When Alexandra Gioia’s jewelry designs became a hit at the office she worked in, the Tequesta resident knew she had to quit her day job.
“I thought, if I’m selling so much [jewelry] inside a little office, I wonder what would happen if I opened an Etsy shop,” she recalls. “I’ve just been running with it ever since.”
Five years later, Gioia (pronounced JOY-ah) is creating necklaces, earrings, bracelets and other pieces inside a studio and boutique on U.S. Highway One in Tequesta. The space, which Gioia shares with fellow local brand Off the Mat Clothing, was the perfect answer when she decided her business was outgrowing the home she shares with her husband and 1-year-old daughter.
“My husband and I were trying to brainstorm ways to a get my materials out of the house because they were taking over—all of my stuff was in the living room,” she says. “This [location] just happened to come up and I said, ‘Look no further, this is what I need.’”
Not only did the space allow Gioia to open a design studio outside of her home, but it also provided another opportunity for shoppers to try on her jewelry. The brand can also be purchased at local shops like Vagabond Apparel Boutique in North Palm Beach and Rapunzel’s Closet in Palm Beach, as well as several out-of-state retailers, and the Alexandra Gioia website. Pieces are made with a combination of natural elements and a neutral color palette of stones and jewels, and range in price from $22 to $88.
“I love the hoop earrings—which I need to make more of—and I love the palm leaf necklace because it reminds me of Florida’s beaches,” says Gioia, who hosted her studio’s grand opening party in October. “Arrowhead necklaces are some of my best-sellers and the druzy bracelets are great too, especially for a quick gift for someone.”
New designs are featured regularly and are all created with Gioia’s tastes in mind.
“I definitely pay attention to what’s on trend, but I also try to stay true to what I like and what I would wear,” she says. “Then I put my own spin on it.”
The self-taught jewelry designer credits trial and error for her skills and says experimentation is key in creating lasting designs her clients love.
“It’s so cool to spot someone wearing my arrowhead necklace; it makes my day,” she says. “Seeing other people get excited about something I have made is really rewarding.”
Photos by Tracy Marcello