Jewelry that Empowers
Who They Are
Alexis was a student at Vanderbilt when Lyme disease changed the course of her life. This unexpected diagnosis caused her to take a leave of absence, which she spent by walking the streets of Nashville connecting with the homeless population there. One man, a 60 year old Cuban immigrant named Ray, was diagnosed with cancer around the same time that Alexis was diagnosed with Lyme disease. Together, they formed a close bond, and met regularly to speak Spanish and enjoy meals.
Through all of this time spent local homeless people, Alexis found that there was a true opportunity, and a true need, to employ the people that she met. She wanted to do something to help. During this period, she met Corbin, a fellow student with shared passions for using business to help people in need. Together, they drafted out a plan for a jewelry business that would help employ the homeless and share beauty with the world.
One day, Alexis received a call from Ray. He was dying. Alexis rushed to his side, and he shared something with her. He had been saving money for years, and had stashed it in a duffel bag in a nearby storage unit. Ray told Alexis to take that money, and create the business that would help others experiencing homeless find a purpose through jewelry. And Unlocked was created.