Women We Laud: Gina Bayona, Founder of Alessandra Palms

BeautyNewsNYC got in touch with Gina Bayona, founder of Alessandra Palms, a small artisan-driven accessories brand launched in May of 2019. Check out our exclusive Q&A!

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I am a first-generation Colombian-American born in New York and raised in Georgia. I dreamt of being a fashion designer as a child but instead majored in Business Administration with an emphasis in Hospitality Management at the New York Institute of Technology. For as long as I could remember, I have loved accessories-earrings, necklaces, rings, bracelets, handbags. I’ve always believed accessories can elevate any look!

Tell us a little bit about Alessandra Palms:

Alessandra Palms is an artisan-driven accessories brand dedicated to the art of handmade craftsmanship in Colombia’s Caribbean region. My goal is to create an ethical and intentional business by way of empowering Colombian artisans to create one-of-a-kind accessories. Each accessory begins in the hands of exceptional artisans who use traditional Colombian techniques to create beautiful and modern designs. Alessandra Palms brings traditional artisan techniques made with colorful textiles to fashionistas with a flair that speaks for itself. The intricate woven design can take up to a month to make—no fast fashions or machines here!

What made you get into artisan-driven accessories?

I began to travel to Colombia in 2014 and developed an appreciation for finding locally sourced accessories which inevitably resulted in a collection of eccentric, statement pieces. I was constantly asked about my accessories but didn’t think about it too much until one day when I was stopped over 10 times while shopping in SoHo. That day something clicked and immediately the idea of Alessandra Palms was born.

What role does Colombian heritage play in your business?

Barranquilla and Cartagena are my eternal inspiration! Everything from its people, fashion, and history play a role in Alessandra Palms. Colombia is the second most ethnically diverse country in the Americas; it’s very important to me to showcase artisans, their skills, and developing communities. We have partnered with families in Barranquilla, La Guajira, Usiacuri, and as of 2019 ventured out to the Amazons.

Are there any products from Alessandra Palms you’d like to spotlight

I am very excited about our home collection launching in late June. It’s a collection of iraca palm placemats and other tabletop accessories. And I am thrilled to be re-releasing my favorite handbag, the Catalina Mochila! It’s handcrafted in La Guajira and decorated elaborately by hand in Barranquilla using lace decals and a variety of beads.

Learn more at https://alessandrapalms.com/

Gemma Lolos

Social Media Manager + Staff Writer

Gemma Lolos is a fiercely proud native New Yorker who is devoted to the arts in all its many forms. She loves to sing and listen to music, read great literature, experience inspiring theatre and film, and stream addictive television. She works full-time as a Marketing professional in New York City and does freelance writing on the side. In her free time, Gemma tries to immerse herself in the NYC Arts scene as much as possible, eat great food, and travel whenever she is able.