Who is Allison Asis?
Allison Asis is a creative soul, a daughter, sister and friend. At my core, I’m an ever-evolving woman on the continuous pursuit of purpose, fulfillment, and growth. I have been incredibly blessed to have also stepped into the role of entrepreneur, and am the owner, artist, and designer of Cadette Jewelry – an artisanal jewelry line based in Toronto, Canada.
Can you tell us about your Journey towards Cadette?
I started Cadette in 2014 as a creative outlet while learning the very basics of jewelry-making. At the time I was also invested in my 9-5 gigs in marketing. And though Cadette had a winding road in those early days, instincts instructed me to stick with it, and so I continued to take workshops on evenings and weekends, delving deeper into the world of metal smithing.
I recall when I got my very own jeweller's work bench off kijiji, fit it into my home studio, and then worked, practiced, and produced, endlessly – honing the skills to bring the designs I envisioned to life. As time passed, and goals manifested, it became crystal clear: I am in love with the art of jewelry-making. In 2018, I took the leap to focus on Cadette full-time and haven't looked back since.
The #MBOKAWOMAN, The Journal, is all about highlighting talented women who are carving out paths for themselves and doing so intentionally. What are your top 3 motivators, as a woman, a creative, a business owner? And how do you stay grounded in them through the ups and downs?
My mom, who is the most inspiring and courageous woman I’ve known. She passed away when I was 18, from cancer. And as I live each and every day, I keep her at the forefront of my mind and being – everything she was and everything her journey has taught me. She taught me to seize the day, take risks, lead with love, and be grateful for every single blessing.
Cadette Jewelry’s clients and community motivate me immensely. They’ve guided and showed me that this business is so much more than just jewelry – it’s a state-of-mind and energy that we embody: we are worthy exactly as we are, we are free to express ourselves, we are divinely powerful.
My innate connection to the Universe motivates me. When I quiet down, reflect and meditate, I clearly feel what my God-given gifts are, and these very gifts have equipped me to create and lead this soulful business every single day.
Tell us about your work with Cadette, and how you approach your creative work/process?
My work with bringing Cadette pieces to life is very instinctual and organic. I don’t necessarily follow standard fashion ‘seasons’ and cyclical releases. I launch new designs when I’ve gained meaningful inspiration (from travels, personal experiences, moments with Mother Nature, women in my life, and beyond), and then feel compelled to create. When I do feel that desire, I then sketch my ideas onto paper, assess how to best bring them to fruition, and then use the traditional ‘lost wax casting’ method to jewelry-making. It generally begins with hand-carving the prototype in jeweller’s wax, casting it into metal, and then applying an extensive process to polish, buff, solder and complete the piece. I often share this detailed process on Cadette’s Instagram.
I like to explore the notion of objects, including adornments, accessories, as living things with memory. This idea encourages us to reflect on behaviours, norms around which these products are produced and consumed. What are some of the ethos that surround the production and consumption of your pieces?
Each and every Cadette piece is infused with meaning and purpose – whether I draw inspiration from nature, modern art and design, the journey of womanhood, or recent travels, I constantly share the influences and process behind every design on the website and social media.
I personally believe that the products worth investing in are the ones that hold a deeper sentimentality that goes beneath the surface; a mindset that encourages us to buy less and choose mindfully, treasuring the pieces we do have, all the more. Sharing the inspiration and process has been paramount to the Cadette brand since the beginning, and I’m so proud to see that this is something that Cadette’s clients and community have grown to expect and get excited about with each new collection release. They continuously motivate and guide me to create with intentionality, timelessness and longevity in mind.
As women, growing into the different layers of who we are can be quite challenging. What would you say to that woman who is trying to carve a part that speaks to all layers of herself?
Go inward, often. Whether it be through meditation, breath work, taking a walk in Nature; find a safe and silent space that enables you to hear your inner voice, the voice that is your truth and intuition, detached by external distractions. Our intuition can anchor us whenever we choose to access it. So if we’re seeking direction or answers on how we can best uncover and express our whole selves, we need only go within, listen closely, and follow our inner compass.