How The Eco Jeweler (AlissaBrynDesign) Came To Be

How The Eco Jeweler (AlissaBrynDesign) Came To Be

Hi, I am Alissa and I am the owner of The Eco Jeweler (formerly Alissa Bryn Design). My journey here was anything but straight forward, but I would not have it any other way. My passions have been consistent through my life, consisting of environmentalism, painting, photography, and jewelry to name a few. But when it came to deciding what I wanted to do when I "grew up" was anything but easy. 

I graduated in 2020 from CSU Channel Islands (CSUCI) with a Bachelor's of Science in Environmental Science and Resource Management. But that was the last place I saw myself when I was in high school. I was an avid photographer, doing odd jobs from weddings and headshots, to animals and plant photography for identification purposes. I applied to so many school in Los Angeles area for photography and I was accepted to them all. It was a dream come true for this shy kid who spent their entire day (lunch included) in the darkroom. Then the reality of it hit. Me and my family were not just poor, we were homeless. I could not fathom the amount of money it would take me as a swim instructor at a YMCA to cover the costs. So I abandoned the dream, so I thought.

I went to a community college in my area and fell head over heals in love with biotechnology. It was a challenge as I was young and a woman in a program for working people who were already stable in the field (and mostly men). I worked hard in class and even got into the lab as a technician to gain as many hands on skills as I could. I transferred from there with three degrees, all in sciences (associates). I got accepted into CSUCI and realized there was no direct way to do biotechnology there except through a biology degree. 

Funny thing about me is, I ADORE sciences. But I am HORRIBLE at chemistry. The thought of going through the classes I would to get my degree was frightening. So I looked at other options and found Environmental Science (ES). I fell in love. It was everything I adored as a kid who always hiked, camped, and ate probably too much dirt. So I veered my focus that way, while working in a biotechnology lab for master's students. It was then I found how horrible it was working in the biotech industry for me as someone with mental illness who was incapable of setting boundaries (at the time). I was walked all over and treated as though I was beneath the students. The horror stories from that job are endless, but regardless, it pushed me harder to ES to the point I transferred work into the ES lab. 

It was wonderful! I loved my classes, my work, the students, the faculty, everything. So when I graduated in 2020 I was so confident in breaking into the workforce as a conservationist.

Then Covid-19 hit. 

My husband worked as a medic on a show where he couldn't come home for months at a time.

I couldn't get even an interview. No one was hiring. I was devastated.

I looked to keep myself busy while constantly alone and at home and regained my love of beading that I lost when we became homeless decades before. With a quickly growing collection, I opened my Etsy shop and continued using the materials I already had. 

One day on a walk along the beach, I was picking up trash (as I do every time I go to the beach) I found a long, winding nest of fishing line. I had a brilliant spark of genius! What if I use this, and other sustainable materials, for my jewelry?! That led to a long road of research and finding how jewelry and beads are thrown out constantly, contributing quite a bit to our waste problem. So I looked into vintage jewelry collector companies and asked to take the beads and materials from broken jewelry to remake into new and so began the new era of The Eco Jeweler that continues today!


Thank you for making it this far in my very detailed origin story and I hope you had fun!


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