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🗣 Locals to Know: Meet Alex Mayr-Gracik, jeweler, mom and art lover

This Locals to Know is sponsored by Sabika Jewelry. Sabika is a company by women for everyone offering jewelry that unlocks opportunities, inspires joyful confidence and celebrates the unique beauty in all of us. Shop their newest collection today.

Today’s Local to Know specializes in adornment. She’s the leader of a woman-owned business that’s been crafting jewelry for all kinds of people for over twenty years. Meet Alexandra Mayr-Gracik, Sabika Jewelry’s CEO and Head Designer. Alex moved back to the region all the way from Austria to take the reins at this family company. Hear more about her journey below!

Hi, Alex! Tell us about yourself.

My hippie self would say, who I am is evolving every day! In clearer terms, I am a 42-year-old mom of two “kids” and a puppy that are 20, 15 and three, respectively. I am also Head Designer and CEO of Sabika Jewelry, a profession that is also my calling in life. Designing jewelry to bring out people’s confidence, creativity and individuality is my love language and something I am so grateful for being able to do.

I officially joined Sabika Jewelry full time in 2006. I was already helping my mom (who founded the company in 2001) develop the collections since she started it, but when I went to an in-home showing of Sabika in the summer of 2005, I felt so inspired and moved by watching women try the jewelry on and seeing the joy they felt. That experience completely solidified my decision to move back to Pittsburgh from Vienna, Austria (Editor’s note: Vienna is incredible, so this must have been a tough call!) and dedicate myself to spreading beauty, joy and opportunity through Sabika.

A set of beaded earrings and a necklace with a hammered metal pendant.
Courtesy of Sabika Jewelry

Wax poetic for a second and tell us: what brings you most alive about this city?
I would first have to say the people. The friendliness in this city is what makes me feel at ease and at home. My second answer is the visual rush I get every time I drive through the Fort Pitt tunnel, especially at night and when the sunset bursts the sky with vibrant colors. It never gets old.  

If you could eat only one meal from a local restaurant for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Okay, so I love this question because I have repeatedly told my husband that if I had to pick one thing to eat before I die (not to be too morbid) it would be the pork belly steamed buns from Noodlehead.  I am not a big meat eater, but this is literally the best thing I’ve ever eaten.

Outside of the obvious stop above, share your other top three destinations for where you’d go on your perfect Pittsburgh day.

Oakland is my number one. My family and I often go for a full day and hit the Carnegie Museum, then play a card game inside the cathedral of learning (or Pittsburgh Hogwarts as my kids used to say) and finish it off with a meal at the Porch or Spice Island Tea House. Other top favorites include Orbis Caffe in Mt. Lebanon, especially their special dinner events, and taking our pup Max to any of Pittsburgh’s fabulous parks.  

What’s your favorite local social media account (Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, or etc.) to follow and why?

Carnegie Museum of Art on Instagram. I love hearing about the fun events they offer as well as scrolling through the beautiful images of art.

If you could give any one piece of advice to locals, what would it be?

I love the kindness of Pittsburghers, BUT please don’t wave and insist on “Pittsburgh lefts” while driving. I think we would all be safer if we just obey the proper traffic laws.

A necklace and bracelet with chunky variegated beads and several small crystals.
Courtesy of Sabika Jewelry

How does Pittsburgh help you do what you do/influence your work?

Again, I come back to the amazing people in this city. It is only because of them and their willingness and enthusiasm to help that my mother and our family have gotten our business to where we are today. When my mom started Sabika at the age of 50, it was because of the support of friends and their communities that she was able to share her story and her vision to help women from all walks of life.

What are you most looking forward to this year?

I just turned 42 and I am looking forward to being more in the moment. Enjoying the time I have with my growing children and my amazing partner. The pandemic really taught us to savor the joyful moments and flow through the rest.

What are some initiatives/projects/experiences you’d like to share with our readers? How can they support what you do?

Sabika is so much more than jewelry. Our way of selling through a community of entrepreneurs who each have their own goals and dreams is truly special. When you purchase a piece of Sabika, you are touching the lives of so many, from our multi-generational artisans in Europe that are paid a fair wage and work with decency while handcrafting the highest quality of fashion jewelry, to our home office staff that lives and breathes our mission of bringing beauty and joy to everyone that comes in contact with our brand, and to our consultants that thrive off of providing the best customer service and learning entrepreneurial skills along the way. I invite you all to connect with us by checking out our website or reaching out to a Sabika Consultant and seeing if there is something you fall in love with. Thanks in advance for your interest and support! 

Shop Sabika’s collections or learn more about their craft at sabika-jewelry.com.

Know of a person or organization that we ought to feature? Email us at hello@theincline.com with your suggestion, and you could see their name in an upcoming newsletter!