Forgot your password? Create an account.

Showing All Posts, page 2 of 3.

Travel and Creativity

I have great enthusiasm for traveling. I love wandering the globe, exploring different climates, architecture, fashion and lifestyles. I was born in Honolulu on the island of Oahu with adventure in my heart, and from an early age I loved to explore and seek out new and exciting places. Traveling to exotic lands and ancient cities has been a key influence in the execution of my designs. Each enchanting landscape into which I have ventured has become a part of me, magnified in my soul’s memory, and is transferred into the actual act of crafting each piece.  

Imbued with the heritage and culture from which it was inspired, an amplified energetic becomes the focal point expressed in each jewel-encrusted presentation.  Each treasure evokes a mystical story, a romantic journey, an historical era. Fiery sunsets over the Andaman Sea in Thailand, silky shades of green rolling hills on the Scottish Isle of Skye, the glistening rapture of azure blue and burnt orange in the temples of the Taj Mahal. There is a spiritual language that transcends time and speaks through my creations.  It mystifies and compels me.

Designing jewelry is the perfect union of my journeying abroad and then settling back in at my design studio in San Francisco. It is the process of the in breath and the out breath. When I travel, I am breathing in the world, absorbing the brilliance and glory of my surroundings, collecting invaluable experiences and priceless visual inspiration for my work. When I return home, I celebrate the out breath of exhilarated expression and heartfelt creation.  

It has taken me years to find the perfect balance, but now that I have, the creative flow is more powerful and profound than ever. Keep striving to find your own balance, your own magical, divine flow. It does exist, and is here for us all to tap into, relish and enjoy. 

Images from left to right: Alana in Venice, Italy; Alana with Mom and Dad in Honolulu; Alana in India; Alana in Kathmandu, Nepal; Alana on the Nile River in Luxor, Egypt; Alana in Lamu, Kenya.

Read More

Thoughts on Becoming a Businesswoman

Success happens when you live the life you love, and by emanating that love, you share it with the world. When you walk in integrity and create products or projects that are in alignment with your spirit and moral values, you can accomplish your dreams. I have found that to fulfill a dream one must work very hard, courageously embrace obstacles, and step through the fear. I have learned that by facing the events and opportunities in my life that have scared me the most, I have achieved my greatest rewards and success.

All of my jewelry creations are infused with careful attention to every detail, and they carry a deeply evocative, meditative essence. The success of a business is about the desire and intention to offer something different, something unique and extraordinary that stands on its own. Success is about following through with your innovative ideas and holding true to your authentic core values and vision.

Through the years I have realized that true success comes from this: being fully present in the journey while knowing you’ll receive what you desire by genuinely and graciously appreciating what you already have. And most significantly, I have discovered the truth in the wisdom that it is not what happens to you in life, but it is how you respond to each situation and event that determines your quality of life and creates your future.

Enjoy each and every sacred, glorious moment! 

Images from left to right: Alana at home in San Francisco; Alana in Los Angeles. 

Read More

The Turning Point

I had just returned from an extended, spellbinding trip to the Holy Land of Jerusalem, the Nile River and great pyramids of Egypt, and a remote island off the Kenyan coast called Lamu, and was wearing a piece I had designed from treasures collected on my travels. I had combined antique Egyptian scarabs, an ancient sterling Nefertiti and King Tut, and coral prayer beads I found on a previous trip to Katmandu.  

As I was walking through Neiman Marcus in San Francisco, the manager of the jewelry department noticed my necklace. She stopped what she was doing and walked directly towards me to ask about it. When I explained that I had made it from collectables I’d discovered during my recent world travels, she looked me in the eye and told me that she wanted to place an order immediately. This one single moment sent my life in a whole new direction. 

That chance meeting in the mid-eighties transformed my passion into a fully successful business, with my jewelry collections being sold in over 400 boutiques and department stores nationwide and internationally. It was a sign that everything I had experienced during my entire life had been directing me to the very moment where I was doing exactly what I loved: creating my art and sharing it with the world. 

Since that day I have been exploring penetrating color stories, rich, mesmerizing textures, and dramatic historical periods, amplified by romance and magnificent fashion. I have combined and fused all of these elements into statements of elegant and regal bejeweled adornments. 

I can truly claim I live a blessed life, not because of what I own or how much money I have made, but because of how I have chosen to live. I have listened to the dreamer within and tried to make decisions from a place of optimism and gratitude, rather than from fear or lacking. I have always followed my heart’s intuition and guidance, and trusted that inner voice inside that said “Anything is possible if you can feel the dream”.  While on one of my trips to India, a wise sage gave me these words to live by: “Do what you love and you will find your way”.

