Jewelry designer turns sea glass into fashion
Victoria J. Laurey | 3/14/2014, 6 a.m.
Alyssa Luberto started her very own hand-made jewelry business called “Ability by Alyssa,” at only age 22. Luberto is truly remarkable. With a keen eye, sense of style and the motivation to surpass her disability, she is a true inspiration to us all.
Luberto finds pieces of shattered glass, or crystallized rocks that she transforms into necklaces, and bracelets. 2014 is set to be a great year for Luberto as she celebrates the first anniversary of her jewelry line and expands to Baltimore’s first accessories-only mobile boutique called Side Dish.
On Saturday, April 26, 2014, she and her fashionista peers are hosting Baltimore’s first outdoor fashion event, Boulevard of Chic (BOC). BOC was created to support area businesses, organizations and the fusion of entrepreneurship & mobile fashion. Along with having these top fashion retail trucks attend, similar beauty/fashion/health table vendors, and food trucks will be there. Photographer and visionary Ken Rochon, from Umbrella Syndicate will be sponsoring this event, along with other media outlets.
Luberto was born and raised in Long Island, New York and moved to Baltimore in 2009 to attend Towson University. After earning a marketing degree, she chose to stay in Baltimore instead of returning to her hometown.
While Luberto was in college she interned with the nonprofit, Abilities Network where helped raise money for students with disabilities. When she was younger she was told she had a learning disability, which made some situations difficult in school. Yet, she never let it hold her back, which is why she pursued the internship over the others. “Now I have the Ability (not a disability) to create. I feel blessed to be able to finally see everything come together. I hope to hold an event and have a portion of my proceeds donated to Abilities Network in the future.”
Luberto uses sea glass that she collects on beaches to make her unique pieces that make up her current collections "Sea Glass" and "Ocean Sea." Often people she meets on social media platforms help her add to her glass supply. “I met people on Instagram who had a similar desire for sea glass like me and before I knew it, I had bags and bags of sea glass at my front door from generous people in Hawaii who simply wanted to see more of my creations.”
Luberto travels to different beaches across the country to collect a variety shells and glass. “My top pieces would have to be my sea glass designs. What I love about this process is being able to take the ocean’s trash and transforming it into wearable treasures.”
She says designers should be passionate and patient with their creations. “Your heart really has to be into it— if not, there will be no passion in what you do. Don’t expect anything to happen overnight. Patience, dedication, and hard work are what I consider to be most important when it comes to starting a business based on your own personal designs. But above all if your heart is really into what you’re doing, that passion will take you farther than you could imagine. The ability is in your hands.”
Moving forward, she has plans for the spring that include bridal jewelry, as well as more sea glass and seashell jewelry designs to start off the summer. “I have many ideas that involve expanding into different areas of fashion. I could go on and on and on but overall, I hope to expand my brand with time.”
For more of this interview and Fun Facts about Alyssa go to:
For information on Side Dish and BOC visit: www.sidedishmobile.com or www.boulevardofchic.com. You can follow Alyssa at https://www.facebook.com/AbilitybyAlyssa or https://twitter.com/AbilitybyAlyssa.