Born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia, Alessandro became familiar with wire and jewelry making techniques at a young age. He often sold his hand made jewelry, particularly earrings, to friends, neighbors and tourists alike. Making jewelry, for him, fills him with nostalgia for his earlier years and his childhood in Colombia.
Like many artists and creatives, Alessandro didn’t originally see a career for himself in art. Many factors dissuaded him from pursuing his passions, including pressure from his peers and professors at UNC Chapel Hill.
When I asked the best piece of advice he had ever been given, he said this:
“In my junior year of college, I was in the midst of the consulting, hiring and recruitment process which everyone at my school seemed to be in. I was falling down the corporate route and going to all these events and meetings and I just didn’t know what I was doing. A good friend of mine who was also in that process said to me, ‘you won’t be happy doing this and you won’t feel fulfilled unless you’re doing something creative because you’re a creative being.’ So, that was a huge turning point for me and helped me direct my energy towards things that I really loved.”
And just like that, Alessandro ditched the pressure-filled consulting path he was on and reoriented his time and effort towards his passions. He officially created Down to the Wire in September of 2019.
Down to the Wire is “an artistic outlet [that] explore[s] the aesthetic and potential of tagua and wire.” Tagua is the South American seed that develops an ivory-like texture and is used as material for the jewelry. His loyalty to natural, locally sourced materials is only one of many things that make Down to the Wire so unique.
Currently, he is working on fall colors and fall designs to launch in the next couple of weeks.
“I’m doing a lot with influencers and trying to establish the company locally in Detroit,” he said, “I’m hoping to have a pretty solid customer base by the holiday season.”
Despite the plethora of challenges that COVID-19 presented, Alessandro was able to redirect his energy and focus on the positives that came out of the quarantine experience.
He said, “The pandemic actually helped a lot, in a way… I never would’ve had the time to learn resin techniques or work on my packaging or spend time on running the business. I had previously been doing the bare minimum in terms of marketing because I was so busy with school. When March hit, I had so much more time and started working on exploring iterations and learning techniques so I was able to work on that a lot which has been good. Of course though it’s been a lot harder in some ways because I love in-person events and meeting customers face to face.”
To shop and/or learn more about Alessandro and his company Down to the Wire, click here.