stunning vignettes with her partner Alex Wallbaum, of lipsticks and fruity pebbles and macaroni and cheese, and I think she’s insanely brilliant. Also, the work of Jeanette Hayes and my sister Janie Korn. You guys need to google all of these people, stat!
If you had to plan your perfect meal from day to night in NYC, what places would those be?
This is the best question in the whole world.
I love the new Tacombi in the West Village — they have these tortillas stuffed with beans and really perfect Guacamole.
Where do you see the future of Susan Alexandra in the next five years?
I really want to expand into a lifestyle brand. My DREAM is to make a perfume, textiles, ceramics, greeting cards and fine art. I want to grow my company to the point that I can employ a really amazing crew of humans. I want to make an impact on the world and really help and empower people. Jewelry is just the beginning!
Any advice for future boss babes, especially those that want to get in the jewelry making gig?
Lean away from negativity and comparisons. Be vulnerable. Ask for help. When you feel you have nothing, give — it comes back to you.
I can’t stress the importance of being a part of a community of people in the same position as you. Reach out and connect to other people starting out.
Support other artists — we can all make it — let’s root for eachother and watch each other grow!
Get inside the mind of Susan by checking out her amazing Instagram and also, don’t forget to buy some arm candy from her company, Susan Alexandra. Special thank you to Tacombi for letting us shoot in their beautiful Bleecker Street outpost.
Photography via Vanessa Granda for Taste The Style