Archive for the ‘Designer’s Notebook’ Category

Maker Monday: Catenary Ring Necklace.

Part of Betsy’s Bridge Collection, the Catenary Ring necklace came to be while Betsy was playing around with materials and pondering the idea of ‘suspension.’ Those thoughts manifested in this amazing creation, made of leather cord, antique brass beads, oxidized brass chain, and brass accents.

Catenary Ring Maker Monday

In the video, watch Alyssa’s dexterous hands cut, then drill the leather cord to insert the brass accent pieces. Then she adds the antique brass rings, & brings the brass accents through the other side of the leather so they’re parallel to each other. Oxidized brass chain is added & the piece is ready to wear.

I own this beauty and it’s one of my absolute favorite necklaces and one I can always count on to elicit compliments from strangers. Which is why we all wear jewelry in the first place, riiiiiiiight???



***Song of the Moment: Summer by Calvin Harris***

Maker Monday: St. Johns Bridge Cuff

Our Instagram contest ended last week, and as a final prompt, we urged our followers to share pictures of what home means to them. It was only fitting to dedicate Maker Monday that week to a piece that reminds us of home, the St. Johns Bridge Cuff.

betsy & iya St Johns Bridge Cuff

Why this piece when we think of home? The design of this cuff was inspired by the bridge that Betsy & Will cross everyday they come to work. For them and for all of us, this cuff has a very special place in our respective hearts.

Watch Amory anneal the brass pieces (heating metal makes it easier to manipulate), remove rough edges on the polishing cabinet, hammer & form into a cuff shape, oxidize the recessed area, & finally clean up with a flex shaft.

Each one of our bridge cuffs is hand stamped on the inside with the year it was built and geographic coordinates (I love this detail!).



***Song of the Moment: Teenage Riot by Sonic Youth***



Studio Visit by Portland Supply Co.

Portland Supply Co. is a blog we’ve come to admire for their thorough coverage of the local maker scene. Mikola and Jacquelyn, the talented ladies behind the screen and lens, paid us a visit in late June and we’ve been anxious for the post to go live ever since. These are some of the first photos taken of Betsy and Production at work in the new studio and we are happy to share a peek into where the magic happens.

All photos courtesy of Portland Supply Co.

betsy & iya studio visit Portland Supply Co

Betsy Cross jewelry maker, betsy & iya, Portland Supply Co

jewelry maker Betsy Cross, betsy & iya, Portland Supply Co

Head on over to the Portland Supply Co. blog to see all the photos from the betsy & iya Studio Visit PLUS a revealing interview with Betsy where she sheds light on her inspirations, what excites her most about Portland, and 5 things she can’t live without. PLUS an insanely cute Betsy-Will-and-the-dogs Family Portrait #frameworthy. Ok, what are you waiting for?? Go check it!

Big thanks to the PSC team for the visit and wonderful profile! Y’all come back now.



***Song of the Moment: Latch by Disclosure***

How to Survive 6 Years in Business: (hint) teamwork.

(Whilst I was writing this post, I felt the grooves come on. Will caught me. It doesn’t feel right not to share the little raw-state video of the whole scene. Thanks for helping me keep my groove, dear friends).

Here we are again. Another year has passed, another reason for me to deepen the well of appreciation towards all that surrounds this little business: you (our precious customers, supporters, etc), our family, our friends, our employees. I am constantly in awe of you. Frankly, I don’t really know how the well could get any deeper. But it does, every single day, it goes deeper and deeper.

Think of me as the woman who sat alone curious about what to do with her life, confused about where it was going, broke, with really nothing at all to lose. She stumbles upon this idea in her head and turns around to see what tripped her. She walks back to take a closer look, picks it up, and puts it into her pocket. She takes it home, puts in out on the table and stares at it for awhile. It’s kind of weird looking, but she immediately likes it. Then she decides there is nothing to do but bring this thing to life. She builds a tiny little place (it’s suuuuper cute, btw) to protect the little thing, water it, watch it grow. All the while, not really understanding what it is. Then with every ounce of her being, she believes in it. A couple years pass–she’s almost singularly focused on keeping this thing alive. Unsure of what it really is or wants to be, she knows without a shadow of a doubt, that it’s meant to be. One day, she turns around and sees miles and miles of people standing right there with her, some were there all along, some have just joined; her heart swells so much, it nearly explodes.

Today, we celebrate 6 years in business, yet it feels like an eternity—but the kind of eternity I want to live in. With the space expansion nearly complete, hitting the 6 year mark, adding new team members, losing old ones, and the ideas getting bigger and stronger, I’ve been reflecting on how and why we’ve gotten here–to this magical place of business, love, and friendship. Lately, I keep coming back to the parallels between what I spent years going to school for and how that translates into our business. My official MFA title is: Master of Physical and Ensemble-based Theatre. Learning how to work successfully as a group of people with a common goal was at the crux of our training. It takes a great deal of patience, respect, determination, communication, support, and admiration to work successfully as a team. But when you find it, when it really clicks, it becomes indestructible.

If we could strip down all the things that have lead up to where we are now, at the very core you would find teamwork at its best. You would find a give and take, a kind of jazz: a call and response, an elevating partnership, you would find support and compassion, one falls and the other is there to catch them. This teamwork begins at an individual level, extends to my incredible partnership with Will and ends with all of us coming together as one big team. Hands down, our business does not do what it does without this team.

Entering our 7th year of business, here is a little bit of unsolicited advice I want to leave with you:

  • Seek out those partnerships that will elevate your lives to the next level.
  • Make a team you are proud to be a part of.
  • Hire your weaknesses (thank you, Sara Blakely).
  • Don’t believe you can do it all: you can’t and that’s okay.
  • Ask questions, ask for help, pull your own weight.
  • Open up: you’ll be shocked to see what happens when you do.
  • Be courageous; be compassionate.
  • Have a blast. It moves way faster than you think.
  • All things must pass (thank you, George Harrison).
  • Find gratitude in every little thing that you do.

You guys! Thank you, again, for being here. Thank you for holding our hands, pushing us forward, sticking around, cheering us on, crying with us, laughing with us. Thank you for your hugs, your high fives, your words, your support, thank you for spending your money–your hard-earned, representation of your best efforts–with us. Thank you for being here. We see you standing there and man oh man do you look good.

We love you. Truly.



P.s. Today we are celebrating quietly; but lookout for our huge blowout of a party when the expansion is complete. It will most likely be in May. And it will most likely be the most awesome party we’ve ever thrown. Soooo many surprises already in the works. I. Can’t. Wait…to share it all with you.

***Song of the Moment: All Things Must Pass, by George Harrison***