Interview with Alex of Alex Malex Designs. The mysteries of unique jewelry

Since we’ve recently turned 2 years old with Funky Box Studio and just started working on Funky Print Studio, we were really curious to find out more about customers, their activities, their goals, but also their opinion on working with us. Therefore, we’ll have a series of interviews with some of the artists whom we’ve had the pleasure of interacting and working with.

Alex is the master mind behind Alex Malex Designs and since we’ve had the honor and pleasure of working together many times now, i was really ecstatic when she accepted to do this interview. Without further ado, here’s the story of this talented crafter:

alex malex design 1

White sea glass pendant

1. Tell us something about yourself as a person and also as an artist and a crafter.
My name is Aleksandra, I am born in a small town North Bulgaria. Although I have the education for being a historian and philologer, my true passion is photography and jewelry making. I am a controversial person appreciating both classics and experiments, so in everything I do I am trying to keep a balance between these two approaches. My free time is usually filled with friends, European cinema, books and music.

2. How did you start your business and how did you choose to create the particular items that you make? How did you first get interested in these fields?
When I started Alex Malex Designs in 2012 my conception was to sell only hand knitted items. At that time I already had experience in jewelry making, but I wanted to try something new and different. I found knitting to be a very charming activity, but with time I realized it is too slow and seasonal. So I reconsidered the concept of the shop and realized that I still have an itch for jewelry making, but I wanted to learn how to do it properly. I needed to learn more than using premade beads and wire to create a pair of earrings for example. The first time I took a sheet of copper, cut it and started hammering it, was like opening a door to a wonderland. Patiently I started learning new techniques and the biggest push was last summer when a friend of mine introduced me to soldering. Afterwards it all just started happening, I could create most of the ideas I had, so all I had to do was following the path.

3. Where do you get your inspiration from?
My main and biggest inspiration are ancient jewelry. I spend lots of time looking and reading about artifacts and gold treasures. I am amazed how people could create such beautiful items without the tools we have nowadays. Except that I find inspiration in different kinds of art, objects, lines, shapes and textures.

alex malex design 2

“The first time I took a sheet of copper, cut it and started hammering it, was like opening a door to a wonderland.”

4. What would you say are the main aspects that characterize your work and at the same time differentiate your work from others?
My jewelry is a bit eclectic, I like different styles and that I think shows when you look at all the pieces I’’ve done. I try to make simple but unusual designs, using mainly raw materials. I am also really drawn to rustic look, that’’s why all jewelry is hammered, scratched, patinated with raw looking textures.

5. As an artist, crafter and seller, what were the biggest struggles you had to deal with in the past, but also at present?
My biggest struggle as a crafter is creating my own style, a recognizable jewelry with a character. As a seller I still have problems with getting to wider audience. It is an ocean of jewelry makers out there, so reaching customers is really a mission. I also find it difficult to be a seller and crafter at the same time, so a lot of my energy goes into learning how to find balance between this two aspects of the handmade business.

6. What is the accomplishment you’re most proud of regarding your work?
I don’’t think I can point such. Maybe the fact that most of the techniques I know I learned myself with hints from a very good friend. I have never visited classes or workshops for jewelry making. Finding my way through is probably the biggest accomplishment so far.

7. What are your plans for the future of your business?
I want to grow my business and turn it into my day job. I put a lot of efforts in doing so by working hard everyday. My dream is to have my own real shop where I will work and sell the jewelry I create. I like selling online but I also like selling in person, the real touch with the customers is something really rewarding.

alex malex design 3

“I try to make simple but unusual designs”

8. What did you purchase from Funky Box Studio and / or Funky Print Studio?
Two types of flat boxes, square and rectangular. I love the square ones, as almost all of my jewelry fit in them.

9. How did you come by FBS / FPS?
I was searching on etsy for craft boxes made in Europe as I needed them to arrive quickly. When I saw a type of small square boxes, that are ready to be assembled, I knew this was exactly what I needed.

10. Please tell us your general opinion on the purchased items.
I love the boxes I’’ve been purchasing from Funky Box Studio. They are really easy to assemble and due to their plain look one can personalize them. And that’’s something I think every craft business needs. I wouldn’t’ put my jewelry in whatever package, I want it to fit the vision, the concept. So I take the kraft cardboard boxes, I put my logo on them and with a piece of twine, I have a finished clean look of the package. As I use these boxes only for selling in person, I like that I have a minute more with my clients, while I assemble the box. That way I can have a small chat with them, which is important for me.

11. Also, what did you think of your interaction with FBS / FPS from a customer service point of view?
Andreea is a kind and helpful person, one can reach her easily with different kind of questions. I am a happy customer of Funky Box Studio.

alex malex design in funky box studio boxes

“I love the boxes I’ve been purchasing from Funky Box Studio.”

Check out Alex’s updates on Etsy, Facebook and Blog.

We’re really really grateful that we’re able to share all these interesting things with you, so thank you, Alex!

The Funky Studio team wishes you, as always, a colorful day!

an2

Etsy shop I Facebook I Twitter

Funky Box Studio turns 2! Roundup.

Our boxes and packaging supplies shop, Funky Box Studio has just turned 2 years old. Woohoo!

anniversary(photo)

I’ve read the post on the old blog where we celebrated FBS‘s first anniversary and as i finished, i kept wondering: where did the time go? It’s like i was just writing that article yesterday!

So here’s the introduction i wrote then that is still ok today: Funky Box Studio is a little paper goodies supplier and we have high hopes for it. The beginning wasn’t actually as filled with hopes as the present is, to be completely honest. We started off by simply providing die cutting services and soon after, we opened our Etsy shop where we sell boxes of various shapes and sizes, envelopes, tags, coasters, various die cuts, table numbers etc.

