Late last year, Todd Alan moved his shop from its home on St Armands Circle to the quaint strip of stores that line South Pineapple Avenue in Burns Court. Upon entering his new space, you are instantly transported to another place and another time: a time when people made things by hand every day as a means of survival (instead of ordering them with free two-day shipping on Amazon).
Todd Alan is a traditional bench jeweler; he uses traditional tools and a hand torch. Raw-metal round wire is poured, cut, woven, forged, fused, and filed by hand. Being a true craftsman, Todd opted to build all of his own display cases—and he did so with ornate detailing in the woodwork, resulting in an artsy, Old World, museum-like shopping experience. But while the lighting is dim and mysterious, what’s in the cases is shiny and bright!
I visited shortly after they opened and was able to catch a glimpse of his most prized creation, the meticulously constructed Mermaid Crown. Todd spent over five years making it his masterpiece, meant to embody all of the styles he has cultivated throughout his evolution in jewelry making.
Todd has been a jeweler since 1986 and, astonishingly, is completely self-taught. He carved out his own path in the industry, creating intricate designs and unique styles that had him selling out at art shows.
Over the years, he’s developed an original braiding style, resulting in a signature wedding-band product that he alone can deliver. (To get a glimpse into his process, check out his new YouTube series here.) Top jewelers across the world are mystified by his work and regularly order rings from him knowing that they cannot imitate his product.
To date, Todd has handmade over 16,000 wedding rings: How about that for a labor of love? One of the most popular sellers is the Cord of Three band, symbolizing the sacred union between two souls and God. It’s based on the Bible verse Ecclesiastes 4:12: “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
Get an inside peek at this fascinating artisan working on his latest rings.