I had the good fortune of speaking with the lovely Riza Roales, director of wholesale and manufacturing for Alamea Hawaii, recently. Here’s what I learned about the “precious”—that’s English for alamea—jewelry manufacturer.
Alamea Hawaii manufactures a variety of Hawaiian-inspired styles (its playful pendant collection evokes happy island vibes), but it was a fortuitous sponsorship with the annual Honolulu Marathon that we can thank for the popular exotic wood ring collection. When asked to participate in the yearly event, Alamea came up with the exceptional idea of creating an ultra-light ring suitable for runners to wear. A prominent race executive was photographed wearing the ring; soon, inquiries were abundant, and the rings have been beautifully handcrafted ever since.
Riza’s favorite piece:
Riza admires this ring because “it’s very romantic” and can be worn “by men and women.” Made of titanium, the lightweight, easy-to-wear ring is crafted of solid koa wood, a material native to the Hawaiian islands. Spiritual qualities associated with koa wood include bravery, integrity, and strength. The piece makes a great choice for a wedding band, particularly because “a lot of people now want to get in touch with nature, and they want to be unique.”
Riza’s advice for jewelry retailers:
“Try your best to create something very beautiful. There is so much competition to be unique, and you have to pay attention to the detail—if it’s a retail store, everything from the smell of the store to the ambiance to the music and the employees. Customers shop for the experience. If you can provide that experience, you are already 70 percent ahead of your competition.”
Riza’s preferred happy hour drink (as a former retailer whose store partook in the Friday tradition, I couldn’t resist asking):
“Red wine at happy hour completes my day!”
We have that in common.