Connoisseur Spotlight: Alberto Parada, Eco-Friendly Jewelry Designer
One of the most satisfying aspects of working for The Green Connoisseur is having the chance to get to know individuals who are wildly talented - and who use their talents to increase awareness and eco-consciousness. I recently got a chance to learn a little more about one of those individuals. Please allow me to introduce Alberto Parada... How Alberto Got Started Alberto spent many years in the jewelry industry as a buyer and appraiser. He often worked with customers to create something new and unique from jewelry that they no longer wore, and this inspired Alberto to create custom jewelry. In May of 1999, Alberto opened his own boutique doing just that; creating one of a kind designs for his customers. Alberto began researching and creating eco-friendly jewelry after an eco-conscious customer asked him about making 'green' engagement rings. This customer wanted a conflict-free diamond, but also wanted to know how their ring could be created to be totally eco-friendly. Alberto was soon researching gold mining and eco-friendly practices in jewelry making. He realized that the only way to create a truly eco-friendly piece of jewelry was to use gold from reclaimed pieces. So, he began working locally with individuals who could guarantee that the gold used in his pieces was reclaimed and that no further harm was being done to the earth in order to procure it. One thing led to another and soon, Alberto was creating sensational and beautiful jewelry that was not taking a toll on the earth! How Alberto Gets Inspired Alberto was born in New York City, but has spent a lot of time in his parents' native South America. Alberto travels frequently to Paraguay and Uruguay, and the cultural background has provided him with the opportunity to bring together the best of both worlds. Alberto infuses boldness and delicacy into his jewelry with a harmony that is almost musical. His rich designs are American with hints of exotic culture, mainstream with a rare edge, and polished but with a raw element of unhindered and wild beauty. Alberto says, "My designs are inspired by my travels and influenced by European and South American designers. The bold colors of the gems that come from South America inspire me to create pieces that stand out...bold yet elegant." Favorites... Alberto told me that his favorite collection is his new 'Rose Gold Collection,' which features open spaces and architectural design. He specifically loves the square Rose Gold pendant featuring diamonds on both sides. I'd have to say that my absolute favorite is the Tulipan ring (above) - clean and elegant but so dazzling. No matter what your favorite is, there is no denying that each and every Alberto Parada piece is gorgeous, bold, fashionable and breathtaking. Of course, you know what we love best - the fact that Alberto creates so much beauty without taking any of it away from the earth. Amazing work, Alberto!