The inspiring mother/daughter duo behind my favorite new necklace

After my friend Heather asked me about my sterling silver charm necklace at a basketball tournament over the weekend, I realized it's officially #swoonworthy. I've only had the necklace for a couple of months and have gotten so many compliments! After a pretty extensive hunt, I found this just-right necklace on Amazon. It's from L.A.–based Alef Bet, owned by dynamic mother/daughter duo Paula and Alissa. Alef Bet produces meaningful religious and spiritual jewelry, always crafted from 14k gold or sterling silver.

It sounds kind of dreamy doesn't it — owning and running a creative, successful, women-owned business with your mom or daughter? I asked Paula and Alissa if they'd be willing to share their secrets to success. Here's our quick Q&A:

What's your favorite thing about working together?

Alissa (daughter): It's just so easy. It's very flexible.

Paula (mother): I love it -- I get to see my grandkids more often!

What advice do you give to moms and daughters who dream of running a business?

Paula: For me, what I always have to keep in mind is that I'm not the total boss. I need to listen to Alissa's opinions and feelings.

Alissa: Partnering with family is a great idea because you immediately have respect for each other, trust each other, and can rely on each other more than an outside partner.

How did you start Alef Bet?

Paula: I've always had my hand in the jewelry business. Back in the 1990s there was no religious Jewish jewelry. Nothing modern. We hit into a market need. From that start, we've grown into creating popular modern styles and incorporate religious and spiritual symbols into those styles. We branched out from Jewish jewelry, to Judeo-Christian jewelry, to overall "protection" jewelry -- symbols that give people comfort. For some it's a Jewish star. For some it's a cross. For some it's a yoga-focused symbol.

How did you come up with the design for the Gorgeous Sterling Silver Necklace?

We work with our in-house design team on all of our jewelry. We're offering a larger charm now as well.

Are there any drawbacks to being a mother/daughter–owned company?

Alissa: Not really -- although if you ever get in a fight, you better fix it quick!


My name is Heidi Pearson. I'm a mom of four and a freelance lifestyle writer and editor by trade who's created content on everything from facial creams to 401Ks. I'm also a field editor and photo stylist for the Better Homes & Gardens family of magazines, which puts me in touch with lots of pretty spaces, places, insights and ideas. Even better are the handy tips I learn daily from the wise and witty women (ages 8 to 83) in my life. Add it all together, and it's a lot of things worth falling for. Hence, Tumble + Swoon. If you have a swoon-worthy something I should know about, let me know! 

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