Sustainably Chic


Natalie Kay

Meaningful Jewelry

Created by a Mother-Daughter team, Alora spreads positivity and inspires women to love themselves through beautiful, upcycled jewelry. There is a reason behind every piece, and each shed happiness in their own special way. From hashtags to antlers, you'll find the perfect one (or ten) to add to your jewelry box! It's been lovely chatting with Jameela, the daughter behind Alora - her kindness radiates through the computer :D Read below to find out more about her favorite pieces, and how the business began!

Tell us about Alora and how sustainability is incorporated into your business.

Alora started in 2013. My mother (Emilyn) and I began handcrafting jewelry on our kitchen table believing jewelry should be beautiful, personal and meaningful. We wanted to create a jewelry line that embraces the stories, happy moments, milestones and experiences of women. Our vision is to help create a world where beauty is a source of confidence not anxiety, hence why our jewelry spreads messages of positivity, love and kindness. Every piece comes with a meaning card that helps women set an intention when they wear a piece!

Sustainability is a big component of what we do. Alora lives by the philosophy that in order to live a meaningful life:

·         One must embrace their uniqueness.

·         Treat their surroundings and one another with kindness and respect.

·         Giveback to those who are less fortunate.

Inspired by these beliefs is the reason why Alora respects sustainability and the planet by handcrafting pieces using recycled materials like recycled brass and recycled glass.

Not only that, but we partner with local charities that are committed to empowering disadvantaged women and children. In addition to this, by purchasing our glass beads fair trade, we also work with artisans in Ghana to make a difference in their lives.

How did you come across a need for this type of business?

We don’t really believe in perfection and following fast fashion trends.  Instead, we believe in personal significance and style. We believe that instead of hiding your flaws, you should embrace them and make them central to your character. 

There was a lot of jewelry on the market that was just “pretty” or trendy.  Even the handmade things in the market were pretty cookie cutter since the majority of components were made in China.

To counter this, my mother and I wanted to create authentic, sustainable designs that can be worn across generations. By following our dreams, and sticking to our beliefs, people have really responded well to our rustic, upcycled, handmade, one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces!

What are your favorite pieces for fall?

One of my favorite pieces for fall is the “New Beginnings Delta Necklace” because, like fall, it symbolizes renewal and changes. This necklace encourages women to embrace change and to forget what’s gone, appreciate what still remains and look forward to what’s coming next. 

My other favorite piece is the "Embrace Your Vibe Tribe Diversity Necklace". It is such a fun, bold piece perfect for Christmas parties. I also love it because of the meaning. The necklace encourages you to “Attract what you expect, Reflect what you desire, Become what you respect, Mirror what you admire, and Be the type of person you want to meet.”

Finally, I LOVE our stud earrings. They are perfect to wear every day and can easily fit under a toque (what we call a warm hat in Canada) and won’t be disturbed by a warm scarf. 

What are some popular materials you use to create the jewelry?

The most popular materials we use to create our jewelry are recycled glass beads and recycled brass. Our colorful glass beads are handmade in Ghana from recycled window panes, broken glass bottles and glass wares. When it comes to our brass pendants those are handmade from recycled brass. The recycled materials are things such as keys, door knobs, musical instruments, fillings, home decor and much more. The pendants are made using old handcrafted techniques, specifically loss wax casting.

 What are the future plans for Alora?

Alora will continue to create sustainable, fair trade and ethically made fashion jewelry. I think in a few years we should be in a store near you and have a storefront in Calgary, Canada (our base)! To do this we really want to employ immigrant women to help us make jewelry. We hope that by that time we will be able to pay them a great wage and help them adjust to life in their new home. We will constantly grow and evolve to meet the needs of our customers and create beautiful keepsake jewelry pieces!

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Visit Alora online, and be sure to follow on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter.