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:
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.
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 youre 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.
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.
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!