The Kentucky Derby, Then & Now

The first Kentucky Derby took place in 1875 after Meriwether Lewis Clark, grandson of famed explorer William Clark, saw the Epsom Derby in England. With a gift of land from his uncles John and Henry Churchill to build the racetrack and stadium, Clark was able to bring this event to the USA. The derby quickly gained popularity in America and some signature details developed as well, such as granting a garland of roses to the winner, drinking mint juleps, and of course, wearing large, whimsically elegant hats.

Because wearing fun and festive hats to celebrate the Kentucky Derby is such an important tradition to our customers, we are sure to carry a wide selection of whimsically elegant hats every spring. Handcrafted of sinamay straw by our talented milliner Carole of New York, these tempting toppers each have their own unique personalities. Whether you are lucky enough to attend this equestrian event in person this year or simply enjoy watching with your friends and loved ones on TV, these show-stopping hats will make your experience even more special. After the Derby is over, these would make great accessories to your Sunday best for church!

See the evolution of derby hat fashions from the 1920’s to 2017 below:

40_1929_102108__fashion.890b0167656f91296d21511881b66332

Image from Kentuckyderby.com

67__R2_0502.e436be60dbbdf11a05b177d82372aaae

Image from Kentuckyderby.com

Shop here to see all of Uno Alla Volta’s fun and festive derby hats! Want to make sure your hat stays in perfect shape for next year? Our exclusive, vintage-style hat box will make transporting and storing your favorite hats so much easier.

Meet Elizabeth

Elizabeth’s destiny as an artist and entrepreneur was clear from her childhood. Inspired by her grandmother, who was a painter, and her first small business of selling macramé bracelets in Hudson, Ohio, Elizabeth followed her passion to Hartwick College, where she studied painting professionally.

In the footsteps of many young, hopeful artists, Elizabeth relocated to New York City: the epicenter of all things fashion. One day, she misplaced her favorite velvet scarf, and like a true artist, handmade another one for herself instead of wallowing in the loss. As fate would have it, her original remake garnered so many compliments that Barney’s New York and The Whitney Museum Gift Shop reached out to her for orders! Now, as an avid traveler, Elizabeth draws inspiration from the world all around her, citing everything from clouds to tile patterns as inspiration for her designs. Her scarves are handmade by her artisan partners in India, spreading the joy of creation across the globe.

image001

You can shop all of Elizabeth’s eye-catching designs here!

Wall Crosses For Every Room

This pious Lenten season is the perfect time to celebrate the magic and mysteries of faith. These unique wall crosses, each lovingly handmade uno alla volta, will perfectly accent any room in your home. Leave them up all year round as a reminder of the power of prayer.

WOODW54001

Everlasting Floral Wooden Wall Cross

 

VNLOCROCE1

Murano Glass Millefiori Wall Cross

MGLNUAVCR-7

Michal Golan’s “Pretty In Pastel” Wall Cross

Fill Your Easter Baskets

It’s that time of year again! To celebrate this Easter season of rebirth, our artisans have created a variety of handmade treasures featuring eggs, bunnies, and sweet springtime flowers. The treasures in our Easter shop are the perfect gifts to fill up those Easter baskets for your loved ones (or yourself)!

TCHTCS329113L

Pastel “Minetta” Floppy Hat

 

KKRDEASTERNEC

Millefiori Easter Necklace

KALICHBUNNY3

Polish Pottery “Secret Garden” Bunny Salt And Pepper Shakers

FLORAL160281UV

Handmade Easter Bunny Wreath

KALICH1604LG

Polish Pottery “Gia” Easter Egg

Murano Sale Exclusive: Meet Amelia

 

amelia

In honor of our Murano Sale, we thought it was only right to introduce you to our Jewelry Buyer, Amelia. Her savvy business sense and flair for fashion are the driving forces behind so many of your favorite jewelry pieces.

After studying Fashion Merchandising and Visuals at LIM College, Amelia took her academic knowledge into the professional sphere, beginning with a series of notable internships. The first internship focused on visual merchandising for jewelry. Under the guidance of a great mentor and with a lot of professional freedom and trust, Amelia’s confidence as a young professional in her field grew exponentially. During her next internship in product development, she learned how to design pieces for her target demographic, as well as how to effectively manage product samples. With that strong skill set under her belt, Amelia came to work at Uno Alla Volta as a Merchandising Assistant, and her passion and ability were clear from the start. Under the guidance of another great mentor, Amelia quickly worked her way up the professional ladder and became our Jewelry Buyer.

Each year, Amelia travels to Italy to product develop your favorite jewelry items: those special treasures designed exclusively for our annual Murano Sale. On that shimmering isle, Amelia continues to build her relationships with our talented glass artisans, ensuring the strong channels of communication that help us keep up with our customers’ love of gorgeous Murano glass jewelry.

You can see this year’s mesmerizing assortment here!

