Welcome! No matter what brought you here, I want to take a moment to thank you for taking time out of your day to check out what Allie & Tess is all about. Just to clear up any confusion from the start: I'm Allie, the artist behind Allie & Tess! Tess is my sweet, super vocal black cat who loves hanging with me in my studio! My hubby adopted her as a surprise when we were dating, and she is super special to me... but I think I'll save her origin story for another time...
Born and raised in Cherry Hill, NJ (a suburb of Philly), I come from a family where creativity is valued just as much as a good education. I've always loved making things with my hands, but if I'm being honest, I'm still surprised that I've been able to turn that love of creation into my life path. I came to Bloomington, Indiana to attend IU with my twin sister Jill, she moved back to Philly after graduation, but me? I stayed for love. After college I started working as a social worker, and I was convinced that would be my career forever. I quickly learned, however, that while I loved what I was doing, it just was not sustainable.
Fast forward to late 2016, I was working with individuals in recovery from substance abuse and mental illness, and I was burning out fast. I started searching for tools to help me, I was stressed, anxious, and quite frankly not happy. I found an article about crystals and their properties, and was hooked! I started collecting stones and learning ways to incorporate them into my life and routine to try to find some relief from my serious burn out. My friend invited me to an electroforming jewelry workshop, I had no idea what that meant but I knew we got to choose crystals to make our own intention-infused pendants, so I was 100% down to check it out!
That evening I connected to Carnelian, which is a powerful Sacral Chakra stone. HealingCrystals.com says:
"Carnelian increases personal power and physical energy, gives courage, and boosts creativity and compassion. Wearing or carrying Carnelian can enhance vitality and will, providing higher energy needed when approaching new projects and dreams.
Mentally, Carnelian focuses analytical capabilities, and aids meditation by allowing deeper concentration and keeping out interrupting thoughts. Carnelian is useful in making decisions by keeping us focused on the here and now and not on past experiences. Carnelian calms anger and grounds you in reality, while keeping you aware of unconditional Love permeating the Universe. Carnelian encourages initiative and determination."
Carnelian happened to be the exact stone I needed at that time, little did I know it would start taking me down this incredible path I feel so fortunate to be on now! I was officially hooked, and I attended another 6-7 electroforming workshops over the course of the following year. My teacher Jes Miller, supported me as I started my own studio out of my laundry room, and in January 2018, Allie & Tess was born!
There's way more to this story, so stay tuned to see what future blog posts reveal about who I am, what I do, and why I do it.
Stay weird & stay inspired!