Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fathers Day!

Thinking of getting something for Dad? The Dog Tag is awesome for Dad,  I have been busy making them for the past few weeks for our local Dad's as well as some high profile Daddies.

Here is what I learned but did not know before I had kids, a husband and started a business hand crafting sentimental keepsake jewelry.  I honestly did not know that Dad's were sentimental. 

What I know now is Dads are extremely sentimental and proud of their kids, just as much as Mom's. I have had a lot of men that after they received the tag as a gift (Let's be honest 90% of my sales are by women) have gone out of their way to email or phone me to tell me how special their tag is to them & how they cherish it.  It surprises me every time.  And it is why I LOVE doing what I do.

My husband was the inspiration behind the first dog tag I made, the first one I made was made to look like an heirloom and antique & cracked it to give it a raw treasure feel. 

I decided it was too feminine and kept this one for myself.  I then re-designed to be more masculine and military inspired:

I love this tag and this quickly became a best seller for men and women.

This year I did a slight re-design again, changed technique in crafting and here is the 2011 Men & Women's Dog tag:

I often get asked which Chain to purchase with the dog tag, here are my recomendations:

For a Man who wears jewelry, likes bling or needs something extra sturdy - go with the 3.0mm  or 4.0mm 24" Ball Chain.  

For Women & Men who are not as used to wearing jewelry, or does not need something as heavy duty then the 2.2mm 24" is the way to go.  It is probably the most popular or best bet if you are not sure which one to get. 

 I do sell the 1.8mm ball chains but find that they are a bit light weight for the size of the dog tag, but some people like it that way too. 

So it does come down to personal choice.  You can always exchange if you decide it is not the right chain for you.  

When it comes to length 24" is the standard, and typically is the best length for most men.  My husband is 6'5" and it still looks good on him.

Hope that helps your Fathers Day shopping!  You can buy on line at

This month only 15% of all sales are being donated to Breast Cancer Research. 

If you are looking to have made in time for Fathers Day please order by the end of this month & have the imprint back to me by June 10th to ensure I can have made & sent back to you by Fathers Day.  If you are in the Metro Vancouver area I can arrange to meet you to take print or drop off kit to. 

Have a great day!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Drum Roll Please..

I am a day late due to health reasons, however regardless of the lost day.. we have a winner, and it was a tight race!  Robin Stewart won the race at the final hour with a 1 point lead over Tiny Toes.

Here is the winning photo:

Thank you to everyone who voted, because of your votes here are the earrings that Robin will be sporting around town:

Congratulations Robin!  I had a lot of fun doing this competition and I do plan on doing another one so make sure to take a photo of your Aly Dahl Jewelry & keep it on hand for our next competition!

Here is a link to our facebook page with the final photo's in the competition: Facebook/alydahldesigns

Monday, April 25, 2011

Cost of Silver - Yikes!

I did a show yesterday in Vancouver at Portabello West,  being that it was Easter and the Canucks were playing game 6 of round 1...I had very low attendance expectations.  I was pleasantly surprised by the turn out and the response to my art.

However, I had a comment that near broke my heart, a women told be that my Impressions jewelry is expensive, and could she just buy some other piece of silver and I could etch the fingerprints on it?  Are you serious lady?  1.She obviously has never crafted anything in silver and doesn't know a thing about casting or crafting. 2. She has NO clue how expensive silver is. 

After talking to a few other artists I came to the realization that the general public may not be aware of what is happening to the costs of silver. 

Here is a chart that I took from to show what has happened to the cost of my raw material since I started this business in the past 2 years,  with special note on the past 6 months.   For those who hate charts, silver has gone up 282% in the past 2 years. 

When I started this business, silver was $12 an oz and it is now $46 an oz.

2 Year Silver Price

Are consumers willing to pay a higher cost for silver? 

Most of my items I had on my table yesterday were made from materials I purchased last summer.  Basically what I am saying is the silver items on my website are a steal of a deal.   You could melt them down and make a killing selling it per oz.

