Meet the Maker // Behind the Scenes of Acid Queen and Jewelry Designer Alex Camacho
Just this pasty July, VoyageLA Magazine did a feature on Acid Queen Jewelry and the lady behind the magic, Founder and Chief Visionary Officer, Alex Camacho. We're so excited to share it we've featured it on our blog!
Today we’d like to introduce you to Alex Camacho.
Ale, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today? My name is Alex Camacho, I am the owner and designer of Acid Queen, a line of hand-fabricated, modern silver jewelry. My aesthetic is inspired by my interest in occult sciences, ancient cultures, armor, ritual adornments, and the vibrational energies found within crystals.
My design journey began as a hobby pairing bones, chains, charms, and crystals into one of a kind jewelry. My passion for creating more and taking my work to another level was ignited when taking classes at Baltimore Jewelry Center. There I learned everything from lost wax casting, stone setting, forging, to electroforming and more. Being in an environment filled with women of all ages creating beautiful art with their hands was an inspirational experience I won’t ever forget. Since then, I’ve continued to learn through self-taught study, and I’ll never stop seeking out opportunities to learn and grow my craft.
I grew up in Los Angeles and have always been inspired by music and subculture. I studied Fashion Marketing and Merchandising at the Art Institute of Seattle and started making jewelry when I was working as the Marketing Coordinator and Web Sales Manager at the cult fashion brand Lip Service. I sold my first pieces through a simple display in my office window. I then moved to Baltimore to open Black Mess Records, a heavy metal record store, with my fiance. In Baltimore, I co-owned Black Mess for three years, worked for other fashion brands, and continued my jewelry design exploration before moving back to my hometown of Los Angeles.
After having been self-employed for about 4 years, I couldn’t imagine going back to work a traditional 9-5 job. Luckily, Los Angeles is the perfect place for freelancers and I worked as an assistant for two female business owners. I worked to help them grow their companies for about two years, all the while still working on my brand, honing my craft and realizing that what I really wanted was to follow my dreams.
In May of 2017, I dropped all my jobs and decided to give Acid Queen Jewelry my all. Its been a bumpy ride with SO many ups and downs (more ups thankfully). But I wouldn’t give this experience up to the world. Not only has my company grown, but I have also been able to learn and grow as a person through this experience.
All of my pieces are made using a variety of processes combining metals, gemstones and geometric patterns with new and ancient metalsmithing techniques to create a distinctive style that is emblematic of Acid Queen. I sell my work online, through a variety of retailers around the country, and at live events throughout the year.
Each piece is handmade in my Los Angeles studio utilizing raw materials like sterling silver and natural cut gemstones. My dedication and attention to detail ensure a beautiful, exceptional, and long-lasting piece.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you? It wasn’t always my goal to start a real business, I guess in the beginning I never even thought that Acid Queen could be my full-time job, it was just something I did on the side that I loved. I grew the business slowly in the early years and I’m am truly lucky to have been able to cultivate my brand in the way I did.
The road has certainly not been “smooth” but this journey has always felt right. I always felt that regardless of any struggle or difficulty that I experienced, that Acid Queen was worth the effort. I am of the mindset that I will never stop learning, and that is something about owning a business that I love.
From designing my first production line to doing my first tradeshow and hiring my first employee, there have definitely been challenges but every single one of them has been worth it. Good experience or bad, there is always something you can take from it.
We’d love to hear more about your business. Acid Queen Jewelry is an LA-based line of hand-fabricated modern silver jewelry inspired by esoteric sciences, ancient adornments and the unique properties of gemstones. Each piece is designed and made in-house by myself, Alex Camacho (owner/designer) and my very part-time assistant Elisabeth who also happens to be my amazing photographer.
With the exception of my assistant, Acid Queen Jewelry is a one-woman show. I handle all aspects of the business from product design and development, manufacturing, product photography, marketing, social media, sales, customer service and much, much more! I pride myself on the unique aesthetic I have created for Acid Queen both within my jewelry and the brand itself. It has always been my goal to create pieces that are unlike what you can already find in the marketplace.
When someone sees one of my pieces, I want them to be able to recognize it on design alone. It has taken a while to get to the place that I’m at and I don’t see the journey ending anytime soon, so I’m excited to see how my designs and the brand itself evolve and grow in the future.
What were you like growing up? I would say that I was probably pretty similar to the person I am now, haha. I loved to laugh, I loved to meet new people, I loved art, music, animals and nature.
Being the oldest of three kids and the only girl, I got to do a lot of things in my family for the first time, like moving away to a new state when I was 18. I was headstrong and knew what I wanted and I never let myself live in fear.