Loyal to Local: Jasper & Elm

Loyal to Local: Jasper & Elm
Alise,ownerof Jasper & Elm | Photo Credit: Jasper & Elm website

The Riverside Arts Market (RAM), now in its 13th year, is a weekly makers and farmers market hosted by Riverside Avondale Preservation (RAP) on Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., rain or shine. Each week more than 100 small business owners gather under the canopy of the Fuller Warren Bridge to sell their products to the local community. Keep reading to learn more about some of the incredible vendors that make RAM a must-visit part of each Saturday.

If we could collectively only remember one thing from 2020, it might be the feeling of isolation so many faced amid a global pandemic. Alise was no exception. At the end of 2020 “I was in grad school, working multiple virtual jobs, and my partner was deployed overseas. I found myself feeling isolated and in need of a creative outlet,” she says.

Daggers in Ocean  | Photo Credit: Jasper & Elm website
Daggers in Ocean | Photo Credit: Jasper & Elm website

With a background in music and no way to creatively express herself, she decided to embark on a new business venture that would allow her to flex her creative muscles. She first tried her hand at candle making, which she found to be “more scientific than creative.” Alise had always loved accessories and jewelry, and once she got her hands on polymer clay, she knew she found the right fit. Jasper & Elm, a curated collection of handmade, lightweight jewelry and accessories, was born.

The plan was always to turn Jasper & Elm into a business – within a few weeks of creating Alise set up her LLC and business account – but that doesn’t mean she didn’t have fears along the way. “Initially, the startup costs of a business were what scared me,” she said. Fears of failure and losing her investment loomed, but after a weekend of creating jewelry with house guests she knew she was part of something that would be bigger than she could’ve imagined.

Alise says “polymer clay is a therapeutic craft, and I can lose myself in it for hours at a time without realizing it.” The result of all that hard work and dedication to the craft? A wide range in products: from simple and elegant to funky statement pieces and everything in-between. In fact, she says her niche has become holiday jewelry because of the joy it brings her to create them. Because of how many ideas she had for the holiday season, she decided to go big this year.

Penguin Snow Globes  | Photo Credit: Jasper & Elm website
Penguin Snow Globes | Photo Credit: Jasper & Elm website

On November 1st Alise launched her holiday collection, Feelin’ Festive. This is Jasper & Elm’s largest product drop of 2022 with more than 30 unique pieces. From snow globe earrings to handcrafted gnome ornaments — her personal favorites of the collection – there’s something for everyone this holiday season.

After the hustle and bustle of the holiday season fades Alise has big plans for 2023. She’s already created an outline of what she wants the next year to look like for Jasper & Elm, which she admits is “fun but also a bit intimidating!” She will be sharing more specifics in January, but for now she’s excited to turn her dreams for her woman, military-spouse owned small business into a reality.

If you’d like to learn more about Jasper & Elm, the best way is to follow her on Instagram @jasperandelm. She’s quite active on the platform, posting a variety of products, tips for other small business owners and polymer clay makers, and reels that are sure to make just about anyone smile. To check out all her creations and order online, visit her website. For in-person purchases, check her out each Saturday under the bridge at RAM.

Are you interested in becoming a RAM maker in 2023? Please visit riversideartsmarket.org and review the Applications tab for access to our 2023 Vendor Interest Form and additional information. Applications will be open to the public this month.

By Elena Curtis
Outreach Manager, Riverside Avondale Preservation

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)