“I like the jewelry community because I find it more welcoming and nurturing, not as competitive,” says Crystal Wells of Aitho Adorn. Spoken like a true artist, Aitho Adorn is a brand built on a foundation of exploration, inventiveness and pure adoration for the craft. Each piece of jewelry is completely unique, nothing is mass-produced, and that’s exactly how Crystal likes it. “Each piece tells a narrative,” she says.

She’s right. Her jewelry is stunningly inimitable; the pieces are made of soft metals and organic materials, which she whittles her distinctive signature style out of. The end products are minimal in color, simple, but end up being bold statement pieces that make an impression. Each item has personality without being ostentatious, which is an art in itself to achieve. “If it doesn’t stand alone, maybe I didn’t do it right,” Crystal states.

There are full ensemble sets for each piece, for instance, where an eye-catching necklace will go with corresponding earrings, rings, and perhaps bracelets. The “family” of a piece makes for endless possibilities. Each item will catch a compliment, but are even more breathtaking when layered upon one another. Crystal has created the ultimate in style: all of her work spans across demographics, and seamlessly spans from a day in jeans to a night out in a cocktail dress. Perhaps this is due to the fact that she never compromises quality and transfers a piece of herself into each item. Each item is inspired by something and comes alive as she explores materials organically.

Crystal does this in her spare time, which speaks volumes about the look and value of Aitho Adorn. “It’s a labor of love,” she jokes. Not only is each piece made out of honest passion, but the level of success that has come to the brand without being a full-time endeavor is astonishing. For her jewelry making is solace.

Crystal, above all, is a creator. Dabbling in fashion design, painting, sculpture, metalworking, and woodworking aside from jewelry creation, she strives to incorporate all aspects of those crafts into her work. Her end goal is to be, as she cleverly coins the term, a “Jane of all trades.” 

Even though her talent spans across mediums and trades, jewelry seems to be where she is most dedicated. “Artwork is a piece of you,” she remarks, pointing out how intimate each item is. Wearing the artwork, keeping it close to your body…it makes for a highly personal experience. 

Crystal is not willing to compromise her ideals to make profit, either. She carves things up and does everything the hard way. “There’s something about fabrication. Building a structure rather than making a mold...”

It seems that is exactly what Aitho Adorn is about. Alchemy, being experimentation and transformation, is the perfect word to describe the art of creating these pieces. How perfect it is that this is where the word “Aitho” originates. This is exactly what this brand is: breaking the mold and expanding common notions of jewelry and fashion available to consumers.

For Chicago dwellers, you can find her items at Tusk in Logan Square or the Lil Street Art Center in Ravenswood. And for others, scope out all her amazing work here.

By Leslie DiCarlo