New around the Woo: WearLex
Alexis K. Dascoli certainly knows how to multi-task. As the sole proprietor of WearLex, an independent jewelry company based in Marlborough, Dascoli creates all the pieces herself; manages advertising and sales; designs her website, logo and packaging; and does everything else necessary to keep her business running. WearLex sells jewelry handmade from materials manufactured exclusively in the United States.
With a love for art and jewelry that began at a young age, Dascoli took classes in graphic design at Quinsigamond Community College and Fitchburg State University and began her career in that field. After becoming more interested in gemstones and eventually starting WearLex, Dascoli enrolled in classes at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and received her diploma as an Accredited Jewelry Professional (AJP) in May. She also owns AEK Designs, LLC, a graphic design company that she started in 2011. She sells her WearLex jewelry online, as a pop-up shop and in three stores – Salon Exquisite in Worcester, Moodz Day Spa and Salon in Wayland and Bug and Brown in Ogunquit, Maine. She was named the Marlborough Patch’s Person of the Year for 2014 and will be recognized at the Worcester Business Journal’s 2015 40 Under Forty awards ceremony in September.
Dascoli described her jewelry as “cool, modern and clean.” She has two lines, the Druzy line, which incorporates Druzy stones – tiny crystals of minerals that form on the surface of another stone – and the new LUXE Line, a higher-end line that includes pieces made with solid 14-karat gold. “[WearLex] is special because it’s all handmade. All the stones are picked out by me; it’s not all mass-produced,” Dascoli said. “I use stones that I think are different from most that are out right now.”
Dascoli has had a special connection with jewelry since she was a kid. Her mother has always loved jewelry, and her grandmother, who lives in Frankfurt, Germany, used to bring back pieces of jewelry for Dascoli from her travels around the world. When she was older, she began selling some of her jewelry and later decided to start her own business. WearLex began three years ago, selling “fashion jewelry,” jewelry made with lower-quality metals and stones. Dascoli quickly got tired of fashion jewelry because it tarnished or broke easily.
“I wanted to create something that [could] be worn daily that wouldn’t tarnish, that would be timeless, that you could layer up,” she said. “I wanted it to be something that you could purchase really inexpensively but not have it be what fashion jewelry usually is.”
The jewelry she makes today uses either sterling silver, 14-karat gold or rose gold (filled or plated), or, in the case of the new LUXE line, 14-karat gold plate and solid 14-karat gold. Her pieces are simple and elegant, with “designs that channel a cosmic and magical sensibility.” Some items even offer customizable stones.
For Dascoli, making jewelry isn’t just a job; it’s a hobby and a stress reliever, too. “It’s really relaxing. I lay out all my jewelry-making tools, the wire that I’m working with and, of course, my stones, turn on some music and get in my creative world,” she explained. “I get in the zone and start making one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces; it just makes me so happy. My mind is in another world.”
Keeping all products within the U.S. is a key component of WearLex. “I love my country,” Dascoli said. “My wholesale buying, my gemstones, my wire, my materials – all that I keep in the USA. I want to help the small business community, and that’s huge in America. [When] I purchase my materials from a U.S. business, I’m helping them out.”
And it’s not just the small business community that Dascoli is passionate about. In June, she hosted the WearLex Launch Party and Fundraiser to promote her business and raise money for the new WearLex Gem Scholarship Fund. The scholarship will launch next year and will give money to two seniors at Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School – the Marlborough high school that Dascoli attended – who want to pursue a career in jewelry or fashion. Dascoli hopes to continue this scholarship every year and even raise money to help other organizations.
Despite WearLex’s growing success in the past couple of years, like any small business, Dascoli has faced some challenges. “It’s just me as a one-man team right now, and it’s really hard juggling the many titles there are as a small business,” she said. “I’m an owner, I’m a graphic designer, I’m an advertiser, I’m a marketer, I’m a packaging designer, I’m a jewelry designer, [I do] sales….” All of these responsibilities mean she has less time to focus on her true passion – designing and making jewelry.
While selling her jewelry is important, Dascoli emphasized that her focus right now is on promoting her business and getting the WearLex name out into the public. “It’s not all about selling. I love to meet people,” she said. “I’m a people person. I want to tell people who I am and what I do and how passionate I am.”
Looking ahead, Dascoli aspires to one day open a WearLex shop. “I hope to open up a boutique one day, which will also help the community and [help] Americans get a job,” she said. “I would love to open up boutiques all around the state. And to hopefully have people recognize my brand, who I represent and what I’m all about.”
For more information or to purchase jewelry, visit wearlex.com. Photos by Cleopatra Photography.
By Anna Spack