Our Handmade Easter Bunny Wreath: An Origin Story

Sometimes, the story of how one of our treasures came to be is simply too sweet not to share with our customers. This Handmade Easter Bunny Wreath has one of those notable histories. Because our customers love seeing the newest edition of our owl wreath every fall, Taylor and Marina, our Home Décor “dream team,” asked our Customer Care representatives if they thought our collectors would enjoy a wreath featuring another little creature. Their response was an excited and resounding “yes,” so Taylor and Marina sprang into action to develop a new version of this beloved treasure.

Since Easter product planning was underway, our Home team chose adorable bunnies to be the next animal featured on our handmade wreaths. Our artisans quickly got to work, sharing our excitement about this sweet new spring design as they handcrafted the first prototype. They even sent us multiple choices of ribbon colors for the bow to make sure the wreath turned out exactly how we envisioned it. Taylor polled the staff here on the color choices and the pastel blue bow was the clear winner, since we loved the way it made the other colors “pop.”

After months of hard work and collaboration, the wreaths finally arrived at our office on the Connecticut coast, all the way from Baja California, Mexico. Each wreath is composed of moss, natural grapevine, strawflower, and faux eggs, complete with an adorable bunny perched in the center, clutching a tiny carrot. Since Uno Alla Volta’s customers are kind and caring animal lovers, Taylor and Marina hope this will be one of many wreath designs featuring a furry friend.

Click here to bring this adorable treasure home!

FLORAL160281UV

Do you have a favorite animal you’d love to see featured on one of our handmade wreaths? Comment below and we will gladly pass your suggestion along to our Home Décor team!

The History of St. Patrick’s Day

With so much of the history of St. Patrick’s Day entangled in the folklore of many countries, it is often difficult to discern the exact origins of this holiday and its traditions. However, most historians can agree Catholics have been celebrating the feast of St. Patrick’s Day since the 17th century to honor the patron saint of Ireland. Born in Britain, St. Patrick was captured into slavery and then brought to Ireland. He later escaped to a Catholic monastery in France, then returned to Ireland as a missionary. The three leaves of the Irish shamrock are said to represent the Holy Trinity and trace back to Ireland’s Catholic roots.

In America, this celebration began in the late 19th and early 20th century as a way for the outcast Irish immigrants to honor their heritage. The first St. Patrick’s Day parades on American soil were acts of resistance against the prejudices the Irish faced when moving into a predominantly Protestant country. Today, this holiday is celebrated by people of all faiths, all around the world.

Explore our St. Patrick’s Day shop for all the “lucky” green treasures you need!

International Women’s Day

To celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th, Uno Alla Volta is paying homage to Terri Alpert, our founder and CEO. By sharing our own origin story, we are hoping to create “herstory!” Please check out Terri’s feature in Women @ Forbes to learn a little more about our company and values.

Terri Jacket 01

The Sensitive Pisces

Our precious Pisceans are born between February 19th and March 20th. Individuals born under this sign are believed to be highly emotional, compassionate, and empathetic. As a water sign, Pisces individuals are deeply romantic and very creative, as they are tuned deeply into the metaphysical realm. Symbolized by fish, these good-natured, kind individuals are known for “going with the flow.” These ocean-inspired treasures would make perfect gifts for the Pisces in your life!

ARIJB30

Daniel Lyon’s Angel Fish Brooch

HCCFGWXPT0238 - Copy

Seashore Fragrance Wax Vessel

PQSKJGBGU854

Joyita’s Seaside Devore Silk Scarf

VNLOB13314

Lorena’s Nautical Murano Glass Bracelet

FABRISFISHT - Copy

Shimmering Turquoise Fish Of Murano

Wonder And Abundance

Ever since I founded Uno Alla Volta in 2002, we have been devoted to keeping artisan traditions alive. Throughout the world, ancient crafts which have been passed generation-to-generation through the centuries are disappearing.

No place is this more evident than on Venice’s lagoon isle of Murano – the world’s capital of glass-making since the thirteenth century. During my recent visit, Nina, Lorena’s mom allowed me to watch her create beads for one of your favorite necklaces. What skill it required and what hard work. Each bead takes a long time to produce. Nina said to me, “the young folks, they just don’t want to work this hard.” I couldn’t help but wonder what the world may be like in another decade or two without new generations picking up the torch.

My husband was with me on this particular trip and it was interesting for me to watch his reaction to these traditions and to all the beautiful glass jewels we saw in each of our artisan’s workshops. He expressed a sense of awe at all the colors and the feelings of abundance. He said to me, “Terri, your catalogs do not yet capture this essence. Your customers want to feel what I’m feeling, see what I’m seeing.”

And, so, I devote this issue to bringing to you that sense of wonder and abundance.

terri-first-name-sig-2

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Pictured above is Nina: your beloved artisan Lorena‘s mother.