"My first sentimental item is this collection of my favourite jewellery that I’ve collected over the years. I left Italy over 10 years ago with just a backpack. I couldn’t bring much with me, but I felt I could pack this jewellery, because they are all so tiny. Each of them has a story for me. They all connect to travel, and either spots that I’ve visited, or spots that the person who gave them to me visited. My boyfriend is a joiner and he made this box for me to keep all my jewellery in, it’s like my box of treasures.
This necklace is from Morocco when I was there with my mum. We went there together to celebrate her 50th birthday and she bought it for me. She brought back these earrings from Syria, where she was travelling. My boyfriend bought this ring here in Wellington from a local artist. I love wearing jewellery that has a bit of story, especially if somebody has gifted it to you. I feel like you take a bit of their energy with you. Especially with being away from home, if I ever feel homesick I can wear something my mum gave to me.
My second sentimental item is this jacket my nonna knitted for me. She sent it for my first winter here. It feels just like your granny giving you a big hug. When I get the winter blues I put it on and feel really cosy.
I feel like Nonna’s my inspiration in terms of creativity. She’s always been creative, anything from music, knitting, sewing and crochet. She taught me how to sew a little, so when I came to NZ I bought a sewing machine. If I get stuck on a project, I can call her and ask her what to do. She’s close to 90 now, but she still knows how to use FaceTime!"
What does sentimentality mean to you?
"I think you can associate sentimentality with a nostalgic feeling, which isn’t always good. It can make you live in the past a lot. It can be easy to look back and romanticise the past, because you always forget about the bad stuff. You want to have a balance. It’s nice to be sentimental about things, because they’re memories you treasure, but on the other hand you don’t want to be stuck in the past and overly sentimental." - Alessandra, Te Whanganui-a-tara/Wellington (Interview: Chloe Mason) Find her: @sforma_jewellery