Allison Asis has inspired me for years; her unstoppable hustle, an effortless fashion sense, and her undeniable charisma.
I remember when she first started her fashion blog Pins & Roses (shoutout to her sister for coming up with the name!) – Allison was ahead of the game. Graduating from University Of Toronto, Allison majored in Art History as well as a program called CCIT (Communication, Culture, Information Technology).
Now, Allison is the founder of Cadette Jewelry , a jewelry line designed and handcrafted by her personally in Toronto, Canada. Since their launch in 2014 Cadette has been showcased at MADE INLAND, Artist & Fleas in Brooklyn, NY, and the Crown Flora Market.
What was your dream job as a child?
Technically, the first thing I told my mom I wanted to be was a baker! Because I was obsessed with pastries. Ha ha.
Who is the person that inspires you the most?
My father. The work ethic and discipline he’s instilled in me has been invaluable.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will”. So I do my very best to avoid any sense of doubt in what I do.
And the worst advice?
Anything that deterred me from pursuing something particularly ‘risky’.
Where did your love for jewelry come from?
It truly just began on a whim when I was searching for another creative outlet after I stopped blogging. I saw a bracelet that I really loved and re-created it myself. I posted a few photos of the bracelet on Instagram and a few friends encouraged me to create more to sell. That’s sort of how it all began.
What was your first job in the industry?
This was my first leap into the jewelry industry, to be honest. And I’ve learned a tonne along the way, and am still learning.
What do people assume about your career that isn’t true?
That Cadette is my full-time job. It’s my baby & passion project that I actually work on after hours ?
What’s the hardest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in your career?
Being a one-person operation. Collaboration with others can be such a powerful tool, especially in a start-up. However, it’s definitely given me a thicker skin, and allowed me to see what I’m truly capable of, independently.
What is your most popular piece?
All of the rings have done really well — they’re just so clean, minimal, stackable and easy to wear, day in and day out. Recently however, I launched the ‘Jean Earrings‘ which are proving to be another popular one. I wear mine almost every day!
What advice do you have for someone starting their own business?
If you’re a one-person operation like me, find a way to balance the creative side with the business side. Both are critical in order for the business to grow. If you find yourself investing significantly more time on one end, the other will struggle. It’s all about balance, or perhaps finding the help you need to help fill the ‘gaps’ in your operation.
What’s your favorite part about your job?
There are many, but one would have to be showcasing Cadette at local markets, and the face-to-face interaction I get to have with incredible females that have become fans, wearers, supporters of Cadette. Witnessing someone dig and wear one of your pieces is nothing short of remarkable. These will always be *pinch me* moments that I am incredibly grateful for.
If you could go back and give your 19 year-old self advice, what would it be?
Follow your dreams and do it for you — don’t listen to any outside noise trying to tell you otherwise.
How do you want people to remember you?
That I had a love to create. And share that love with others.