Which leads me to my custom work, my Impressions line, this is the  line that I buy silver on a more regular basis.  I have not raised my prices in the past year,  but it is looking more and more like I will have to.   Will this price me out of the market? Are people willing to pay for silver or will silver artists start to die off or turn to copper, & brass?  Do consumers want more brass & copper?

Silver is now a precious metal.  Cherish it.  It is worth something.
Next time you are at a market and you try on a silver ring you love, and you find out it is near 300% higher priced than you expect, understand why.
You now know what it cost the artist to buy the silver, the tools, the finishing materials and realize, that these artists are currently working for their passion and their time as been donated to the art you adorn, they are doing this out of  fear that no one will buy it if they charge for their time.

My jewelry tree - love the way it turned out, the pic does not give it justice

If you feel the need to judge an artist by the value of their work, know that your words have power,  most artists create because they love to,  trust me when I say none of them get paid their weight in silver :) 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Contest Time!

Post your favourite picture of you or your loved one wearing a piece of our jewelry on our facebook fanpage and win these fun hot new earrings:

Contest details: 

Upload your pictures by April 24th at midnight to:!/pages/Aly-Dahl-Designs/235097213785   Please tag yourself in the photo so we can contact you if you're the winner.

Once your photo's are uploaded we will put them into an album and on  April 25th - May 8th our facebook fan's can vote for their favourite picture,  invite your friends & family to vote.  They will need to become fans to vote.

Voting, each person can vote once per photo - Votes will be by saying "vote" in comment section or by liking the photo.

You can upload more than one picture, but must highlight a different piece of Aly Dahl jewelry in each photo.

Winner will be announced May 9th,  shipping will be paid by Aly Dahl Designs.

By uploading your photo you will be agreeing for Aly Dahl Designs to use your photo for promotion. 
 Thank you for entering & good luck!
Good Luck!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Congratulations Laila Ali!

Congratulations to the Ali family on the birth of Laila's baby girl, Sydney.

We had the absolute pleasure of meeting Laila at the Oscar event in LA in February, gorgeous doesn't begin to describe her, perhaps it was the baby glow but she is perfection.  If only I could afford to hire her as my model, she is that kind of beautiful.  

Here is a photo of Laila with baby Sydney still in belly. 

We spoke about doing baby Sydney's toe print,  and I can't wait! I love doing toe prints!

Once again,  Congratulations to Laila & family. 

Monday, April 4, 2011

Oscar Post 9 - Miss Jay

Miss Jay

I have to say that Miss Jay seemed like an old friend.  You know the ones that you only see once every few years, but when you do it's like nothings changed.  Perhaps it's the years of watching America's Next Top Model, or maybe it is just the way he is. 
He is one of the funniest people I have met in a long time.  He had Jolene and I laughing for most of our encounter.   It started with him coming over and asking what it is I do, and when I started to tell him he stopped me and looked me in the eyes and said "Oh Child, you don't have enough silver to cast what I would want immortalized".
I am sure I replied in a perverse kind of way as I recall him saying "You must be Canadian, only Canadians can keep up with my dirty mind".

Believe it or not, but that is not the first time I have been asked to cast an impression of a personal part... I mean I do tell people, I can cast what ever you can take an impression of...

Miss Jay was the last person to come to our booth on the first day.  And I am so glad it was him,  it was the perfect way to end a long, fun filled, adrenaline high day.

He took a kit to take to France with him as his partner has a niece that he loves to spoil.  I look forward to making a special keepsake for the worlds best Cat walker.

Here is one of the goofy shots we took..

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Oscar Post 8 - Autum Reeser & Toeprints

Autumn Reeser was adorable, and had that perfect pregnancy glow going on.  She was so sweet and I can't wait to cast her coming attractions little toe print and memorialize it in silver to become a cherished keepsake for her & her family for generations to come! 

I love doing toe prints.  For newborn's and kids under 1 they turn out the best, but even for bigger kids (including adults) they are so cute.  I recently did a dog tag for a famous Daddy with the child's finger and toe print on it.. and I have to say it was SO CUTE!   Toes tend to be rounder and fingers more oval so it was obvious on the tag which was which.  I LOVED IT and so did he!

 I am thinking I will probably do one for myself of each of my kids so when they get older I can give it to them so they will always a piece of their childhood with them to look back on.    

