Attention everyone! We have a new addition to the family! Please give a warm welcome to the lovely, the short, the beautiful, ASHLEY VIBERG!!!!!
Ashley is taking over as our new super-fly-shop-gal (Trademark pending) and the second she started she hit the ground running. She’s only been on board for a couple weeks now but luckily she’s been stalking our brand (the powers of social media) for a few months now and is already familiar with most of our line. Her bubbly personality and genuine nature have already melted our hearts and we couldn’t have picked a more perfect match. Let’s get to know Ashley a little better:
Where do you hail from?
I hail from the city by the bay, San Francisco. But Reno, Nevada became my second home over the past five years (no doubt that is a hidden treasure).
Morning person or night owl?
I like the idea of being an early riser or late night lady but the reality is I am neither. I am a mid-morning person. I can ease into the day with a cup of coffee (or two) and the first of many once overs (oxymoron, I know) of one of my favorite publications, British Vogue. I feel fresh, creative, and at my best.
Topknot or fishtail?
I enjoy top knots on everyone else but I am fishtail gal. I have thick hair and a full face so this style frames my face well. I like the texture and the unkempt but with-a-purpose look of a braid.
Three things I don’t leave my house without?
My phone. This device stays by my side almost always. Who knows when the perfect Instagram opp will present itself.
Paper and pen. I am always making a new to-do list and adding to the current one.
Some kind of lip tint or lip gloss for touch ups throughout the day. Whatever current brand and color that suits my fancy.
Well, let’s be honest, I don’t leave my house without my purse. Period. That bad boy is filled with many treasures. At times, I feel like Marry Poppins.
My sign? Leo. Rawr!
I freelance as a Wardrobe Stylist and I am a big believer in the idea that fashion rules are meant to be broken. Fashion and style should be fun. And I will say that black is the new black! (See my post on the blog offTRACT ”Too Much Black…“)
Ummmm…I have a couple but probably the most uncool is watching a “romcom” aka romantic comedy. I enjoy indie flicks, foreign films, and documentaries like the next hipster (ha) but I can totally snuggle up to a romcom any day.
I was 11 with a 13 year old boy under a slide in a playground at dusk. Romantic? No. Clammy, stiff lips…enough said. Gross!
- Paper! I have a love affair with paper. Whether it’s wrapping paper, note cards (letter press, of course), or prints, I don’t discriminate. Currently, my favorite paper store is Oblation in the Pearl. I am a big gift-giver and I love wrapping (the wrapping of a gift should be a gift within itself). I am also big on giving cards and I like to find the perfect note card for each recipient.
- I love to dance!! And discovering new music. I am open to all any and all recommendations.
- I have a love/hate relationship with yoga, Ashtanga more specifically. My life goal is to practice regularly. I love the way it makes me feel. It’s a natural high and very grounding. But keeping a regular schedule is an ongoing struggle. Something to work towards :)
Is gelato a snack? Trader Joes Mediterranean Greek Yogurt Dip. It compliments hummus and it’s great on any kind of veggie or cracker.
Favorite b&i pieces
That is a hard one… I was a huge b&i fan before I worked here. So, probably my very first b&i purchase at one of my favorite shops, Bespoke located in Truckee, California. It was the Redundant Chevron ring. It’s adjustable, which I love because I can wear it on any of my fingers depending on the look I am going for that day. My second favorite piece is the Golden Gate cuff. It feels special and personal, being from San Francisco. Also, it has the raddest details on the inside of it; the year the bridge was built and its geographic coordinates. And lastly, the Cathedral Park necklace, it is perfect! The essence of it is romantic but the design has an edge. It’s the best statement piece I have ever owned. *Please note these favorites are in no particular order.
Ashley, I would like to thank you personally for having the talent, skill, and enchanting personality that fits so perfectly into our little family. You are taking over my position as Shop Girl (haven’t you heard? This girl has moved into production!) and I feel like I am leaving the floor in more than capable hands. Together you and Kelly will dominate!!
***Song of the moment: Sound and Vision by David Bowie***
For this installment of “Shops We Love” we’re packing sunglasses, our best pair of cute-slash-comfy shoes, and plennnnnnty of stackable rings and heading to San Francisco to visit Marie & Alexei, owners of Fiat Lux.
Just like betsy & iya, Fiat Lux is a retail shop and jewelry line. The brick & mortar is located in the geographical heart of the Barbary Coast and carries a selection of wares by designers from San Francisco and beyond; a few blocks away is the Fiat Lux studio where the house line of jewelry is handmade.
Betsy first met Marie during a train trip through southern California. At the time, Marie was managing a different shop; when she and her partner Alexei opened Fiat Lux, Betsy and Will made a stop during another trip to see if it would be a fit for betsy & iya jewelry. If this post isn’t enough of a “spoiler alert” on how all that turned out, you might need to reread the title &/or visit the link referenced in this paragraph.
As with most of our stockists outside Portland, I rely on social media to give me an idea of what it’s like to make a visit. Fiat Lux does a great job providing fans near & far with glimpses into shop life, styling inspiration (the photo below is captioned “No such thing as overkill”- SOULMATES!!!), and a healthy dose of humor (who doesn’t need a Goat Hammer?).
To say we’re happy to be part of such a rad shop is an understatement. I asked Marie some questions to help us get to know more about her, her shop, and her weirdly wonderful city.
When & why did you open Fiat Lux?
We’ve been selling our craft for three years now in this location. Fiat Lux was started out of a desire to move away from disposable culture and give people things that are made by human hands. We like to think that we are offering pieces that are important enough to become modern heirlooms.
