Hola amigas and welcome to my shop! My name is Allie Thornton, designer of Organic Jewelry by Allie. I am glad that you stop by here!
In Organic Jewelry by Allie we create colorful eco jewels, giving back. Our customers feel empower with statement jewels and knowing 10% percent of the sales give back in education to orphan girls in Ecuador.
We truly believe a girl who grows with love and education will become and successful and useful woman for her community. Wearing our jewels you have the power to become a hero and change a little girl 's story.
The woman that loves my organic jewels, is not minimalist, contrary she is bold and unapologetic , for her more is more and enjoys to wear colorful,chunky, unique jewels. She is not afraid to turn heads with beautiful pieces who have a story behind; or contrary, she is a little shy and our statement jewels make her feel confident, adventurous, positive and able to take risks and make new friends in new situations.
Finally , the artisan women who work in our designs in Ecuador have the freedom to work from home and raise their families with economic independence.
We strive to empower women with our sustainable jewels, from their wearers, to the makers. Our customers are being part of a bigger movement, they support conscious fashion.
My inspiration does not come from trends born in fashion capitals like New York or Paris to create contemporary jewels, but from the natural world surrounding us , its shapes, colors and seasons. Our designs are nature inspired and nature ethically sourced. I create designs with natural symbolism resembling rainforest flowers and animals and our colorful palette is inspired in the color explosion found in thriving ecosystems.
A visit to Scripps Ranch Oceanography institute in La Jolla, brings me home with a lot of palette ideas inspired in the colors I saw at the coral reefs. A travel to the Amazon rainforest and the shapes and colors I witness in the flora and fauna is translated in colorful botanical iconographic designs.
The media selected for our jewelry making is organic and come either from sustainable harvested Amazon rainforest seeds, and nuts, or are recycled repurposed materials like wood coming from wine barrels from CA wine country where I have my residence. The ecofriendly media we selected for our jewelry is promoting sustainability and preservation of rainforest trees for their economic value in producing seeds for jewelry.
For threading and weaving I prefer to use cotton, raffia, hemp, straw and other organic fabrics or hypoallergenic mediums over metal chains .
For leather I use either leatherette or ethical leather, recycling the skin of the tilapia fish farmed for food production in Ecuador and Brazil instead of the skin of exotic animals like lizard, crocodiles, caimans and snakes unfairly killed for their skin. Tilapia leather is soft, not fishy, have beautiful texture, resembling snake scales and have the resilience of the suede.
We are cruelty free, the tagua nut used in my jewelry is the alternative against animal ivory due its ivory milky color, so we can said that the vegan ivory grows in the trees, and our jewels create awareness about elephant protections.
The dies that give color to our ivory nut and produce our characteristic colorful jewels are also organic from earth and plant dies, and when dying the environment and the rivers are preserved against chromium contaminant like is the case of the Italian dies that contaminate the water sources in many villages in India.
The metals I use in my jewels hooks and posts are ethically sourced , we use only Canada of American vendors who have commitment with clean mining practices free of mercury and respecting the well being of the miners taking out the metals from the mines.
OUR INMIGRANT ORIGINS AND MISSION:
I was a journalist, and worked for the Anthropological Museum of the Central Bank in Ecuador and when I moved to America in 2005, I moved for love. You can have everything in live, but if you dont have love , you have nothing. I fall in love with John Thornton , a firefighter in San Diego, CA and started in a new country, a total new adventure. I have been lucky to follow my heart and find mine own path.
My beginning in America was not different from other inmigrants stories. Besides volunteering at the Archaeological Center in San Diego, I started a small business showing in the local farmers markets around San Diego, CA, the artisan handicrafts from my country.
In 2009 the live presented me with a trip that changed my mission and vision in life and gave me a sense of purpose , a meaning to my life.
I was doing acquisitions in a small village of tagua artisans in Manabi, Ecuador. It was a time also of one of the most destructive “El Nino” rainy seasons, during a photo shooting of the tagua rainforest trees , I have to drive around rural agricultural towns and discovered that everything was under water, entire villages, rice crops, potato farms, cows and ranch animals where also floating in surreal lakes caused by the flood of rivers and the roads connecting to the city centers where cut with water. I even have to ask heaven in a small town that night until the water from a flooded river dries or get away from a main road connecting to the closest big city.