My daughter is 5 on Monday and I will be finger printing and toe printing her on that day to capture this milestone.  For some reason 5 seems huge to me, like it's the beginning of the end.. school, boyfriends, college, moving out, marriage, babies, .. OK I need to stop before the waterworks begin.

Her and I are working on a butterfly pendant that will have her toe prints and finger prints as the wings.. I'll keep you posted on how that turns out.  I have a feeling it will be a ton of work.. but it's worth it to me, I love making jewellery with meaning.   Especially when her and I can do it together.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Oscars Post 7 - A personal Fave

There has only been a few times in my life that I have had that feeling of butterflies dancing inside me, that feeling of pure excitement..

Meeting Dot Marie Jones was one of those events that did just that, sitting here now just looking at the photo brings all of the joy that I felt in that moment come gushing back.

Dot Marie Jones plays Coach Bieste on one of my favourite shows, Glee.  This woman is so talented, and I have to say she was probably one of the kindest people I have ever met.  LOVE LOVE LOVE her.

Now my excitement came from my own excitement to meet the Coach, but it was also to do with my daughter.  At the ripe age of "almost 5" celebrity is not really in her vocab... but I knew she would know this one.

My daughter, Maaren, goes to gymnastics every Tuesday evening and as soon as she gets home from the hard work out, she sits down next to me and suggests we start Glee. (We hate the weeks it's not on.) 
Typically the whole family watches together, but it is my Maary and I that snuggle up and demand silence after every commercial break. 

When I saw Dot walk in the room, I knew how excited Maary would be to see me standing next to Coach Bieste.  Here is one of the few pictures that I am in from the Oscar event that I don't hate. Can you see the genuine look of "Glee" in my eye!

My BFF and employee of the century Jolene is also a big fan of the show and we couldn't resist getting one of the two of them as well. 

Fast forward a couple days to me arriving back to Palm Springs loaded up with My Little Ponies, Leap Frog Maps and pens, and other fun freebies from the event to shower my children with.. I then dig out my camera and the first picture I show her is the one of me and Dot Marie Jones and my daughter flips out.  I'm not talking a quick "cool mom".. I'm talking she almost "peed herself" excitement.  That was the moment for me when I knew that at least in my "almost 5" year old daughters eyes I was cool. (Hopefully I can milk that for a few more years).

However the picture did create a lot of confusion.  Maaren now thinks that I work for Coach Bieste and that she gave her all the gifts.  So Ms.Jones if you ever read this, you are a serious hero in my daughters eyes and she would love to know how you knew she loves My Little Pony, she is convinced that you somehow work in cahoots with Santa.

I was a huge fan before I met Dot Marie, but now I am thinking of running for president of her fan club. A serious pleasure it was to be in her presence.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Oscars Post 6

Tonight I am doing more pictures than writing.. I have been busy in the studio all day making dog tags & pendants for celebrities and my fans...  Enjoy! Aly
Jennifer Freeman
Probably best known for her role on my Wife and Kids as Claire Kyle and playing Jill on the Johnson's Family Vacation.  Very sweet, kind courteous!

Suzie Castillo
This former Miss USA is pretty inside and out, she has hosted numerous shows and been the face of nuetregena, but I have to say I am really looking forward to seeing her on her new show School Pride.  As co-host and designer of the show, Susie uses her Interior Architecture and Design degree to give neglected public schools a much-needed face lift and empower communities across the country to help change America's broken public education system.  How awesome does that sound! So positive, I am behind shows like this 100%, even if they make me cry.

Tracy Hutson
Tracy is a very accomplished interior designer and may look familiar as she is part of the dream team on ABC's Extreme Make Over Home Edition.  She has even written a book on how to decorate the perfect space for your child.  These two were so kind and funny.  And had great shoes!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Oscars Post 5 - Hot Mamma McKeller

I was filmed on A-Channel News in February mentioning how I needed to lose a quick 50 lbs as I didn't want to be photographed next to brand new moms who are teeny tiny.. Danica McKellar is one of those moms.  Notice I am not in the photo - That's right, I was not successful in the quick 50 off program.

