As an architecture student at the University of Cincinnati’s prestigious College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP), Alicia Kravitz interned in Chicago at the famed Skidmore, Owings & Merrill – a firm known for designing Chicago’s Sears Tower and John Hancock Center.
She gained a strong start as an architect, but couldn’t overcome her post-graduation dread of entering the field, especially with scant job offerings. Instead, she used a skill learned as an intern – operating a laser cutter – to launch her jewelry and home décor company, Dulcet Design
Her lightweight, architecturally inspired jewelry line follows her own simple, elegant, minimalist style. Aimed at women looking for something different and design-inspired, her easy-to-wear pieces are typically made of laser-cut acrylic, which is an inexpensive material that emerges from her machine looking sleek and high-end.
She learned about creating her own business as a student in Springboard Cincinnati
, the popular low-cost training program offered by ArtWorks
that gives artisans tools to become business owners.
As she travels the country to attend wholesale craft shows, whose sole attendees are retailers and retail buyers, she says, sometimes, she’s the only Ohioan among hundreds of sellers and crafters.
“What I am continually thinking when I am at these national shows is that I am always the only person representing Cincinnati," she says. "With how centrally located we are, we can easily compete due to our reasonable cost of living.”
Kravitz’ work is available at art-friendly locales, such as museum shops and boutiques around the country. Typically, she works with retailers to develop a line that fits their brand aesthetic, whether that means a subtle, sleek earring with a single bead atop a piece of black acrylic, or a turquoise and gold piece for a gallery at an boutique near Yellowstone National Park.
Her target audience is fairly wide, and usually encompasses people who love good design.
Kravitz says, “Everyone has their silver hoops, their hammered sterling; I target people who like simple jewelry but are always looking for something new.”
By Robin Donovan