In sadness of the environmental and social disaster and the bad luck of the villagers, something dawn on me. I realized like in the case of banana , fruit that is an Ecuador exportation staple, which grows in trees, the tagua nut also grows in tall palm trees and under a heavy rainy season, these are the few crops that can be safe and if people have other income like the crafting of tagua jewels, they can survive the lost of their harvest during bad rainy, El Nino seasons.
In that specific moment , my Aha! moment, I decided to commit my live to the mission of creating awareness about organic jewelry and its important role in the preservation of rainforest and the creation of alternative Eco jobs that can provide income to families totally dependent on solely agriculture.
OUR CORE VALUES AND BUSINESS MODEL:
Our fair price model give independence to the woman artisan who does not work in sweat shops , but from home and receive for each piece the fair value she wants to receive for her work.
When opened my first booth in one of the Plazas at Old Town San Diego, I needed to dress like the protagonist of "Gone with the Wind" and make my own jewelry show in front of the tourists. That is how I started to create my own jewelry. I traveled back to Ecuador and for a month learned from artisan women, ancient beading techniques I share in my jewelry, like weaving, macramé, knotting, and crocheting .
For that reason I value and pay fair value to each person who works in my designs, because I am not only a designer , I am also artisan , who knows how much time, effort and skills and actually love , takes another artisan to work in my creations.
We believe business is not divorced from ethics, integrity , fairness, generosity, environmentalism and community involvement and this business model makes a difference not only for the makers but for the customers who appreciate and enjoy our sustainable jewels.
I have been creating slow jewelry before the slow fashion movement became a trend. The process or dry, die, harden and polish a raw nut harvested from a tree is not fast, it takes up to 6 months for a nut to dry, 2 weeks to dry the colors, days and countless hours of beading, carving , polishing and finally treating the nuts so they get curated like wood and protected against bugs and humidity changes. We don’t cut roads or steps in our artisan production, and because we warranty our jewelry will last to the next generations our prices are not cheap, are fair because they take in accounts the time we expend in this slow and fair natural jewels.
OUR CHARITY WORK AND VISION FOR THE FUTURE:
We release every year meaningful collections, who create awareness, about climate change, ocean conservation and try to denounce with beautiful art, environmental issues that involves us all, giving our customers the power to create a powerful impact with their fashion choices.
We are currently active donors and members of Defenders of Wildlife, The Nature Conservancy, Ocean Conservancy, Center of Biological Diversity, The Rainforest Foundation and National Wildlife Federation because these ONGs share our commitment for nature conservation, protection of rainforest bio diversities and ethnic tribal lands in the forest against deforestation .
I deeply believe the future for the fashion is in uniqueness over mass production, because massive cheap fashion is an unsustainable model and creates an use today and discard tomorrow mentality. Our jewels are produced in small batches and I can warranty a piece you select today, you will not see in the neck or hands of another woman in a wedding party or social event.
In the future we envision our brand name, leaving a legacy for others. At the end of our lives the value of a person is not in how much money that person left in the bank or in the stock market, but in the lives that person touched in a positive way.
We will continue with our "Operation Girl Empowerment" charity work, giving Barbie dolls and school supplies to orphan girls in Ecuador, but we want to give also scholarships to those girls. We need a village to raise a girl and we can acomplish this only with the support of women like you.
My kids have fur, and all have been rescued, that is why I am so comitted with Animal Rescue in USA. We create every year new designs for our Animal Rescue line designed for animal lovers “You rescued Me” which promotes animal rescue and donates 30% of the sales to provide food to our local rescue places , but we want to be able to pay large veterinary bills to save an abandoned or abused pet’s life when is needed.
Our mission is to continue promoting with passion our Nature inspired, sustainable jewels, until Organic Jewelry by Allie, becomes known , not by social media paid advertising but by a word of mouth promoted by our loyal customers, our best ambassadors, and we became the jewelry statement between people living an organic, sustainable lifestyle, between the nature lovers and conservation advocates, and between those conscious shoppers who love ethical, unique and mission driven jewelry.
How is your life today? Are you happy or do you need a mood lifter? The tropical, vacation, natural feeling of our jewels , will transport you to a special moment in your life, a visit to the Amazon rainforest, to Alaska Glacier Bay, or that paradise island where you did tons of exploration, and adventures. To that bar hut in the Caribbean or South American beaches, where you danced barefoot salsa rithms on the sand, with a Mojito in hand, under a sky full of stars. Think about it! Even in a rainy, dark day, our colorful jewelry will bright up your day and will make you smile.
Empower yourself with ecojewels giving back and promoting rainforests conservation.
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