Artisan Nilson de Assis is no stranger to hardship, as he grew up in one of the poorest and most dangerous slums in Rio de Janeiro. At the young age of 15 he dropped out of school to work in a handbag workshop where through hard work, focus, and dedication he was able to help provide for his family. However, it wasn’t until a few years later that he discovered his artistic abilities while apprenticing with a brass artisan. In order to grant his daughter the opportunities he never had, each night he collected and used scraps from the workshop to create stunning pieces of jewelry.
Today, Nilson is a customer favorite at Uno Alla Volta, and has a thriving business in Rio de Janiero. While his success is booming, he does not forget the challenges he faced, which is why he is constantly giving back to his community. Not only does Nilson give back financially, but the success of his business allows him to give stable career opportunities to people with backgrounds similar to his own. Happily, Nilson is able to help all of the members on his team earn living wages and build better lives for themselves and their families.
Each piece of Nilson’s ever-evolving designs is created through an extraordinarily complex and painstaking process which he and his team have mastered. These simply elegant styles are carefully sculpted by hand, bending and soldering brass into rich organic shapes. Once shaped, each structure is specially plated for a uniquely vintage look, then they sift through their collection of native Brazilian crystals to find the perfect gemstones to complete each exquisite design.
Buying a piece of Nilson’s handcrafted jewelry is an experience unlike any other. You become part of his story, and contribute to helping to better the lives of him and his community.