Today we’d like to introduce you to Baleigh Acebo.
Baleigh, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My innate curiosity about how things work and are made led me to jewelry making and continue to push me. First, it was just a hobby as I took things apart only to figure out how to remake them. By 16, I was selling at local craft markets in Vermont and this was a constant spanning into my twenties. I studied writing and English in undergrad and my passion for fiction writing slowly morphed into nonfiction. By the end of my four years, I was planning to apply to journalism school for masters but suddenly I found myself hesitating.
I wasn’t certain about that next step and in the interim decided to pursue that constant hobby of mine. I enrolled in a metalsmithing class at a community college where I was living in Colorado — cue the sunrise, angels singing and all that epiphanic stuff. I was suddenly inspired, eager and certain of what I wanted to do. A year later, I moved back to Boston and applied to the jewelry making and repair program at the North Bennet St School.
What I got out of my two years at North Bennet was exactly what I’d hoped. Rather than design based, it was a purely technical approach to metalsmithing. From making your own tools, to fabrication and setting stones in complex pieces, I left with the confidence and the ability to try new techniques and teach myself new methods.
As my hand skills improved, my aesthetic was born out quite naturally. I am constantly inspired by the graceful geometry in everyday objects, industrial design elements for clean and minimalist pieces. In addition, my work is made in entirely recycled metals and ethically sourced gems and diamonds, to reduce my business’ carbon footprint. Two years into my business and I absolutely love what I do — it rarely feels like work.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Like most millennials, I have a lot of student debt. It’s something I’m constantly struggling with because it’s a huge additional burden on building my business. I make a choice every day to continue pursuing my dream in spite of how much harder this path is made by my debt, because I know I wouldn’t be as happy doing anything else.
With nothing likely to change soon regarding the cost of education in the US, I would urge everyone, especially young women, to take stock of ALL the opportunities afforded to us. Despite the high-end associations with jewelry, it is in the end just a trade. The trade industries are in need of skilled workers, and I think now more than ever, these male-dominated trades are also experiencing a shift as more women join their ranks. As someone who loves to create and work with their hands, I hope that more women, and men — will see vocational training as an option for a fulfilled work-life.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Acebo Jewelry – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
A big part of my business is custom engagement and wedding rings. What excites me the most about custom design is when a client comes to me and says, “nothing traditional”. I love designing alternative rings for brides and grooms looking for something uniquely untraditional.
My ready-to-wear bridal line features contemporary designs with modern takes on bridal jewelry — colored gems, smaller center stones, and ethically sourced diamonds appear in my work. All my designs can be customized for any individual’s taste and budget, whether they are looking for a 2-carat diamond ring or simple and clean bands as mementos of their ceremonies.
Do you think there are structural or other barriers impeding the emergence of more female leaders?
When you’ve grown up in a world that expects women to apologize first and ask second, learning to self-advocate for yourself is a game-changer. In our personal and business lives, speaking directly to our needs, desires, and concerns respectfully, and without fear is something we have to reprogram ourselves. I see this more and more in the women artists in my community — it’s a cycle with everyone inspiring each other, as we all share stories and experiences and push to fulfill our goals as artists.
- 14k Sieve Panel Earrings $490
- Silver & Blue Diamond Bar Ring $180
- Sieve Collar Necklace $285
- Rose Gold Tri Hoops with diamonds
- Tourmaline Filament Earrings $240
- 14k Linea Wedding Band
- Alternative Engagement Rings $790 and up
- Address: Vernon Street Studios
6 Vernon St.
Somerville, MA 02145
- Website: www.acebojewelry.com
- Instagram: @acebojewelry
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/acebojewelry