Once a month, Bainbridge Island Downtown Association and the City of Bainbridge Island present the First Friday Art Walk.
Spend an evening experiencing all that downtown Bainbridge has to offer, enjoy visiting participating galleries and businesses, have a glass of wine or other refreshments at various venues, and whet your appetite with small plates offered by participating restaurants. The walk begins on Winslow Way (near the ferry terminal) from 6pm to 8pm.
This month’s featured business is Alina Korotkina Exquisite Fine Jewelry
When I arrived for my appointment with Alina Korotkina at her shop in Harbor Square, she greeted me with a sincere smile and a welcoming sparkle in her eyes. She ushered me into her shop, apologizing that I’d have to wait a few minutes while she finished up with a client. I wandered around the store, admiring its glamourous, yet comfortable décor, adorned with display cases of every type of fine jewelry imaginable. When Alina’s client was making to leave, I noticed how blissfully happy she was as she gave Alina a huge hug—my immediate impression was, I think I’m going to really like this lady, and I wasn’t disappointed.
Alina was born in Irkutsk, Russia and came to Montana as an exchange student, staying on to attend Carroll College in Helena. After college she moved to Chicago, taking a position in the financial industry with Merrill Lynch. However, her need to create was a constant calling, and eventually she invested in a jewelry business on Chicago’s famed Jewelers Row. It was that business opportunity that sparked Alina’s desire to create unique and individual jewelry pieces. She discovered early on, that clients coming into the store weren’t content with the cookie-cutter mass-produced pieces, they wanted something that reflected their distinct personalities, in a nutshell, they didn’t want to see the same piece of jewelry on the person standing in front of them at the grocery store check-out line. She began tinkering with the pieces, altering them and creating something new and unique, at that point she knew she needed to branch out on her own.
She began by creating individual pieces, that she took to trade shows around the world, eventually earning her the international 2008 “Jeweler’s Choice Award”, sponsored by JCK Magazine of New York. Today her clientele spans the globe, ranging from celebrities to people just like you and me.
When her husband was offered a position in Seattle, they made the journey to the coast to see if they’d like it, while there, they were encouraged to visit Bainbridge Island. Like most of us, it took a matter of minutes to decide it was the place they wanted to be. That was over six years ago, since then Alina and her husband have given birth to twins, who are now five and showing their independence, which has allowed Alina the opportunity to open her new shop seven months ago.
Alina is classically trained in the art of fine jewelry making and design, and that classical training inspired her to create an environment for her customers that mimics European style boutiques—she and her staff do everything from design, stone cutting, metal work, 3D/wax renderings, to the final product. This concept allows Alina to cut out the middleman, and in turn it saves her clients money. Her process is intimate and by appointment only. When you come to her shop, she offers you a glass of wine and gets to know you—your likes, dislikes, desires and what you essentially want your jewelry piece to say about you—she also works with any budget, making sure that her clients receive the finest quality at the best prices. When designing wedding sets, she likes this process to include both parties, as often what a wife wants can differ from what the husband might like—she works with the couple as a whole, to be sure that they are both excited about the lifetime creation she’s making for them. In addition to one-of-a-kind pieces, she enjoys updating family pieces to suit your current lifestyle, by either altering it, or using the precious metals and stones to create something new. She also offers jewelry and watch repair—both new and antique—custom engraving, and appraisal services. Each fall, Alina holds a cleaning party for her customers, where they can enjoy wine and hors d’oeuvres while their pieces are given a maintenance update and polish.
Alina Korotkina Exquisite Fine Jewelry is located in Harbor Square, 752 Winslow Way East, Bainbridge Island, WA
*Artwork poster provided by Bainbridge Island Downtown Association
*Images of jewelry and logo provided by Alina Korotkina