It takes all sorts of thoughtfulness to make this necklace magic.READ MORE
Monica Ruzansky knows that good things take time—it’s why there was a whole eight-year gap between when she crafted her first piece and when she founded AILI, her line of wear-every-day fine jewelry. “It was definitely not instantaneous,” she recalls. “The idea for the business grew slowly.” It also necessitated a career change.
A professional photographer since the early 2000s, Monica couldn’t quite shake a growing desire to move beyond behind-the-lens observation. Hoping to satisfy her curiosity, the Mexico City native enrolled in a series of jewelry-making classes. And while her intention had been to make only a few delicate creations to wear herself, friends, family members, and a slew of strangers kept asking after her pieces. When the compliments followed Monica to New York—where she moved in 2005—the designer eventually snapped up a vacant spot in a shared studio in Red Hook and, in 2011, decided to commit herself to the trade full-time, making teensy rings, necklaces, and earrings studded with itty-bitty, gleaming gems. “AILI means light in Gaelic. As a photographer, light has always been a source of inspiration,” explains Monica, shedding some, er, light on how her past life still influences her work now. “I feel very much that my job is to reveal what is already so precious in nature. Light is how the world reveals itself to us. It illuminates what we might otherwise miss.” —mattie kahn
BEHIND THE SCENES
Key to the City The Very, Very Best of Brooklyn’s Atlantic Avenue
Delivering some street smarts over here...
It’s a jungle out there.