Now every boy and some girls I knew growing up had a crush on Winnie Cooper of the Wonder Years... but  Danica McKeller has grown into a STUNNING woman.  Not only is she gorgeous she is also extremely intelligent, kind and has THE cutest baby ever. 

Did you know Danica graduated UCLA with the highest honours in Mathematics!  She is also a New York best seller on the topic:  Math Doesn't Suck: How to Survive Middle-School Math without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail, which encourages girls in middle school to enjoy and succeed at mathematics. 

I really look forward to turning the adorable Drako's fingerprint in a cherished keepsake for Danica to wear close to her heart.

The world needs more Danica McKeller's.  Gorgeous, smart, great mother, and proud of her brain. She was a true joy to meet & an excellent role model for my daughter :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Oscars Post 4 - Legendary experience

Granted this is not a great photo of any of us..except maybe the adorable Wayne daughters... Regardless, it was a great honour and delight to meet Brendan Wayne.

For those who do not Brendan Wayne, he is a charming actor, father, avid horseman & the grandson of the legendary John Wayne. 

When Brendan asked where we are from he spoke about how he loved filming here, and mentioned an interesting experience he had at Roosters Country Bar in Pitt Meadows.   (I too have had interesting experiences at Roosters).  He was here filming a re-make of Angels and the Badman a classic film his grandfather made in 1947 that was shot in Pitt Meadows.

He was gracious and kind, I look forward to seeing him in upcoming movies: The Legend of Hell's Gate an American Conspiracy & Cowboys & Aliens.

I also look forward to making a dog tag for him with his 2 adorable daughter's fingerprints on it.

I wish him nothing but the best for his career & his family. It was a true pleasure meeting him.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Oscar Post 3 - I just wanted to hug her

Living in Vancouver is an experience in and of it's self, I have worked, lived, and have had numerous actor & singer friends, because of that I don't really have the "star-struck" in "Awe" mentality that I know many do. I know the truth.. they are just people looking for answers - just like the rest of us, except with better taste because they can afford it.   But when I met Dannielynn Smith-Birkhead I just wanted to hug her. 

Getting Putty ready to take fingerprint impression with

Perhaps it is because we have seen her life play out in the media, the tragedy of her brother and mothers passing or the absurdity of her paternity testing.   Something deep inside me wanted to hug them both but I knew if I had I would probably have cried, and then with that I would have for sure freaked the poor kid right out. 

Taking Dannielynn's imprint

Both Larry & Dannielynn were adorable, she looks just like her gorgeous mother and father, and her delicious blue lollipop coloured mouth reminded me of my own daughter, same in age.

Getting the print just right
I am in the process of making Larry a military inspired dog tag with Dannielynn's print on it. I feel somewhat honoured to make it, I think it is because I am a Mother.  Any child who has had the heart break of losing a parent holds a special place in my heart.  My mother lost her father at a young age and I have always wished I could have taken that pain away for her. Because of that I have always known how lucky I am to have both my parents. 

I hope Larry loves his dog tag, and I hope that Dannielynn looks at the dog tag when her dad wears it... just like my daughter looks at her print that hangs around her Dad's neck and with that she knows how much she is loved.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Oscars Post 2

For this second post of the Oscar event I will share with you a few stories of a couple of the celebrities I was blessed enough to meet and showcase my fingerprint jewellery to.

For me to say I was a wee bit intimidated or nervous would be an understatement.. not to say I didn't keep my cool, I did.. but to be honest I spent over an hour doing my make up and hair which is an hour longer than I normally do (I love working from home).. Looking back it seems hilarious... as if anyone was interested in seeing my mug..  Anyhow here are my first few celebrity encounters...

Nicole Sullivan
Nicole Sullivan was a doll, her and her son were adorable. I have been a fan of her acting since Mad TV, and the King of Queens, she has been the voice of many of my favourite cartoon characters and most recently she plays the feisty daughter in law to William Shatner on Sh*t my dad says.  
Her son was so cute and full of life, she is an excellent mom and she said she really loved my jewellery.  I feel so fortunate that Nicole was the first celebrity we had at our table, she made me feel confident and at ease for the entire rest of the day.  I look forward to making a fingerprint charm of her two son's for her to keep close to her at all times. 

