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Red Rock Rad — Get Some Southwestern Spice With Alejandra Hill Jewelry

Growing up in San Antonio, Texas, jewelry designer Alejandra Hill (née Alexandra Hill) was fascinated by the city’s deep Latino roots (hence why they nicknamed her “Alejandra” in oe of the Spanish version of her moniker) and, more importantly, by how this heritage influenced the local architecture, music, food, and culture. After all, San Antonio is the seventh largest city in the US and boasts a population that’s 60% Latino. The city is teeming with Mexican restaurants renowned for their tamales and enchiladas; bakeries specializing in colorful pan dulce; larger-than-life murals painted in the tradition of Diego Rivera; quaint homes painted in turquoise, periwinkle blue, saffron yellow, honeysuckle pink, Margarita green; and crosses decorating church domes, stone walls, and historic landmarks. It follows, then, that her eponymous jewelry line, which recently debuted on BoutiqueToYou.com, would feature both a color palette  and a series of symbols commonly seen in her native Southwestern city.

Comprised mainly of stackable bracelets, the debut Alejandra Hill jewelry collection features pieces made with colorful trade beads, braided nylon ropes, suede cords, golden ball beads, rhinestones, howlite and brass charms, and more. Cross charms and shapes abound in the collection, perhaps an homage to the predominantly Christian population in San Antonio and the abundance of cathedrals and chapels, while skull-shaped charms could very well speak to both the desert climate and to the Día de los Muertos symbolism that’s such an enormous part of Mexican history and culture.

Above, you’ll find images of the Alejandra Hill Vinyl Trade Bead Cross Bracelet, shown in Blue, Neon Pink, and Mint ($25 each at BoutiqueToYou.com), each a two-toned design made with vinyl trade beads and an elongated cross made of howlite, a borate mineral that can be carved, dyed, and polished to resemble other more precious stones or to create highly specific charms and ornaments. Two small metal rings encrusted with clear crystals frame the top and bottom rims of each cross charm, adding an unexpected bit of sparkle to these rustic, earthy-looking pieces.

Next, you’ll also find images of the Alejandra Hill Rhinestone Skull Bracelet, shown here in Neon Yellow and Neon Green ($25 each at BoutiqueToYou.com), leather pieces wrapped in fluorescent thread to resemble the friendship bracelets of yore, and decorated with clear rhinestones positioned atop square-shaped metal stations, with a single, carved, skull-shaped howlite bead functioning as both the main focal attraction and the sturdy closure to the bracelet. In one photo, the skull detail looks like it’s made of an ivory stone while, in the other, it resembles a turquoise stone; in both instances, however, the skulls look weathered, with darker-colored veins throughout their surfaces and shaded eyes and mouths.If you appreciate skull motifs but prefer the tribal feel of trade beads, check out the Alejandra Hill Vinyl Trade Bead Skull Bracelet, pictured above in Blue ($25 at BoutiqueToYou.com) shown last above in a periwinkle blue with a baked orange skull detail.

You can wear these individually or mix and match them, piling them atop your wrist to achieve an ebullient, intrepid, optimistic mélange of colors and to channel the vibrant, strong, fearless spirit that distinguishes the Latino community to which I so proudly belong.

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