My message to you is this, be true to your inner calling. By creating your dream, you live the joy and share the awakening, and through example you give back a great and noble gift to us all.

Images from left to right: Alana in her San Francisco Atelier; Alana on a return buying trip from Paris; Alana at a cafe in Cairo; Alana in Mombasa, Kenya; Alana at the great Giza pyramid in Egypt.

Read More


Usually when I travel, I look forward to hunting for treasures. Sacred trinkets to remind me of the amazing places I've been. Often, this includes desirable antiques and enchanting charms that inspire my jewelry. But this past summer when my beloved husband Don (seventeen years together now!) and I went to Italy for an Alana Leigh business trip, it wasn’t just about the hunt. Instead, I was so overwhelmed by the magic of being there with the love of my life, relishing the splendor in each fairy tale glorious moment, that aside from my appointments, all I wanted to do was absorb my surroundings and surrender to the elevated state of being completely present to my inner spirit, to my husband, and to the beauty all around me, as if each moment might have been my last. 

This was a powerful, heartfelt experience to say the least, and the trip still lives on within me. As the memories settle, what I have realized is how I became illuminated by the ecstatic  colors of Italy. The penetrating warmth of crimson at sunset, the terra cotta hues of ancient villas , gold ochre and turquoise doorways, the accents of silvery sage cypress or the aquamarine of the Mediterranean, the worn, rich patina of old walls with layer upon layer of paint, in cities that speak countless stories of romance and history. All of these images come flooding back to me and energize and inspire my current creations. 

I've always been enamored with antiquities, and being in Italy so recently has re-awakened this passion. I've been experimenting with heavy gold regal embellishments, and exploring color combinations that evoke a fresh, sunshine-filled morning on my veranda in Portofino, with the boats and the twinkling, opalescent water below.

A passion of mine, aside from creating jewelry, is photography. The memories inside of me won't fade, but even if they do, I can always return to Italy right here in my heart and in these images I captured to share with you...

Images from left to right: Portofino, Italy; Lake Garda, Italy; Alana's inspired aquamarine Florentine stacking rings; Alana and husband Don on Lake Garda; Portofino, Italy; Alana's Mediterranian inspired pearl cluster enhancer.

Read More


In my design studio, I have a 250 year old Chinese apothecary where I organize all my radiant jewels. Separated into tiny drawers are luminous pearls, a trove of sparkling, faceted gems, Byzantine amulets, regal gold Florentine medallions, shimmering medieval crests, Edwardian shields and a blend of magical and mystical treasures that are the foundation of my creations. 

My design process has evolved over the years, and now I find that my most creative hours begin late at night, when all is still and people are dreaming. I start by getting into a meditative state while sipping my green tea and listening to soothing music from my Café del Mar collection. An ancient, five foot tall Burmese Buddha watches over me in my design studio as I allow myself to open into the creative portal that is the “Flow”. I’ll lay some selective gems and treasures out in front of me until I feel called by a particular stone, casting or color combination. This starts the creative process. I'll pick up a black baroque pearl, a bronze topaz nugget, a Venetian garnet inlaid cross, and behold the transformation as a fusion of textures, colors and history merges and ignites. Before I know it, the piece is making itself! I awaken into an expanding state while I work, so designing is a very healing and unveiling spiritual practice for me. While in this divine grace, I feel a beautiful, transformative energy, a suspension of time. It is my mission to channel this vibration of joy and illumination into every piece of jewelry that I create. 

Last night, I was designing a necklace for a friend who emanates clarity and beauty to all those around her through her very presence. While I worked on this special piece for her, I was drawn to a perfect blue topaz cabochon that matched the color of her eyes. When I began working with it, adding golden amulets and iridescent accent stones, the meaning of blue topaz came to me: it helps to spark the laws of attraction by clarifying one’s intentions so that dreams may be realized. Then I remembered that my friend recently wrote a book that will be released in bookstores nationwide. This is the message she represents in her writing. A kind of mystical alchemy happens when I work, when I let my mind step out of the way and let the creative process reveal the magic.

When we tap into our inner source and intuition, a profound awakening occurs. All my designs are born from that place within, and my intention is that each piece of jewelry that I create becomes a meaningful as well as an enlightening part of your life journey. 

Images from left to right: Alana's San Francisco design studio; Alana's Holy Buddha; Alana's inspired aquamarine and blue topaz cross necklace; Alana in her SF design studio. 

Read More