At Alexi's Angels, we've created a ground-breaking, multi-faceted transition business for youths with autism encompassing not only business (product sourcing, design, pricing, e-commerce storefront, marketing, PR, etc....) but also World History and Fair Trade, Science and Sustainability of gems and minerals, Maths for sales, and English for our website!
Our plan grew from simple roots beginning with a collection of trading beads, long ago in Paris...
Alexi was playing with his older brother Nicky when the kids lifted up a small tv set to get at the huge, thick old oak chest underneath. I was happy to see that the 100 year old antique was of much more interest!
The boys scoured the long grain in the oak wood and fingered the heavy brass key hole.
The kids tried to lift the lid, but it was locked. Alexi said “Open, Open Box” ! He has childhood apraxia of speech, but talks very clearly when he is curious about something!
I stooped to see if the lock would open, but it wouldn’t budge.
Nicky asked me what was inside.
I suddenly remembered travels to Kashmir, India, Thailand, China and Bali, searching for unusual silver and gold trading beads, precious stones, jewelry and small artworks for my Fair Trade stores and to wholesale to jewelry makers supplying many famous retail stores all over the world. I told the boys of the unusual and glorious silver and gold beads, onyx, topaz, amethysts, corals, pearls, emeralds and other gemstones inside.
"Treasure!" the boys exclaimed.
The chest had been put aside and forgotten for decades! I went to a cupboard and found an old brass key, and the key twisted in the lock of the huge oak chest.
Click! The boys grew excited and lifted the lid. Alexi was really talking now!
The first unwrapping revealed lots of deep blue lapis beads in unusual shapes with “stars in the sky” pyrite — as Alexi called them— from Afghanistan.
The next unwrapping revealed Tibetan bright matrix turquoise in rock shapes from Kathmandu - “like the colors of the Caribbean sea!” Nicky said.
Then came large carved Carnelian from New Delhi looking like flowers, and then chunks of Amber in rough form, with insects inside! This was a big hit with the boys!
Next came fossilized wood beads, silver bracelets and necklaces in unusual forms from the Himalayas, Ladakh, Tibet.. some with spikes, like modern Star Wars!
Then kaleidoscopic Venetian crystalline glass beads, in amazing colours, hand blown from Murano, Italy! Czech glass beads from Bohemia, too!
Unusual shiny Silver beads in all kinds of shapes, from stars to bells to hearts to fish, many made from melted pure silver coins.
10 to 22Kt. bright Gold beads, too, in leaves and florals, many from the Mughal Empire.
Strands of garnet, onyx, emeralds, peridot, topaz, turquoise, deep red corals... and much more!
All these wonderful beads from all over the world with their stories, waiting for the boys to discover!
Alexi had always been fascinated by colourful objects, and began sorting the beads, something he learned to do in his early interventions for autism. Nicky, too, was diving in!
“Can we play with them!” the kids asked excitedly. “Well, it’s for making jewelry,” I said, showing them cord and beading wire.
"Can we string some beads?" they asked, and Alexi’s Angels Jewelry was born!
From then on, we travelled throughout the Mediterranean to the Middle East, adding more beads to our collection. We present them to you here on our website as beautiful and unique hand made earrings, bracelets, necklaces and pendants for your pleasure! We hope you will find as much delight from these special beads as we do!
So if you’re looking for jewelry that’s unique and exquisite, hand cut and polished with love and time, then you’ve come to the right place - Alexi's Angels!