Tisha Campbell
Tisha Campbell is GORGEOUS and funny.  She has been in a ton of shows, getting her big break on the "Martin" show, she has been on My wife & Kids, Everybody hates Chris, All of us, Rita Rocks.. the list goes on and on.  Tisha was kind, well spoken, funny and did I mention GORGEOUS! As soon as the camera came out she knew what to do, such a pro!
She said she can't wait to have her 2 sons prints made into a cherished keepsake by Aly Dahl Designs.

I will post some more stories in the coming days, it is so fun for me to re-live the experience through writing and sharing with all of you.  Thank you for reading my blog. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What a Rush...

Urban Rush - I did an interview and segment on Urban Rush today. Now I'm not sure if it is because I am getting more comfortable doing interviews or if the entire crew and staff at Shaw were so incredibly nice and supportive.  Perhaps both.. regardless I am so happy with this interview!

For those who know me well, they would tell you that my ultimate dream is to have someone live with me and do my hair and make up every morning.. I love nothing more than to be preened.   Although I did my own hair, having my make up done was fantastic!  I am waiting until just before bed to wash it off... ahh heaven.

Fiona Forbes and Michael Eckford the hosts of Urban Rush, were so great, I can't thank them enough for making today such a wonderful experience.  Such pro's!

I will write another post on the Oscars for tomorrow but for those of you who would like to see the interview from today (which includes coverage of the event).. check out the segment on you tube:

Monday, March 7, 2011

Post 1 Of Pre-Oscar Boom Boom Room

Brrr.... Well I'm Back from California and almost recovered from the Pre-Oscar event the "Baby Boom Boom Room"  I have to say that the weather in LA & Palm Springs was much more to my liking, it was sad when I realized that were no intentional ice cubes in my latte this morning.. However glad to be back and back to work!

Instead of writing one massive blog with a general story of the event, I have decided to write short stories to cover the many experiences we had. 

Now I know many of you would love me to jump in with who's who and the best of the best gossip, instead I am going to share with you what I consider some of my best experience.. me, my table, my neighbours and my BFF.


Jolene Laing & Aly Dahl-Johnson
The table top

Sweetheart with Chocolate Aly Dahl Egg

Our table
 As you can see our table was very black and purple,  we had some animal print accents with a brown and black beautiful box from Eternal Vessels to display jewellery in (they make beautiful urns and boxes - stay tuned to find out more about how we are teaming up to work together with a pet urn & print keepsake)

We were also blessed enough to have some fun freebie cards from our friends over at Tsitah Threads (they make the CUTEST hats, bandannas & quilts.  My kids Maaren and Leif each have a hat and they LOVE them, very cute & comfortable. ... and the best part.. they are easy to wash.  

I was very pleased with the way the table turned out.  I had planned on having Gerber flowers on the table in these sweet little glasses I stole from my mom's house, however after running all over Beverly Hills Friday morning only to find that the florist was "running late" and at an hour after opening when there was no sign of anyone I gave up and headed back to the event..
Lucky for me, my neighbour vendors Jessica & Amy ordered room service lunch and on the cart arrived a tiny bouquet of purple and white flowers....which I snagged and placed on my table for the remainder of the 2 days. (These can be seen in the top photo behind me and my cheesy I made it to Hollywood gesture).

Amy & Jessica from Lil Kiddies Creations of Florida

Amy & Jessica had a beautiful table full of fun bright tutu's, onsies, lollipops, they were excellent neighbours as well as dinner partners.  To find out more about their business check out Lil Kiddes Creations  to see more of their delicious creations & to see their fun pictures!

Wally & Shannon From Hipp Mama
Shannon is the ingenious woman behind the Hipp Mama Tool Belt, such a cool idea and the product is top notch.  I am thinking of ordering one to keep my jewellery tools, cell phone and Leif's sippy cup in.  Check out her site at: The Hipp Mama

Wally was the shared husband of the weekend, seeking excellent restaurants to feed all us women.  Friday night we ended up at Ingrid's cafe which was so delicious and so much fun.  We had a blast with Wally & his harum of 5 women.

