By REBECCA DESFOSSE
Nestled in the heart of Monmouth Street in Red Bank, Ice takes costume jewelry to the next level by featuring the work of local up-and-coming artists.
Pieces of jewelry are displayed individually throughout the store in ways that allow for “each piece to get its own recognition,” according to store owner, Jack Hersh.
Alexis Gasiorowski, a 34-year-old attorney who lives in Red Bank and moonlights as a jewelry designer, makes her bracelets out of items such as bamboo found in Sea Bright, snake vertebrae – procured humanely, she said – African trade beads and lava beads, to name just a few.
Gasiorowski told redbankgreen she was excited to sell her jewelry at Ice because she wanted to help bring a bohemian vibe back to town. Approached by larger stores, Gasiorowski said she has always turned them down because selling locally is important to her.
“Because of high rent, a lot of local artist have been driven out of Red Bank,” and therefore, it’s really important for her to bring her art to shops like Ice and share it with the town, she said.
Fiorella Fuentes, a 29-year-old graduate student from Red Bank whose jewelry line is called “Milagro” (‘miracle,’ in Spanish), says she is inspired by vintage and classic pieces in her jewelry design.
Fuentes believes in “enhancing creativity in everyone.” She hopes to eventually teach people her craft and understands that a town like Red Bank can bring that creativity out in people.
Thanks to stores like Ice featuring local craftsmanship, “more people can come out and show their things,” she said. “Everybody thinks differently, so you’re going to see so many different things.”
Both women say that jewelry-making is a stress reliever amidst the hustle and bustle of their busy lives. To them, jewelry-making is both a hobby and a way of release.
Hersh said he believes in American-made art and people making money from within, instead of importing goods. His intention is to “promote local artists and business within our own state and town.”