Moorpark College alumna sells Ventura-inspired sustainable jewelry

Former+Moorpark+student+Alissa+Goldberg+works+on+her+hand+made+sustainable+jewelry+at+her+apartment+in+Thousand+Oaks+on+Monday%2C+Nov.+15.+Photo+credit%3A+Ali+Wire

Former Moorpark student Alissa Goldberg works on her hand made sustainable jewelry at her apartment in Thousand Oaks on Monday, Nov. 15. Photo credit: Ali Wire

By Ali Wire

Former Moorpark College student and CSUCI graduate Alissa Goldberg, 26, has been selling sustainable jewelry inspired by her environmental science and resource management studies.

Goldberg started making jewelry around age 10 with her mother as a form of stress relief, but her passion reignited after pursuing studies in environmental science in college. While making personal life changes to practice environmental sustainability, she decided to go in this direction with her jewelry-making as well.

“I wanted to change the way it was done because of my schooling in sustainability,” Goldberg said.

Alissa Goldberg's handcrafted sustainable jewelry on display at her apartment in Thousand Oaks.
Alissa Goldberg's handcrafted sustainable jewelry on display at her apartment in Thousand Oaks.

In order to create pieces without excess waste, Goldberg has shopped for all of her supplies at different antique malls in the Sacramento area. She has purchased broken and unsellable jewelry in bulk and has given them new life by repurposing their string, beads, chains and more.

The jewelry is inspired by nature and features many different natural rocks and stones. Lots of her pieces feature sea glass, which she and her husband have been collecting over the past 10 years. Goldberg is currently working on creating pieces using fishing wire found on Ventura County beaches.

“A lot of my pieces are inspired by Ventura and the ocean because it is what ties me to this area,” Goldberg explained.

Goldberg has faced many hardships trying to blossom her small business among other competitors on Etsy, as well as trying to compete with fast-fashion retailers like Shein or Wish.

Her items are harder to mass produce due to the recycled nature of her beads. While this technique makes each design one of a kind, it makes selling in bulk more difficult.

However, sustainable jewelry still has lots of appeal to those interested in environmental preservation. Portland resident Jazmin Horvet has purchased multiple pieces from Goldberg, including a pair of earrings with small stacked amethyst stones from her first jewelry release on Etsy.

“I appreciate the intentionality she puts into each step, from the way she collects her materials to her fun designs and low-waste packaging and shipping,” Horvet said.

Hand wire wrapped blue glass found by Goldberg on a beach in Ventura repurposed into a necklace.
Hand wire wrapped blue glass found by Goldberg on a beach in Ventura repurposed into a necklace.

Goldberg has also found inspiration on different road trips she has taken. Her travels introduced her to many different people who motivated her resourcefulness and drive. During a recent trip to Denver for a rock and mineral showcase, she met many people who shared the same passions as her in jewelry making.

“I met a man from Africa who collects and makes handmade beads of trashed glass,” said Goldberg. “His story inspires me to create something vibrant and colorful like his bubbly personality with those beads.”

Last month, Goldberg had Halloween-inspired items featured on her Etsy Shop, she plans to release other crystal and stone designs within the next few months. She offers shipping or local pick-up to anyone in the Ventura County area.

Goldberg’s jewelry can be found on her Etsy Shop. She plans on releasing new designs this December.