A better picture of this gorgeous couple from Chicago

And here is the Aly Dahl Designs employee of the month: 

Jolene Laing

Tomorrow I will post some pictures and some experiences with celebrities.

Monday, February 21, 2011

I'm Leaving.. on A Jet Plane...

Word on the street has it I am off to Hollywood very soon... Wow maybe a little TOO soon.. So much to do.. If it was just myself and my stuff.. then no problemo.. but I am also taking my knee Highs (Descriptor word stolen from a good friend..thanks Gigi)..

So not only am I running around trying to pack all my work items, but I am also trying to pack for my children who seem to have grown 3 feet each (and by feet I mean the things they walk on as well as height) since last summer.. Good thing Grandma lives near excellent shopping in perma summer Palm Springs..

Today is get er done day.. About to go pick up the kids and take them to my cousin Jenny's place so I can hopefully.. fingers crossed... get 100 lbs of stuff into a 50 lb bag.. Finish a few last samples, and lose 50 lbs this afternoon.... Might need to cross my toes as well..

Anyhow, I will try to be posting all my updates and photo's to my facebook fanpage:!/pages/Aly-Dahl-Designs/235097213785
While I am away and would love for you and your friends to be come fans. So if you are not a fan, please become one and then at the bottom of the page (left hand tool bar) click share and ask your friends to become fans to.   I am so excited to be sharing this experience with as many people as I can.

I will try to post here as well, but not sure how that will work out from my black berry.

See you in Hollywood :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The coveted Invitation

Have I mentioned how excited and thrilled and honoured and and and...

Well, to be honest.. For the first 36 hours that I was considering this I was sure I was being punked or dooped once again (long story but it seems I have been involved in a scam since December - I will likely blog about this once I am back should things not get resolved soon)

Anyway,  Here it is the very exciting and exclusive invitation to the event.  Only the top celebrities, media, stylists and High end Baby boutiques will be getting one of these.. 

Here it is for me to share with you (click on it to make it bigger..)
There I am under the Mommy Lounge .. I might note that I will be in the wonderful company of Spanx, hopefully I meet them the night before as I need some help for the day of!

There are some wonderful vendors that are also involved.. my little pony, Leap Frog, Giggle, Char-Lynn Baby n Belly. 

I have been fortunate enough to have made contact with the owner of Char-Lynn Baby 'N Belly and it seems all my fears, and excitement are shared.. which makes me feel totally normal and ready to take this on.  Check out her Char-Lynn Baby N belly at, they have some great stuff & they are even involved with Extreme Home Make Over. Great business and Heart!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Times Colonist Article on Aly Dahl going to Hollywood..

Big thank you to the Times Colonist and Sarah Petrescu for doing such a great article for me.

My brother called me this morning, very excited to see that I was not only in the paper but full front page of the Life & Arts Page.  (My brother is an extremly talented artist, I think he was proud of his big sis)..

The whole page is about me!!! How cool is that!
Here is the link to the article:

And now the article: 

The universe couldn't have sent Alyson Johnson an opportunity at a better time.

The 34-year-old jewelry designer and mother of two was wondering if she'd have to go back to her day job to make ends meet. Her husband, an elevator mechanic, had been out of work for 18 months, taking jobs here and there.

"We were probably months away from going in the red or selling the house, or me having to go back to work full-time," Johnson told me from her home in Burnaby.

Then a few weeks ago, the Island-raised designer got an email from celebrity gift suite maven Jayneoni Moore inviting her to an exclusive pre-Oscar showroom, the Baby Boom Boom Room.

"Apparently, her assistant found me on Twitter and was obsessed with my stuff," Johnson said. Johnson's line, Aly Dahl Designs, is custom-made fingerprint silver jewelry.

The Boom Boom Room is invite-only, with about 85 vendors set up in the Beverly Hills Hilton Ballroom where the Golden Globes take place. It's a marketing gifting suite, where celebrities are given samples of the hand-picked brands in hopes that they will model and endorse the wares.

