This past week I had the pleasure of getting to interview my friend and fellow Pi Phi Allison Blase. Sitting in the Pi Phi TV room sophomore year, usually included watching Allison meticulously work on her beaded wrap bracelets. It became very rare to find someone in our house that wasn’t wearing one of Allison’s bracelets. I’ve been wearing the same brown and gold one (my namesake the Ashley Irene) almost everyday for 2 years! Here is a closer look at the girl behind Mizzou’s favorite wrap bracelets:
I started making jewelry when I was very young. My mom and uncle had this competition for buying the most annoying Christmas present for the nieces and nephews. My Uncle bought me a bead set with about 1,000 beads. So it really all started there. Then in High School I worked at small bead store in St. Charles, Missouri. Through working there I started learning new techniques, and ultimately started teaching classes.
Where do you get inspiration?
You know how clothing designers see something in nature and are like, “oh that’s so inspiring!” I’m not like that. I’m online all the time looking at Etsy.com or Pinterest, pulling different colors and different materials. I have a big reference of photos on my computer that I go to when I get mentally blocked. Honestly, my best way to get inspiration is to just pull all of my materials out and start letting stuff get mashed together. It is one of the only ways that being unorganized is helpful.
Who are your best clients?
Definitely my family and close friends. I have a big amount of recurring customers, and I definitely get the most new business by word of mouth. It’s the best feeling seeing a friend of a friend wearing one of my bracelets.
Do you have a favorite bracelet you’ve made?
Whenever I make a new one, I’m like oh this is my favorite. I really like the Meghan, just the simple black with silver beads.
How would you describe your personal style?
Pretty simple. I don’t do a lot of patterns. A lot of solid colors, dresses, and I have a weakness for jeans. I’m always looking for the perfect fit. Now that I’m older, I’m looking for mixable separates. My style has changed a lot over the years.
For winter, I would definitely have to say my fur vest. Also lot of simple blouses that I feel like I can wear with anything. And a million pairs on boots. So many boots.
Name three of your favorite places in Columbia?
Rock Quarry Trail, Harpos, and Picklemans.
Favorite accessory trend of the moment?
A big gold Michael Kors watch, my boyfriend go it for me for Christmas and he picked it out himself.
Best-kept fashion secret?
Always wear jewelry. I feel naked without it; it actually puts me in a bad mood when I don’t have any on. Also, always make sure your jewelry is easily accessible and displayed out in the open.
Allison’s Spring Picks:
I’ll hopefully be in Chicago. I have a job offer out there designing jewelry. I think she wants to do kind of like a store within a store, like a custom jewelry consultation experience. I would love for that to work out.
To see more of Allison’s designs check out her blog here: allisonblase.blogspot.com