We had the good fortune of connecting with Alexis Palmer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alexis, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Initially, I was not intending to start my own business! I had taken some metalsmithing classes because I thought it would be fun to learn and to be able to create jewelry that I hadn’t been able to find, and really, just as a creative outlet and fun challenge for myself. I posted a few pictures on my Instagram account and people started asking where/how they could buy them! So I thought, ‘why not?!’ and boom. I am very lucky to have been able to gradually learn and sell and figure things out as I went. There is an endless amount to learn and to try with being a maker as well as running all the marketing and each aspect of operating a business. It is constantly evolving!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
This is tough to summarize, but, in a nutshell, I guess I took the standard route that had been communicated to me throughout my life. Go to college, get a job, maybe get an advanced degree, etc. I guess I started to learn to follow my heart and my gut at various times, first transferring to a different college after my freshman year because it didn’t feel right to me. Trying out different jobs until I found one that felt okay. Deciding to get a Master’s Degree, but switching programs because I realized how anxious I was about the path I was heading down. Making a big move and starting a corporate job, navigating some twists and turns along the way, and finding enjoyment in challenges, owning big projects, making big decisions, and becoming a leader. I found enjoyment in my job and the growth I was experiencing, however, I was still struggling to find ‘me’ in all of it. I found bits and pieces of myself, but I wasn’t content, wasn’t where, and wasn’t who I wanted to be. I was glad for the journey and all I had gotten from it, but I felt from a personal and professional side that it was time for a big change. I had grown up in New Hampshire and spend all my life living in New England; the Wild West was calling my soul and the stars aligned in a way that made me finally take the leap to get out here! I took a huge pay cut, and landed a job in Boulder that enabled me and my boyfriend (now husband) to pack up our houses and three dogs and move to Nederland. We loved it! We fell in love with Colorado, the mountains, the life out here, everything. We both discovered how amazing having true work/life balance feels. (And that pay cut was completely worth it). After some other twists, turns, moves, and jumps, we found ourselves living in Boulder, married, and with our 6 month-old. I had been home with her while on the waitlist for daycare and somehow stumbled upon the idea of taking a metalsmith class. I’ve always been enamored with unique and simple silver jewelry, so I was excited to learn how to actually make whatever I could dream up! As I did the ‘mom thing’ over the next couple of years, I also dedicated myself to my jewelry business whenever I could find the time and/or energy to work on it. It was a creative outlet where I had a bit more control in my life, and I realized how satisfying and rewarding it was to create a piece that would last forever and would be meaningful to the person wearing it. As I learned the craft, it was exciting, frustrating, and then usually wonderful upon completion. I have learned to let the jewelry create itself as much as possible, getting inspired from things around me and not trying to force the metal to be something it is not. Sometimes I draw something out ahead of time and the final product looks completely different, I love those that evolve on their own like that. I did decide to go back to work in the professional world (while also continuing my jewelry business) and was extremely lucky to get hired by a local firm here in Boulder that is quite literally a dream job with incredible people, a purpose that aligns with my values, innovation, and flexibility. I love having the two sides of my ‘career’ – one being the professional, business side, and the other being my creative, jewelry and art. I think they both contribute to my success in the other.
What I have learned along the way and what I want the world to know is really that you have to truly listen to yourself, feel what you are feeling, and take the time to decide what is the right decision. Sometimes this takes time and hard work and that is okay. Big life lessons aren’t always easy or comfortable, but sometimes you have to run with something that resonates with your soul and see where it leads. The energy that I put into my jewelry and art comes from years of struggling with many thoughts, ideas, decisions, challenges, frustrations, desires, etc. and the amazing freedom I now feel as I use my energy positively to create something beautiful!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Oh – let’s dream that COVID isn’t a thing on this one… going to pretend its warm and gonna go all out with this little dream, since it’s been a year since I’ve done much along the lines of dining out! The first day we would hike a favorite but secret hike in Nederland to get them acclimated to the altitude, then head to downtown Ned and hit up Crosscut Pizzeria for hands down the best GF pizza I’ve ever had. We would likely also have to go for a spin on the Carousel of Happiness, because my kids get so excited, and because you have to experience it if you spend any time in Ned! The next day we would have to do brunch, Shine Restaurant was our all time favorite – the Bacon Eggs Benedict and Donut Eyes plus a little Fairy Bubbles Mimosa was our go-to! Next, we’d stroll around Pearl Street, checking out the local shops and also getting in some fantastic people-watching. The kids would find the balloon man; we’d watch some of the crazy juggling/acrobatic street performers and then load up on the most delicious and beautiful chocolate truffles from Piece, Love & Chocolate. Another day, we would hike Little Blue Lake from Brainard, and then head down to SALT for dinner and cocktails. I don’t think you can come to this area and not go to RMNP – so we’d take a drive up there, show them Trail Ridge Road and do some of the little hikes along the way. Eldorado Canyon State Park is another fun place to take people for shorter hikes and fun views. Also, have to bring friends to Chautauqua for a hike and picnic! Other places for food – Snooze, Hapa, and grab a snack of cheese and charcuterie from Cured! Other fun, not super tough hikes – Sanitas, hikes from NCAR, driving up Flagstaff and hikes around Walker Ranch, and Gross Reservoir.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Oh wow, for sure, I could not begin to do what I do without the most generous and supportive person to me, my husband! Without his support, I would not have the time or space to be able to create and give my energy to this business. My friends and family are also big contributors to my being constantly encouraged to continue this little business, always offering ideas, praise, and requests for new pieces. And, the customers who somehow find my jewelry and get excited by it are, of course, what keeps me going too; someone who finds something I made amazing is so rewarding to me!