What are some of your favorite things about San Francisco?
I like that it’s weird. My midwestern mom was visiting years ago and we were on the street and a guy in a pink tutu walked past and I didn’t even notice. My mom said I had been living in SF too long. I never want to leave.
Describe your personal style:
I wear conventional, clean-cut designer clothing with things that are unexpected. I think life should be full of off-guard surprises that make us laugh a little. I’d say that my personal style is kind of Goop meets Björk.
Favorite Local Restaurant:
Bar Tartine is really killing it right now. We get a little spoiled in SF with great food so when you come across a place that takes your breath away, you get hooked!
Best Stress Reliever:
Swimming. Alexei and I have been sneaking into a hotel for lunch & a dip for 3 years running. Relaxing & exhilirating. I’ll never grow up!
Swimming! Treasure hunting.
What inspires your buying for the shop?
We try to look for things that have symbolism, which feels meaningful. Right now the shop is chock full of geometric symbols.
Most rewarding part of your job?
Supplying someone with something that they will cherish for the rest of their lives. And meeting people that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
Hardest part of your job?
Why do you like carrying betsy & iya jewelry in your shop?
Everyone loves betsy & iya! The design is on point, the price is fantastic, the findings are all handmade and I really love the people who make it. (Editor’s note: *blushing*)
Favorite b&i piece?
That’s so hard! I have new favorites all the time, but I always come back to the Desert Varnish earrings.
There are a lot of similarities between betsy & iya and Fiat Lux that I find particularly awesome. We both have a retail space AND a production studio. We both approach buying for our respective shops with an emphasis on handmade goods with stories behind them. We both love what we do and have a whole heck of a lotta fun doing it (see below).
I can’t wait for the day when I get to make an actual visit to Fiat Lux to swap mani tips with Marie (they always look SO GOOD. I’m thinking some shellac action is going on there..), spend the money I’d budgeted for dinner on jewelry (as Carrie Bradshaw said of buying Vogue over food.. I feel like it feeds me more), and hopefully locate the model used in their 2013 lookbook shoot below and swap hair tips.
Hugs & snugs,
***Song of the Moment: I Won’t Back Down by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers***
If you’ve been reading our blog or following betsy & iya on social media for the past three years, you’re already familiar with the man, the mane, the metal manipulating master, Matt. His role here – much like his hair – has gone through an evolution; he started as the face of our brick & mortar, working the floor, manning our booth at shows, and occasionally assisting with buying. His transition from shop boy to production man happened a little over a year ago, and ever since, he’s taken his signature humor, determination, and physicality and put it into every single piece of jewelry he makes.
Let’s get to know more about Matty, or as I like to call him “the one who made me a believer in man bling:”
Name: Matty (to his betsy & iya family), Matt (to friends), Matthew (to everyone else)
Hometown: Chicago, IL (obvious from his expert snow shoveling skills below)
Star Sign: (middle child) Leo
I’ve been making jewelry for: One year as a full-time maker
Items of jewelry you make most often: I make most of the wire hoops in the collection (Badlands hoops, Conatas hoops, Colubrina hoops,, Alameda hoops, The Span hoops). I also spend a lot of my time forming earwires.
Before I was a maker at b&i I was: Unhappy at my other job. (note: now Matty is totally happy. Coincidence? I think NOT!)
Describe your path to becoming a maker in an ice cream flavor & why: I guess I would say Coconut Bliss Vanilla with a jar of peanut butter on the side. It’s an alternative choice that you stumble upon in a desperate situation, but then you are pretty much stuck with it.
Favorite b&i piece to make: Badlands hoop earrings
Favorite b&i piece to wear: Simple Sterling knuckle ring, as demonstrated in this selfie taken during Snowpocalypse 2014….
What are some of your favorite tools to work with: My hands. Manipulating metal into pieces of art with my body everyday is a pretty amazing job for a Thespian.
Editor’s note: didya know Matty is an accomplished ACTOR?! You can catch him in his latest role as Bunce in Shaking the Tree Studio’s production of “One Flea Spare” opening Friday, February 28th!
Do you listen to music while you make? If so, what’s your current jam? What’s that? Driver roll up the PARTITION please??
Being a maker has taught me: To see all the important little details that make up the whole world around me. And a better understanding and appreciation of good craftsmanship.
I feel like I’m cheating as a writer to just say “Matty’s sooooo funny!” but he keeps me laughing like few people in my life can and I really don’t know any other way to describe it. His knowledge of pop culture is sharp, his sass is matched only by his wit, he can do spot-on impressions, all while never more than 5 feet away from a tub of King Harvest hummus (probs Jalapeño flavored). Matty embodies the hardworking and fun-loving spirit of betsy & iya.
Want/need/can’t survive another day without more Matty? Follow his adventures (and those of his ManBun) on Instagram @mkerrig #bereadyforselfies.
If you have specific questions you’d like to see answered in future maker profiles, please email me at email@example.com.
***Song of the Moment: You’re the Inspiration by Chicago***
Happy Valentine’s Day love birds & bees! May you all be surrounded by love, companions, and chocolate. This holiday brings many standards: roses, jewelry, adorable and hokey cards–and for all those lonely hearts out there, maybe a little bit of booze & ice cream (no judgements, that’s usually a friday night for me… TMI?). But one thing that is synonymous with this day of love are those cheeky candy hearts.
Today we wanted to share with you what our candy hearts would say.
What would your candy heart say!??! Please, please, please share.
***Song of the moment: Dreamlover by Mariah Carey***