"At first I thought I couldn't do it, but then I thought of the investment. I thought, 'This is it,' " she said. Similar shows, without the same cachet, were charging up to $10,000 for a vendor spot.

Celebrities who have come through the Boom Boom Room include Jessica Alba, Halle Berry, Ali Landry, Heidi Klum and many more. The event is also covered by celebrity magazines and shows like US Weekly, People and Entertainment Tonight.

"I'd love if the Beckhams came through. They're fashion icons ... If Angelina and Brad show up with their kids I might go broke," Johnson joked.

She believes the high-profile exposure is just what she needs to launch her unique line, which was inspired by a request from her husband.

"My husband had asked me to make him something with the kids' prints," she said, there being a lack of unique men's jewelry on the market. So she made him a dog tag necklace with their toddlers' prints and names.

"He absolutely loved it. Now every guy in our complex wants one."

The line evolved to include paw and nose prints for pet lovers, pendants, tags, rings and earrings. Each piece is made with a kit, sent to the customer, to take their impression on a putty-like substance. From that, Johnson casts a mould and can make to-order pieces from the print, ranging from $125 to $350.

Johnson was so committed to her idea that she took a buyout from her job in the investment industry in 2008 to pursue her own business and has been working at it full-time since 2009.

She said she's been enthralled with fashion since she was a young child, growing up in Courtenay and then Victoria.

"I watched Jeanne Beker on Fashion Television religiously," said the Victoria High School grad. She credits her art teacher with motivating her to try metalwork. The eight years of Sundays she spent working at the high-end consignment boutique My Sister's Closet honed her eye for design.

While Johnson's pieces are mail-order only, stars at the Academy Awards are not the only ones who can get a firsthand glimpse. Aly Dahl Designs samples and kits are available in Victoria at Brandi Wein for Hair at Shoal Point, 15-21 Dallas Rd.

Read more:

Monday, February 14, 2011

Burnaby Now Article

Star power: Alyson Johnson, a custom jewelry designer from Burnaby, is going to the Oscars with her work.

Many people dream of making it to the Oscars, but one lucky Burnaby resident will make that dream come true this month.

Alyson Johnson, a custom jewelry designer based in the Forest Grove neighbourhood, has been invited to showcase her creations at the pre-Oscar Baby Boom Boom Room event.

"I'm super excited," she says.

The suite is set up for celebrity parents attending the Oscars prior to the Academy Awards.

Johnson's company, Aly Dahl Designs, was invited to be involved by the event's host Jayneoni Moore, whose assistant follows Johnson on Twitter and contacted her.

"Social media can pay off," Johnson says, laughing.

The opportunity is the kind of thing she dreamed about. When she was just starting her business, she had a conversation with a friend about how great it would be to feature her wares at an event with celebrities.

"I never expected it to happen," Johnson says.

Her one-of-a-kind jewelry features fingerprints (and, in the case of pets, nose and paw prints) set in silver.

While she originally had the idea of marketing the jewelry for new mothers, to preserve baby fingerprints, she's had a lot of response from parents of older children as well, she says.

Husbands and wives also come to her for anniversary gifts, best friends exchange her pieces, and pet owners get jewelry made from imprints of their dogs and cats' noses, according to Johnson.

She attended the self-employment program at Douglas College in New West in September 2009.

She had been in finance for 15 years, she says, and felt dissatisfied after returning to work after having her son. So when the recession hit, she took the opportunity to go back to school and learn how to run her own business.

Johnson had been making jewelry as a hobby for 10 years, using the fingerprint concept in her designs.

But some people still have difficulty envisioning what it will look like, she says. She hopes her foray to Los Angeles for the Oscars will change that.

Johnson heads to Hollywood on Feb. 22.

She is taking her two children with her, she says, and they'll be staying with their grandmother in Palm Springs.

"They're so excited," she says of her five-year-old daughter and three-year-old son.

"Normally they get pulled along for mom's work, and it's so boring, Johnson says, "and now they get to go to Disneyland."

She plans to showcase samples of her work and give out 250 impression kits at the Boom Boom Room in Beverly Hills on Feb. 25 and 26.

