We are taking a scenic drive today through the lovely town of Taxco, Mexico, which is nestled between Acapulco and Mexico City. Amidst the cobblestone streets, and red tile rooftops, there is a thriving, 80-year-old silver jewelry industry.
The town therefore has the distinction of being Mexico's silver capital. Mexico is also the home of featured jewelry designer Alicia de la Paz.
Although artistically inclined, de la Paz' initial career choice was law. However,after winning "first and second places in various national and state art contests that led me to pursue my artistic side," she admits.
After attending numerous fine art workshops, her creative force poured out through sketching designs for jewelry. Her sketches led to employment with jewelry manufacturers, but de la Paz felt a need to step out of the confines of brand jewelry designs.
"When I got married and had my first daughter, my husband and I decided to set up our own workshop." Almost instantly de la Paz found her handmade silver jewelry designs honored with a "quality distinction" award presented by the Mexican government.
In the years that followed, de la Paz experienced great highs, which included the births of three, healthy children; but with life, low points will inevitably pop up. In 1994, an economic downturn threatened her workshop. "There was a terrible recession, and we were left with a lot of unpaid orders," she says.
A second blow followed as she and her husband, Antonio, suffered serious injuries from a car accident that resulted in limited mobility. "My husband lost the use of his arm, and I was left semi-paralyzed," she recalls. Remarkably, they did not lose hope, "I found inspiration in Patrick Dome's words, `when life's at its worse, that's when you need to insist more do not desist.'"
With determination, and the support of their family, the couple began a slow rehabilitation and in time they were able to return to the workshop. Forged through triumph and challenge, de la Paz' silver jewelry is beautifully elegant and modern with flourishes of Aztec influences, like the bracelets Aztec Leaves of Gold, and Serpent Legends.
She implements gorgeous gemstones like pearl beads, amethyst, garnets, and turquoise enhancing the already lovely designs.
"We've been through some difficult, trying times and only through the strength of love and the support of our family have we been able to overcome." De la Paz' beautiful designer jewelry is distributed through Novica.com.
Photo 1 (top right): Sterling Silver and Turquoise Eternal Goddess Bracelet
Photo 2 (bottom right): Sterling Silver Crimson Spratling Choker Necklace with Garnets