Miami native and Nashvillian transplant, Alizah Greenberg’s jewelry is organic and designed to reflect the world around her. Influences ranging from music to travel to her family can all be seen in the unique pieces she crafts. Alizah spoke with Emily Sandberg and me about her approach to design and what the future holds.
You have an effortless sense of style, how did it evolve and how does it influence your approach to design?
My style may seem effortless, but it’s taken almost 50 years to become that way. I know everyone says it, but I really do like to mix high fashion and low fashion items of clothing; A beautiful jacket paired with grungy jeans, Gap shorts with great shoes and jewelry with everything! It seems natural for me to put diamonds in rocks and other natural elements and set them in precious metals.
You began creating jewelry at age 40, what life events led you to this choice?
I always loved jewelry and I needed to have a creative outlet because all my kids were in school at that point.
When you began this business, what were the initial steps you took to turn your ideas into reality?
I’m still figuring this part out. First of all, I put a studio in my house so I didn’t need to travel anywhere to create and work. I would make pieces of jewelry and wear to gage people’s reactions. I still do this today.
I don’t know if there is a message per se, but I have always bought a lot of my own jewelry. I don’t think we need men to do that for us and many of my pieces are very affordable.
You embrace imperfection in your work can you talk a little bit about the beauty of the individual?
My jewelry is all hand-made. The imperfections are what give each piece its own beauty. No two pieces will be exactly the same and don’t we all love that!
Coco Chanel said “Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury”. What does this philosophy mean for your jewelry?
Actually, that is very important. I like to wear everything and make sure that it feels as comfortable as possible. My hope is that you won’t remember you’re wearing my jewelry until someone mentions how great you look.
How does your environment inform the design choices you make? Would you have the same aesthetic in Miami as Nashville?
I think I would be creating the same kind of pieces no matter where I lived. I’ve always loved both glamour and grit.
Whom or what do you turn to for inspiration and how does that inform your work?
Of course I look at magazines, but mainly I look at people when I travel to see different aesthetics.
You’re a mother, wife, friend and businesswoman. How do you balance all the responsibilities?
Not very well!
Can you talk about what we can expect to see from you next? And where can we buy it?
I just took a class at Arrowmont and I learned how to solder steel with precious metals. It was amazing. I’ve been working on making old rusted nails and findings into rings and pendants. I think they are very cool. My jewelry will be carried in a new gallery in Leipers Fork called the Copper Fox. It opens at the end of September.
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