In the heart of downtown Orlando, Almut Belote’s studio comes to life each day with the sound of tools meeting precious metals and the soft shuffling of gemstones being sorted and selected. This is the sound of creating.
A recognized master goldsmith, Belote opened Almut Belote Jewelry in the Thornton Park District two years ago. The studio doubles as her workshop, where she creates each piece of jewelry by hand alongside two goldsmith apprentices, and a boutique showroom where she works directly with clients to design the jewelry of their dreams.
Originally from Austria, Belote trained under a master goldsmith there, meticulously learning the craft from the ground up for many years. This experience shaped her entire career.
“My skill has developed over the last 30 years,” Belote says. “I wanted to be absolutely perfect from the beginning, and I think that shows in the jewelry that I produce.”
Every aspect of the business is personal to Belote, from her connection to her clients to her relationship with suppliers. Belote and her team make each delicate piece of jewelry by hand using recycled gold, platinum, diamonds and gemstones that are sourced from fair trade dealers.
She is often asked where she pulls the inspiration for each of her creations. But the answer isn’t that simple.
“It’s so difficult to pinpoint what inspires my work because so many things will inspire it,” Belote says. “It can be something I see in nature or it can be something I’m feeling and thinking about. It can be a person that I’m talking to. It can be so many things.”
Belote notes that her ideas are often sparked naturally – when the time is right. No matter where she finds the inspiration, there is one constant with her work: the joy that it brings to others as she creates custom pieces that will likely remain in families for generations to come.
“I feel such a connection with the customer when they’re so extremely happy,” Belote says. “I can see them light up. It’s super rewarding.”
With technology what it is today, goldsmiths embrace their craft as a truly unique experience for their customers. Even more, they make it part of their life’s work to share their knowledge.
“The other part that I love about what I do is that I get to pass it on to somebody else,” Belote says, referencing her apprentice, Gery, who she took under her wing three years ago. “I’ve watched him grow in his craft, and he’s just incredible.”
As a small business owner, Belote understands that passion propels you to success. For others looking to share their passion with the world, she shares, “If you love what you do and can work hard then nothing can stop you.”