We all know that designer Alex Sepkus has a huge following. People fall in love with his work the moment they discover it, and then spend a lifetime collecting it, piece by piece, building a full wardrobe of Sepkus jewelry over time. Well, one fan, a Californian named Melissa, took her love of this artists’ work to the next level. Before taking the plunge on her first Sepkus purchase, she grabbed her hubby, and took a road trip to visit stores that carry his work, encountering many of the fellow-obsessed on the way! We caught up with Melissa after her great adventure, and her big purchase, to get a little glimpse into the mind of a true, Alex Sepkus fan.
COUTURE: When did you first fall in love with Alex Sepkus’ work?
Melissa: When I was in med school I went to a conference in Monterey, California and I went into a gallery, saw his work and fell in love with it, his rings especially. But as much as I loved it, it was way out of my price range at the time. Since then I’ve kept an eye on it, and admired it from afar.
COUTURE: What is it specifically about his work that you find so appealing?
Melissa: More than other things I’ve seen, his work is a good combination of fine art, as if it was sculpted, and very much a natural feeling, it’s in touch with nature in a way that I haven’t seen. And this association with nature is subtle, it’s not blatant like “it looks like a tree,” it just evokes elements of water, a really neat combination of different metals and different stones. And not everyone does things in rose gold, and I have a thing for rose gold; my middle name is Rose.
COUTURE: So how did this whole road trip come about?
Melissa: My husband and I were visiting a cousin and we were in a store and I pointed out Alex Sepkus’ jewelry. He said he remembered how much I liked it, so we started talking about it more seriously. We realized that there are several different places in California that carry his work, so we went to his site, plotted it out, and made it into a road trip. We did it in a borrowed camper van with three dogs!
COUTURE: Wow, how cool! How many places did you visit?
Melissa: We started in Solvang, California, near Santa Barbara. We made 12 stops in different stores and different cities. Unfortunately, because it was right after Christmas, not all of them were open. We did manage to see a lot, and we met a lot of great people, especially in Santa Barbara where there was one woman who was a big Sepkus fan!
COUTURE: And by the end of the trip, did you “accomplish” anything (and by that, we mean, did you get a piece of jewelry?!)?
Melissa: By the end of the trip we said “Let’s do it!” We just had Christmas, we had Valentine’s Day coming up, and then our anniversary on February 15th, so as a present for all of those things, we decided to go for it. The closest store to us is on Solana Beach, so we went in there and ordered from them. I got a rose gold ring with really pretty pink, purple and blue stones. It’s gorgeous!
COUTURE: And I’m told…you wound up in Alex’s studio in New York City? How did that come about?
Melissa: We just reached out through the email on the company’s site and told them the story of our road trip and how much we loved Alex’s work and we got an email back from Jeff [Feero]! He told us if we wanted to come pick up our purchase from the studio in New York, they’d be happy to give us a studio tour!
COUTURE: So you went for it?!
Melissa: We went for it! The weather was a bit cold, but we had a great time. We saw a Rangers game (my husband is a huge Ranger’s fan!), we went to a couple of plays, had some great dinners…it was a great trip! And then we went into the Sepkus studio and spent some time with Jeff. He showed us around, showed us the whole process, showed us some of the first things Alex made right when he got here from Lithuania when he didn’t have tools. We got to see the whole process!
COUTURE: Thanks so much for sharing your story with us, Melissa. You truly are a Super Fan!