Krista Allison adds whimsy to everything she touches and then, transforms it. Once upon a time, she created shell necklaces for Ursula-themed dancers at Disney’s special events group in Florida. She was a costume designer, but people would come to her for handmade jewelry. The jewelry wasn’t what one would expect. It was new, mesmerizing and her way of taking a chance on herself.
Krista started her own jewelry line called Whimsy By Krista in 2009. At first, it was just something she was doing on the side – her creative outlet after work. But since moving to Plano in January, she has been working full time on her jewelry line from home. She uses the website Etsy to showcase and sell her handmade products. Her jewelry ranges from earrings, bracelets, necklaces and rings to earplugs for stretched ears.
A fashion design and merchandizing major at O’More College of Design in Franklin, Tennessee, Krista never considered jewelry until an accessory class toward the end of college. That led her to experiment with different materials.
Throughout the years, she has worked with metals, leather, stones and clay. In everything she makes, she tries to use something natural–especially gemstones like amethyst and emerald. Her beach line items, including her popular mermaid plugs, even use real beach sand and starfish.
The artist in her loves working with vintage items and is always in search of one-of-a-kind pieces. There’s a Bohemian, eclectic style to her jewelry. It feels like her jewelry is having a conversation with wearers–and that’s the point. Krista pours her personality into everything that she creates, and anything she sells is something she herself would wear.
It all started when she wanted earplugs because she had stretched her ears from piercings when she was younger. She decided to make them, getting her hands on polymer clay. “I have a hard time buying things I know I can make,” Krista said, laughing.
For Krista, it’s all about the different feel of different art, which comes from mixing many textures and metals. She’ll see a tree and really like the texture. Then she’ll start to come up with ways to make a ring or a necklace out of that texture. “A lot of my inspiration is learning to see things in a different way,” she said.
Through college and interning at leather company Colonel Littleton, Krista picked up on details that she applies to her jewelry. Most leather bracelets don’t finish the edges off but instead end with a straight cut. Krista uses shoe polish to paint the edges to give the bracelets a finishing touch. “I really want [my customers] to feel like it was something personally made for them,” Krista explained.
She remembers how terrified she felt cutting shells open for the Ursula-themed necklaces. There were no shells to spare, and she didn’t want to mess up. But she dove in anyway and took a chance, creating something novel on the way. “That process has helped me ever since, to just go for it and trust my experience when it comes to new projects and ideas,” she said.
Eventually, Krista and her fiancé, who is also her marketing and sales partner, want to open a store of their own–a coffee shop and handmade market. It would be their way of supporting other handmade art businesses around Plano, while remembering to never stop being whimsical.