Alice Walsh doesn’t really think like a jeweller. As Co-Founder, along with her husband Ed Walsh, of Alice Made This, one of the most exciting brands working in jewellery and accessories, she certainly knows how to craft timeless and elegant items. But where other jewellers point to hand-crafting work as a mark of beauty, for Walsh it’s the use of machinery that is the beauty.
Walsh began her career as a furniture and industrial designer, working with some of the industry’s biggest names, like Tom Dixon and Ilse Crawford, on everything from lighting to AV units to aeroplane seating. A natural aesthete, she found that industrial design’s rigorous precision and minute attention to detail struck a chord with her. “I kind of fell in love with factories and processes, and understanding a process before I started designing became very important to me. I really enjoyed the fact that every single factory had a story to tell.”
After spending some time freelancing, Walsh decided to start her own business with her now-husband Ed Walsh, however the specific nature of the business came to her circuitously. “I’d looked at doing something with furniture and I soon realised that shipping containers and palettes and warehouses was just far too advanced for where we were at. I also looked at the long game of furniture and what you could do, and everything seemed quite complex for little me setting something up from scratch.” It was the wedding itself that ended up offering the key. “When we got married we couldn’t find any cufflinks, and that was the moment when I thought, 'oh, that could be a really nice platform to initiate something'. So we did some research, we looked at what was on the market and felt like there wasn’t really anything unique out there, which sounds awful but I don’t think many people were looking at cufflinks as standalone products. They were more often a bolt-on to an existing brand. For us, cufflinks seemed ideal [to work with] because they had a function, but they were also something quite artistic that we could experiment with.”