Nashville is home to a bevy of creative talent. From musicians, to writers, to artists, how lucky are we to live in a place that is such a draw for people who make beautiful things! We love introducing you to some of the creative women making their mark in our fair city and are thrilled jewelry designer Alizah Greenberg joins us today as our Face of Nashville. Alizah’s designs have been described as “cool, eclectic and refined,” a fitting description that we’d argue better describes the artist herself. As multi-faceted as the diamonds she works with, we know you’ll enjoy meeting Alizah.
Where did you grow up? And what brought you to Nashville?
I grew up in Miami, and when I had had enough of the “scene” there, I came to Nashville to visit my sister and brother-in-law. I was set up on an amazing blind date with the man who became my husband.
Have you always been a jewelry designer? What led you to get into this business?
I’ve not always been a jewelry designer. I have a Master of Science in education and I used to teach severely emotionally disturbed children and adolescents in a psychiatric hospital when I lived in Miami. After getting married and having kids, I left that field, but about six years ago found myself wanting to do something just for me. I love being a wife and a mom, but in answering that “what’s next” question I know a lot of women ask as they see their children beginning to grow up, discovered that making jewelry was a way for me to reclaim my identity and still do all the mom things I enjoy doing, too.
Why jewelry? And how did you learn your craft?
I’ve always loved jewelry, especially Margaret Ellis’. I told her I thought I’d like to take a class, and she directed me to Nancie Roark. She taught me – still teaches me, actually – a lot of what I know, and I’ll never forget the “a-ha” moment I had after I hammered out my first silver wire bracelet in her studio. For the first time in my life, I was able to take an idea in my head and translate that into metal. I don’t draw or paint, so for me this was huge!
What inspires you as an artist?
Nature and beauty.
Do you have a favorite piece of jewelry, or if it’s hard to narrow down, a few pieces you can’t imagine parting with?
I love most of my pieces, but I’ve learned not to get too attached. I’ll sell anything, and I get excited to see someone wearing something I’ve made.
What’s the hardest type of jewelry to make? What’s the most fun?
The hardest thing for me to do is to make a piece over and over again, since everything is done by hand. That gets tedious. The most fun is making something new!
Do you have a mentor? How has that person influenced you?
Margaret Ellis. Obviously, I love her jewelry, but I really admire how she lives her life.
What do you love most about living in Nashville?
The beauty of it – Percy Warner Park, Radnor Lake. I also love that we’re considered so hip now.
With four children, a husband, two dogs and a jewelry business, how do you balance the demands of home and career?
Scheduling your time is the key. I have jewelry times scheduled, time for things like running, and at at the end of the day, time for family.
How do you unwind or recharge your battery?
Running helps me recharge, and a glass of wine with my husband at the end of the day helps us both unwind.
Favorite vacation or travel destination?
I’ve always loved California. This past summer my husband and I went to Carmel and I fell in love with the place!
You’re an avid runner and have competed in a number of marathons. What’s the appeal? What motivates you to move your body or 26.2 miles of pavement?
I like the ease of running – no special equipment required, except running shoes and a sports bra. The motivation is the ability to eat – a lot!
Do you have a favorite playlist for a workout or dinner party you can share?
- How about what I listen to in my studio? Here are a few favorites:
- “Gin and Juice” by the Gourds
- “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” by Vampire Weekend
- “The Picture” by Son Volt
- “Bye Bye Baby” by Social Distortion
- Alabama Shakes
- Jack White
What three things could you not live without (excluding God, family and friends)?
Books, music and my dogs
What books are you reading?
Child of God by Cormac McCarthy – beautifully written, but very dark
Twilight by William Gay – also hauntingly beautiful
Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward – a must read!
Favorite beauty product?
Sunscreen – and lots of it! My favorite lately is Revision’s Intellishade, SPF 45. It’s a tinted sunscreen and I love love love it!
Fashion must-haves for fall:
Great boots. A fur vest. And jewelry – mine!
Where can someone go to see and purchase your jewelry?
Thanks, Alizah! And thanks to Ashley Hylbert for taking these beautiful photographs. To see more of Alizah’s jewelry, visit her website: www.alizahgreenbergjewelry.com. For more photos from today’s shoot, visit Ashley’s blog: here.