By Natasha Schulyer
She started out making costume jewelry with the bead kits many girls had when they were younger. Not knowing that she would pick the hobby up again years later, sophomore education major Brittney Rutigliano designs her own jewelry from semi-precious stones. She even stores them in her old bead kits.
Rutigliano, who runs her own jewelry company The Alyse Collection, says she searches the New York City fashion district to find the perfect stones for her collection. “I always say I’ll go there for one hour and I’ll get a couple of things and I’ll leave five hours later.”
She recalls a time she was in the city and saw a bracelet being sold for $150, similar to the ones now in her collection . Rutigliano said she looked at it and realized she could make a bracelet just like that and sell it for much less.
“They were saying like a lot of designers come to our stores to buy our things and they charge so much more,” Rutigliano said. “That’s kind of how I got into it and I realized I could do this myself and sell it at school and to the girls our age.”
Rutigliano uses an assortment of stones to make her jewelry. “I always pick something that’s a very vibrant color and I like that each stone has a type of pattern to it. I like the red tiger eye cause it’s just a beautiful color. They’re all natural, like it’s not like they’re dyed or anything,” she said.
A portion of the sales goes to charity, something Rutigliano says continued from when she made costume jewelry as a child.
“I would sell a bracelet for a dollar and donate it to my parents’ foundation when I was younger. I guess that’s my whole reasoning for why I like to donate a portion of the sales.”
The Alyse Collection is currently sold at J. Michaels on Marshall Street and a small boutique in Long Island. Rutigliano says that a couple girls at SU knew about her collection and recommended that she go and show her jewelry to J. Michael.
Rutigliano’s collection is a unique and trendy collection because she makes every piece custom. “I don’t like to repeat any same look, like the same charms with the same stone, because I want everyone to have a different bracelet.”
This summer Rutigliano says she is going to work on adding a vintage collection to her jewelry line with some charms from the 40s mixed with the semi-precious stones she uses for the rest of her collection.
“I would love to hopefully one day like kind of start a trend. Like a lot of girls will start wearing my jewelry and my collection will start being the hottest thing on campus.”