Mosher marks 15 years of success
When Alexandra Mosher first started a jewellery business out of her kitchen, she could barely keep the lights on.
“The Belco guy would be coming to turn off my electricity,” she said. “I’d say just give me one day. Then I’d call someone who had been interested in a piece.
“I’d sell those earrings or that necklace and go straight to Belco and pay the bill and I was good. That happened a couple of times.”
Today she doesn’t have any trouble keeping the place lit. Alexandra Mosher Studio is a trendy jewellery boutique at 5 Front Street with 14 staff members, and a price range of $45 to $25,000 for custom pieces.
“I had no idea the business would grow to what it is now,” the 39-year-old said. “When I started I just loved it and was really into it and was really driven to make beautiful things that first made me happy, and then made other people happy.”
She kicks off 15th anniversary celebrations with a party on November 26. To mark the occasion she plans to release a line of jewellery that reflects the evolution of her style.
“In the beginning, I was making a lot of pieces with these beads that I am still drawn to,” she said. “I liked the colour of them and the ease that you can build structure with wire. I started by doing a lot of gem stone jewellery that was wire wrapped.
“We will revisit those gem stone pieces that I used to make and love, but with a developed eye. I will be playing with corals, and making really interesting textured metal sculptural parts to it, but still having the freedom and whimsy of the gem stone pieces set in a way that is quite different from the way I used to do them. I am revisiting it with the design aesthetic that I have now. I have my Christmas ornament coming out too.”
Her first studio was located at the Kaleidoscope Arts Foundation on Jubilee Road in Devonshire.
“That’s when the business really started to take off,” she said. “That was a big step for me.”
She did her first jewellery shows there, some of them with her best friend, photographer Amanda Temple.
“We still collaborate on photo shoots,” Ms Mosher said.
But the Jubilee Road location had its drawbacks. Potential customers, particularly tourists, struggled to find its remote location.
In 2011 she was working as a part-time marketing consultant for Newstead, when the Paget hotel went into receivership.
“That was a terrible situation,” she said. “For me it was a reality check. I either had to go and get another job or I had to make my business work.”
That year she moved Alexandra Mosher Studio to Hamilton, opening a studio on Park Road, and a storefront in the Washington Mall.
“It was like, aha!” she said. “There was more visibility for people who didn’t know about us. We grew from just me to a staff of six at that point.”
Looking back at the last decade and a half, Ms Mosher is most proud of her team of employees.
“I am proud we have created a culture here where my staff love what they do,” she said. “Everyone seems happy.”
Ms Mosher still has ten different new ideas a day, but her team reins her in and helps her hone in on the winning ideas.
“At the end of the day knowing what to do sometimes has been a challenge,” she said. “Getting five star reviews is great, but people may love you, but not necessarily buy from you.”
One team member who always has something meaningful to add is the store cat Gemma.
Ms Mosher found her in some bushes outside the studio on Park Road in 2014, and quickly made her a staff associate.
“She has always been involved in the decision-making process,” Ms Mosher said. “We take her home and she runs around but she prefers being in here. This is where her world is.”
She admitted that Gemma had, once or twice, singed a whisker getting a little too close to the equipment.
Gemma loves to sun herself in the windows, and customers are often drawn inside to pet her. When she’s at home “on vacation” people come in to anxiously ask where she is.
• For more information see www.alexandramosher.com or call 236-9006
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