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When Allison Craft and her family made the decision to move to the Gulf Coast, she thought it would mean becoming a stay-at-home mom, but soon after they settled in, she realized the need for a creative outlet. She decided to turn to a craft that she had spent her working years acting as an escape ? jewelry making.
Her jewelry made of leather and pearls and accents of hand tooled metal work and semi-precious stones are stylistically in line with where and how she lives now. The lustrous pearls cling to the wild twists of leather like a seashell tangled in a sailors knot. The jewelry allure is as natural as the white sandy beaches and blue skies that define the beaches of South Walton.
She quit her teaching job- Craft worked as a teacher in the Albany, Atlanta area for 17 years, the mom of three moved 3 children to Grayton Beach, Florida. Allison says ?Staying practical your whole life can make you miserable,? she says.
She credits the overall attitude of her adopted community with the helping her ease into this new life. ?There is just something about living here, it brings out your creative spirit.?
The decision to make jewelry as a career was not a conscious one, it just happened. ?I started making pieces for my friends and it took on a life of it?s own,? she explains. Now she spends her days at her own studio in the ?Shops of Grayton? making and delivering and marketing her goods and is showing no sign of stopping.
?Every piece is created by me in my studio, or on the beach,? she says. She drills the pearls by hand and strings them along hand-cut conditioned leather. ?I take a lot of pride in creating each piece and I hope it means something special to the person who wears it.?
Craft admits the custom jewelry design is a lot of work, but the rewards are bountiful. ?It?s so cool to see people wearing my jewels,? she says. ?I just have to smile inside.? Now when she hears about the wearers of her creations from Paula Deen and Rachel Ray, local and nationally known musicians, she is humbled.
Her work has been featured as style favorites in ?Everyday with Rachel Ray? and ?Nashville Lifestyles?. ?I was so excited to see a photo of celebrity chef, Rachel Ray at the White House, wearing a piece I sent her?, Craft says.
Her one of a kind pieces are represented in boutiques from all over the U.S. and of course, along her back-yard, Florida?s Scenic Highway 30-A.