Now, two years after opening FBS, things have picked up quite a bit. The most significant moments for this second year of activity are:

moving into a new studio – by far, the most important step for us was moving into our own studio. It’s really not much if you think about the small room we first got, but it was ours and we were thrilled.

expanding the studio and the activity – quite soon after moving into the new studio, we decided to finally officially give letterpress printing a try, so because of the new machines coming in, we added a larger room to our initial tiny one. It’s been a real struggle and we were faced with many hardships – and we still are! -, but it still is an incredible feeling walking inside that studio and knowing it’s ours. :)

– finally setting up an official website for both FBS and FPS. I kept wanting to do this ever since we first started, but a free platform blog seemed like the best idea at the time. Now, however, as we’re already 2 years old and we can already walk on our own two feet, i say this website was more than appropriate.

I did write there at the end of the 1st year anniversary post that the goal for the second year was to turn FBS into a full time job. We’re still not quite there, yet, but this dream still stands and hopefully we’ll be able to make it come true this time around. The third time is the charm, right? Also, as for the first year the sales’ goal was to reach 100, for the second one we figured we should double that and reach 300 in total. Well now, 340 official sales later, 6000 Twitter followers and 1300 facebook likes later, i can say we definitely reached that goal entirely. Moving forward with that doubling sales thing seems kind of a stretch, but hey? Let’s see how many we can have out of the final goal of 700 at the end of our third year!

It’s been a roller-coaster, but still a fun ride altogether. There were countless nights spent working in the studio, frustrations because of so many reasons, but also wonderful people who helped us wake up the next day and do it all again, small successes that made us feel like we’d just saved the planet and all of this makes it all worth it.

Thank you for your support!

The Funky Studio team wishes you, as always, a colorful day!

an2

Etsy shop I Facebook I Twitter

New gable boxes; handle boxes; gift boxes

We’ve recently added some new gable boxes on Funky Box Studio and they do deserve a special blog post. I like them a lot! Actually they’re a different sized handle boxes that we already had listed in our shop over here. This time around, the gable boxes were intended to fit DVDs. So if you want to give your wedding guests mementos of the extraordinary event, you should use these handle boxes as packaging!

handle boxes

So here are the technical details for these cute gift boxes:

– gable boxes, handle boxes, packaging, gift boxes for DVDs, books, magazines, shawls, scarves or any other item fitting the sizes of the box

– size: 7.6 x 5.5 x 1.18 inches = 19.5 x 14 x 3 cm

– card stock: white, extra white, grey or natural brown kraft

– they come in sets of 10

– find them in our shop over here

handle boxes for DVDs

We were really happy and excited that the lovely client who initially requested these boxes liked them a lot and put them to good use, earning us a 5-stars rating on our shop! Woohoo!

The Funky Studio team wishes you, as always, a colorful day!

an2

Etsy shop I Facebook I Twitter

Wednesday wishes. Kiwi tarts and sleep and workload…

Looking back at the first “Wednesday Wishes” article i posted here, i realize it’s going to take quite a while to get those wishes accomplished. Still, i’m almost there with the Twitter goal and i really do smile a lot more lately. Even though i feel like the workload increases exponentially. Even up to this point i haven’t been able to buy a few tulips and it’s driving me crazy! I think soon enough we’ll have an entire blog post dedicated to tulips…

Well let’s get started with the new round of wishes for this week:

wednesday

* Make kiwi tarts again. I initially saw them on this blog i read regularly and i thought to myself: “Whoa! That sounds easy! I have to try this!” And i did. And i completely messed up the pudding. “Not so easy now, huh?” However, i quickly fixed the problem with a Dr Oetker lemon & vanilla pudding mix and my tarts turned out to be absolutely delicious! Have to do this again. Soon. Done and done again! Will definitely keep making these tarts as they are absolutely delicious!

* Get some sleep! Seriously, i am in serious need of some serious sleep. I actually did catch up on my sleep and i’m starting to feel better again!

* Took on another project a couple of days ago and i’ve set next Monday as my deadline. Actually i kind of doubt i’ll be able to meet that deadline considering the workload of this project (is “workload” my new favorite word?), but i must do this in order to motivate myself. Finally finished this project… a lot later than i wished, but i’m glad it’s finally done!

* We’re finally (re-)decorating our studio, so we must go out and find a large number of things… I kept talking about this in the past, but only now we’re actually starting. This studio is seriously in serious need of serious repairs and decorating. We’re actually done for the most part; i mean we now have better walls, floors, even a large map of Europe on a wall, shelves, got all the ink cans sorted and arranged properly, most of the machines are properly placed… Still need things, but it’s now actually … a work space.

* Create more Etsy treasuries. Help others, help yourself! Actually did and keep doing it as often as i can. Yay!

* Get more “tips and tricks” blog articles up. It seems like they’d actually be helpful as some questions have been asked on Coffee Talk team forum discussions.

* Interact with fellow bloggers! I’ve been trying to do this for quite a while, but there was never the right time to do it… Or i was always carrying heavy workloads (again???) that prevented me from doing so…. Oh yeah, i’m just making excuses. Just interact, for crying out loud! Started to! And it’s going ok. I’m finally getting back (sorta) to the blogging mode.

No more wishes for today. The need of sleep is preventing me from thinking straight, so i think that’s basically the ultimate wish for today. And the tarts.

The Funky Studio team wishes you, as always, a colorful day!

an2

Etsy shop I Facebook I Twitter

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