Making jewelry is relaxing for Aleya Farrell — a source of self-care and soothing she found she could share with others.
Aleya, creator of MajesticAdornments, featuring gem and crystal jewelry made in Sacramento, came to Hacker through a Pathways scholarship in Fall of 2020. She took advantage of every opportunity and is now selling regularly at the Midtown Farmers Market.
Hear her story and come hang out with the 16 Hacker Lab community members and makers scheduled to sell at the farmers market in June! Or browse beautiful, rad healing jewelry with positive energy on MajesticAdornment's Etsy.
The Maker to Market program's goal is to help members turn their passion into a sustainable income stream. Not a member? Become one here.
To participate in Maker to Market: Take Michael Rottman's office hours on May 28, stay tuned for our next product photography session and join our Slack to sign up for market booths.
Rottman gives guidance and suggestions to maker business owners, from filing business incorporation to selling on Etsy.
Rottman encouraged Aleya by offering to buy a necklace if it went up for sale that night. He checked and found Aleya posted it an hour later.
"It's super cool seeing people level-up their businesses with just a little guidance and suggestions, often within 24 hours notice. Everyone is trying to help anyway we can," he said.
Hacker Lab: So Aleya, you've gone from a hobby to selling frequently at the farmers market and launching an Etsy page. How has the experience been?
Aleya Farrell of @MajesticAdornments: It’s been a great experience I have to say. Everyone’s so welcoming and helpful.
From Michael Rottman's office-hours which were crucial to Mike Battey who takes care of product photography. It’s been really helpful getting different types of direction depending on what needs to be done
Even Joseph, one of our community members, helped with making my table cover. Just being able to have access to people like that who only want to help has been amazing.
HL: How did you get into jewelry to start with?
Aleya: I’ve always used jewelry for some kind of self-soothing for myself. Anything that sparkles — the first counter I would go to in the store is the jewelry counter.
Eventually as a young adult I started seeing I started seeing jewelry classes offered and I loved it - they taught us how to wire wrap a crystal pendant - it was over from there [laughing].
Once I figured out I could not only wear jewelry I love but used it for clearing out stagnant energy, it was again over.
HL: What do you find fulfilling about this work? It started out as a hobby, right?
It’s the process of making the piece is very relaxing and soothing for me. I always found that to be true. The work I do is fulfilling, getting them ready for market — sometimes I'm staying up late to 2 or 3 in the morning working. I may be tired, but I’m not exhausted
I notice the difference between working on something out of that doesn’t resonate - versus out of love or not your calling. For me it's self care on several levels.
I've always wanted to help people. This is a way I can do that and enjoy doing it, being intentional about the different crystal pieces based on the different things want to help - whether that's bringing piece of mind, calling for abundance and to feel less tense.
HL: What do people want these days? What are they searching for?
Aleya: Everyone is worried about love and money. Besides that, folks might not feel themselves at work or would like to feel a little more protected.
Giving people something you can touch and be reminded of those good feelings, when I touch my bracelet I have to remember and call myself to have that attitude of protection.
I have to self soothe a lot in my own life. Coming from an Afro-Latina and Afro-Carribean family, there was not a lot of talk about feelings and I had to deal with them on my own. I always knew I kind of want something natural to help me when I’m feeling low or anxious - I started seeing out things I was already attracted to, the jewelry, could help me with that.
Self-soothing is essential. I’d never be the person who says I have to be alone, but there are going to be times when you don’t want to be around certain people. Figuring out how to be in your own energy is so important.
HL: What was it like starting to sell something that you made?
Aleya: The idea of selling gives me hives. I would suggest not thinking about it like that. Instead, I think, what do I want to share? What do I love, what do I enjoy, and want to share it with them?
That may be in a capacity where we are getting currency. But for me it starts with sharing.
No shade to the pure salesman at heart, salute! But I can be on my own and not speak for hours. So the idea of pushing something on someone doesn't feel right, but sharing, that does.
HL: Was it hard to grow your business during the pandemic?
Aleya: People spent $900 million dollars more online than they did in the year before in 2020. Yes that may have been bc of lockdown — but they also got time to think about, 'What do I need?' and look for it.
I also have luxury of working while doing my passion. That’s helped me in not putting that crazy amount of pressure people put on themselves.
The best thing people can do is to do what feels right, if they want to share it’s time to share
HL: How did you use Hacker Lab, your Pathways scholarship and the Maker to Market program?
Aleya: With that whole deciding of time to share, I had an opportunity with joining Pathways and Hacker Lab. I paid attention to what was offered and got involved with as much as I could.
When it comes to making my art, it comes naturally — when it comes to putting out there, that's what I struggle with.
Taking one-on-one office hours was a big game changer for me. Then taking an opportunity to sell at the market and see what people resonated with or were called to was huge.
Before going out there I was worried about what people would want and instead focused on making things that I’ve enjoyed wearing and that have helped me. Then I started making things that along the lines of what people seemed to need assistance with, say, 'I want a bracelet easy to take on or off that can help me with protection energy.'
Or seeing more men asking about this — most jewelry I've made for women so seeing more males asking, it makes me ask myself, 'Okay, men are needing some help too, let me see what I can make that feels right for them.'
HL: Are you seeing more and more people come out of their shell lately?
Aleya: People are ready to break out and go with whatever is calling them.
I feel like the fear energy is subsiding a lot. Of course I’ve felt it as well and from people around me, just what you see in the news, a lot of fear energy — people are now making their own choices. You know, bad things have happened but Im' okay, I'm blessed.
People want to see what they’ve missed and what’s out there. So come on out to the farmers market, see what calls you! There’s so many things.Next I'm excited to work on the Cricut. It's cool to go from thought to a physical thing you make, I do enjoy that a lot. It's confidence building; if you're called to do it, there's a reason. I'm trying to stick with that.
HL: Yes. One last question: Where did the name for MajesticAdornments come from?
Aleya: I’m attracted to beauty, things that make me feel good. I’ve always found crystals and things that sparkle and glitter enjoyable. I’ve thought, 'I’m not a girly girl,' but I love anything that sparkles.
So I thought, what is a good word that feels regal and like that? And one day, 'majesty' and 'majestic' dropped into my head. Then adornment came to me over time.
Thinking about what do I want this to sound and feel — what am I putting out into the world? Really tap into what is true for you. I found that's what felt good while making.
The Maker to Market program's goal is to help members turn their passion into a sustainable income stream. To participate in Maker to Market: Take Michael Rottman's office hours on May 28, stay tuned for our next product photography session and join our Slack to sign up for market booths. Not a member? Become one here.
This conversation was edited for clarity and brevity.