Yello Interviews: Alisa Ince, Founder of Jewellery Brand ‘MadewithSoull’
by Karen Rollins Oct 3, 2022
Barbadian entrepreneur Alisa Ince discovered her talent for making jewellery during the COVID-19 pandemic, and quickly decided to share her newfound passion through a small business she called MadewithSoull.
Alisa has always been interested in creative pursuits, so it came naturally to her to channel her artistic vision into crafting earrings, waist beads, tops, necklaces, and bracelets made from beads with various symbolic meanings.
Alongside her modelling career, Alisa is hoping that her jewellery brand will make a lasting impact around the world, by spreading positivity, hope, and lots of sparkles!
Yello asked Alisa to tell us more about herself and her plans for MadewithSoull.
Describe yourself using three words.
Courageous, creative, and kind-hearted.
Please tell us a bit about your background.
My nationality is German, British, and Barbadian. I was born in Germany but have lived in Barbados from the time I was three. I was raised bilingual and grew up with my mum and older sister.
I went to school in Barbados until halfway through secondary school when I transferred to a high school in New York, where I graduated.
I have a lot of fond memories of my childhood. I was able to travel to Germany and Switzerland during my summer vacations, which I loved, and I made a lot of wonderful memories in both Barbados and Germany.
Were you always a creative person?
Yes, from a very young age I was always drawn to anything creative from drawing, painting, arts and crafts to dancing… I loved it all!
What were your initial career plans?
My initial career plans are actually the same as today. From a very young age I have always wanted to be a well-known model. I had, and have, other passions and pursuits but modelling has always been my main passion and career path.
Why / when did you start making jewellery?
I started making jewellery in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. I was living in London when the pandemic started, but I came home to Barbados until things improved enough for me to go back there.
I realised a couple of weeks later that I had forgotten my waist beads in London (beaded jewellery that goes around your hips / waist), so instead of purchasing more, I decided to make some myself, and I loved them!
I continued to make more and played around with the design and colours and a great passion for it started to grow.
When / why did you start your jewellery business MadewithSoull?
I started my business MadewithSoull in July 2020 because I wanted to share my creative designs and impact others in a positive way.
Aside from jewellery just being an accessory, a lot of our pieces have meanings attached to them that serve as positive reminders for specific things. In doing that, we hope that our jewellery can help people on a deeper level and have a positive impact on our customers’ lives.
What was the biggest challenge you faced starting the business? How did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge at the start was exposure and that is still something I’m working on today and will continue until we are known worldwide.
Another challenge that I had was figuring out where I wanted my brand to go. I was able to answer that question in time by exploring different areas of jewellery making, figuring out designs I enjoyed making the most, and working out what I wanted my brand to look like at its peak and letting that be my guide as to how MadewithSoull will evolve.
Where do you get inspiration from for your designs?
I get inspiration from everything around me, from colour combinations in flowers, the shapes of chandeliers and clothing designs, to abstract art.
Sometimes, I also just put my design pad and pencil in front of me and I start drawing whatever pops up in my head.
What materials do you enjoy working with?
I enjoy working with stainless steel, wire, gemstones, beads, and anything sparkly.
Who are your customers? How do they find you?
Our customers are individuals who enjoy spicing up their outfit. They enjoy sentimental pieces made with gemstones that are also fashionable accessories.
They are individuals who want to stand out and look as glamorous as they can and artists who want something unique and beautiful for their performances and events.
Our jewellery is elegantly bold but can also be simply chic, so our customers can get something for everyday wear, or something extremely glamorous for special occasions.
We can be found on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok – @madewithsoull.
What plans do you have to grow the business over the next 12-18 months?
Over the next 12-18 months we want to start collaborating with local brands, creatives, and artists. There are so many talented people here in Barbados and while we are here, we want to work with as many as we can.
We also want to get MadewithSoull in front of as many eyes as possible, so we will be working on showcasing our pieces in fashion shows, local and international stores, and on getting opportunities to design MadewithSoull outfits for local and international artists.
What advice do you have for aspiring small business owners?
I would tell any aspiring business owner to GO FOR IT!
Even if you don’t have everything figured out, you will learn along the way, and once you keep working on it and letting your passion guide you, you’ll start figuring it out and things will fall into place.
What do you love the most about Barbados?
This is a hard question because there are so many things I love about Barbados and as much as I want to say, ‘the beaches or the culture’, the first thing that comes to mind when I hear this question is all the memories I’ve made here, that’s what I love the most about Barbados.
When I think of Barbados, I think of ‘home’. I think about all my friends and family. My childhood, the ups and downs, the lessons and who I am today. That’s what I love the most about Barbados.
What is your motto / philosophy in life?
You can do anything you put your mind to.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be? Why?
If I could have one superpower it would be teleportation, for personal reasons, and to help others worldwide.
I think the world is absolutely beautiful and I would love to travel to as many places as I can and really experience all of it! I would also love to visit family and friends whenever I wanted to, with a snap of my fingers.
But I would also use my superpower to help anyone in need around the world. So, if there was anything I could do, or bring with me to help in some way, I could be there in a heartbeat. Also, hoping that I can take people with me while I teleport, I could get any individual/s where they need to be to prevent a crisis or save a life.
I would love to take people to places they’ve always wanted to see or reunite individuals that aren’t able to see each other for whatever reason; things that will bring people joy and hopefully impact lives in a positive and powerful way.