The Boom Boom Room is a pre-Oscar marketing and gifting suite where Oscar contenders and attendees who are new parents can peruse merchandise and sample gifts.

See for more on her work.

Taken from the Feb 12 On line version of The Burnaby Now

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

You Tube Clip of A Channel News piece

Here is the link to one of the News pieces that was done about Aly Johnson and Aly Dahl Designs on going to the Oscars!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Burnaby Newsleader

A Big Thank you to Wanda Chow & Mario Bartel who did a great job on a recent article about Aly Dahl Designs going to the Baby Boom Boom Room as part of the pre-Oscar 2011 events!

By Wanda Chow - Burnaby NewsLeader

Published: February 07, 2011 3:00 PM

Aly Johnson seems to have a knack for good timing.

It was shortly after the North Burnaby resident returned to work from maternity leave following the birth of her son that she started to question her situation.

"It was the realization someone was spending more time with my kids than I was, it was making a hole in my heart," said Johnson, 34.

As if in response, the economic downturn happened and she found herself being offered a buyout from her employer, after working 15 years in the financial services industry.

She took it as an opportunity and launched her own business, Aly Dahl Impressions, turning her longtime hobby of jewelry-making into a full-time venture.

Now, only months away from having to take a regular job again after her husband had to take on lower-paying work, the Forest Grove resident has received another boost.

She's headed to Hollywood to take part in the Baby Boom Boom Room, a pre-Oscar event Feb. 25 and 26 where A-list celebrities and their young children will peruse the latest and hippest family-oriented products.

Johnson (her married name), will be showing off her signature items—custom jewelry featuring clients' fingerprints. She'll be handing out kits that will allow the celebrities to create impressions of their family members' fingerprints (or toeprints, for babies whose fingerprints aren't deep enough yet) which will then be sent back to Johnson to incorporate them into silver pendants and rings.

She said being chosen was thanks to Douglas College's Self Employment Program where her instructors stressed the importance of using social media.

Indeed, organizers of the event first spotted Johnson's blog about her business and being a mom, then followed her on Twitter.

Even then, she almost didn't see the email after it ended up in her junk mailbox.

Again, with her knack for timing, she just happened to have a look at the mailbox and spotted the message.

"At first I thought it was a scam," she said with a laugh. She asked the organizer to call her and when she got off the phone she was just ecstatic.

"This is huge. There's probably no better way to grow my business and it couldn't have come at a better time."

While she's somewhat daunted by the prospect of meeting stars from movies, TV and music, she's more nervous about being introduced to media such as Entertainment Tonight.

Then there's the thought of rubbing shoulders with icons from the fashion industry.

"When I was booking my hotel room they asked me, 'Are you part of the Tom Ford booking?'" she recalled.

Stifling a gasp and a sigh, Johnson managed to reply in the negative.

Meanwhile, her four-year-old daughter and three-year-old son don't really know what all the excitement is about. In the past, they've tagged along with mom to work only this time, "they're excited about going to Disneyland."


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Surrounding myself with good people

I am so excited to announce that one of my fondest business mentors will be joining me at the Baby Boom Boom Room pre-Oscar event in Beverly Hills.

I met Jolene 10 years ago when I first moved to Vancouver.  We met while working at Fidelity Investments, we quickly became friends and have stayed so ever since.  Jolene is a brilliant sales woman, and has helped mentor Aly Dahl Designs from it's infancy.  I am so pleased to have her join me at the biggest event of Aly Dahl Designs thus far.

Surround yourself with good people. 
I have been so fortunate with the amount of wonderful people in my life who have been tirelessly helping me get ready for the trip.  My brother is an extremely talented photographer and came by yesterday and took some great pictures for me (which I will post very soon), Jolene and Katerina came and did factory line up style sorting, printing and sticking.. THANK YOU.  My neighbours Ashley and Joe and my cousin Jenny came to my rescue last week by watching my kids when I just couldn't.  

I have surrounded myself with great people.  And each day I feel closer to the greatness they are helping me achieve.  Thank you to all, and if I forgot you in this post trust me... it is not on purpose it is because of lack of sleep..

I will post links to press & media clips as well as the pictures in the days to come.