I’m very proud to post my first City Girl Connects profile featuring my beautiful friend, Julie Barata – fellow alternative baking enthusiast, mom of two – soon to be three! – beautiful children, and owner and designer of All A’glow Designs.
I have some lovely jewelry designed by Julie; and she makes fantastic custom pieces (like the earrings I commissioned a few years ago for my bridesmaids and the cute bracelet she made for our flower girl). She has a knack for making quality pieces that are fresh, pretty, and classic – all at a great price point.
WCCG: What made you start designing jewelry?
JB: I have always had a creative side to me. Growing up when most of my friends dreamed of becoming teachers, doctors, chefs or firefighters, I wanted to become a fashion designer. Jump ahead to 2008, when I was planning my wedding…I wanted to give my bridesmaids jewelry that would match mine. When I couldn’t find anything from a store, I thought, “I bet I can make it myself!” I spent about half an hour chatting with the owner of a beautiful bead shop close to my home, purchased some tools and supplies and got to work! I instantly fell in love with designing and creating jewelry.
WCCG: Why “All A’glow”?
JB: All A’glow is taken from a line in the song “So This is Love” from Cinderella. When I was little, I watched Cinderella every day. Every. Single. Day. Often more than once. It drove my three older brothers nuts. When I got married, my husband and I used that song for our first dance. And now, although not surprisingly, my 3 year old daughter’s favorite movie is also Cinderella! So “All A’glow” has a lot of sentimental meaning to me.
WCCG: As the proud owner of some of your pieces, some of them custom, I can safely say you have a good eye. I actually nearly cried when I thought I had lost a particular necklace when I was away this summer. Where do you get the inspiration for your designs?
JB: First of all, I’m so glad you like your jewelry so much! I find inspiration in many places. I grew up loving to look through my grandmother’s jewelry. I’m inspired by vintage jewelry as I find such pieces tell stories and have character which is often lacking from modern designs.
I’m also very inspired by nature. I’m fortunate to have a view of tall trees and sky from my living room. Some days I’ll make myself a cup of tea and just sit and stare outside in awe. I think that’s why I love to work with recycled wood. With the help of a local woodworker, I’m fortunate enough to be able to bring my ideas to life with one-of-a-kind accent pieces and pendants.
WCCG: Your pieces are a combination of classic and fresh. Who are you designing for?
JB: I’m designing for women who want to wear pieces that are unique, simple and beautiful. I strive to make things that you just can’t find in a store, no matter how hard you try! I design for people like myself, who appreciate quality and style but don’t want to spend an arm and a leg to get it.
WCCG: What has running your own business felt like? Favourite things, challenges?
JB: Running a business is challenging but also very rewarding. I never realized just how much work goes into launching an online shop and I have an entirely new appreciation for other small business owners.
My favourite thing is the flexibility I have to design as I feel inspired. I can go days without making anything. Then one day, an idea will pop into my head and I know that’s the night to get to work! Nothing is forced and I hope it shows in my designs.
The most challenging thing for me is being seen. I do sales through Etsy as well as Facebook and have posted a few things on Instagram, which I plan to focus on more in the future. I find there are so many vendors on these websites that it’s tough for people to find my shop unless they’ve heard of me by word of mouth. I’ve spent the last few months networking with other crafters, trying to cross-promote each other and gain more followers.
WCCG: You are a busy wife, and mom of two (soon to be three!) beautiful children. Has being able to work from home made balance easier?
JB: I absolutely love being able to work from home. It’s a joy and a blessing to be able to spend my days with the kids. Jewelry has definitely taken a back-burner to watching the kids as they’re 3 and 1, which are both very demanding ages. But it is nice that I can work online, fixing up the shop, adding new items and networking while they’re entertaining each other during the day and bedtime is 7pm which leaves my evenings free for designing…when I have the energy!
Shop: www.allaglowdesigns.etsy.com (Still have some holiday shopping to do? Until December 24, enter code HOLIDAY25 at checkout for a 25% holiday discount on your purchase!)
I’ve never thought of my jewelry as trophies. I’m here to take care of it and to love it, for we are only temporary custodians of beauty.