In an effort to arm you with information that’s pertinent to both your holiday shopping list and your bank account, we’ve created gift guides arranged by price point. That way, it’s easy for you to budget according to person you’re shopping for (all gift recipients are not created equal, let’s be honest) and stick to your list. We’ll be featuring a broad range of options, all available in our brick & mortar shop. If you aren’t local to Portland, don’t hesitate to email email@example.com or call the shop at 503-227-5482 for more details or to place an order.
Items under $10:
(from top left, clockwise)
- Prunella Flavor Bar soaps – in festive scents like ” Cinnamon + Walnut” – $4 each
- Multicolored bracelets made out of recycled plastic $3 each
- Chymia Foot Gelée $7 – a treat for tired treads that includes arnica, calendula, and St. John’s wort—time-honored herbs noted for their anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, and circulatory-boosting properties
- Vintage bangles $1 each (!!!!!)
- Burkina Faso Bracelets $9 each
- Voz Collective rings $9 each
Items $25 & under:
- Desk/Table top terrarium $22
- Herbivore Botanicals Pink Clay exfoliating face mask $19
- Laura George “You Are a Magical Unicorn Pony” print $25
Helping you succeed, one photo collage at a time,
***Song of the Moment: Silver Bells She & Him***
In my experience, Halloween is one of those things like naps or eating your veggies: it’s a necessity when you’re young, goes through a time of being “uncool,” then boomerangs back into favor around college, usually continuing into adulthood. Nowadays, the festive activities associated with Halloween far exceed the actual holiday on the 31st, with movie marathons, pumpkin patches, and corn mazes spanning the entire month of October.
That said, there are those who embrace Halloween and all that it has come to entail, and those who could care less. Given the fact that we treat every product shipment as a holiday, our tendency to converse in silly voices for no particular reason, and Matt’s incredible ability to create and give life to a bevy of made-up characters, it’s no surprise that we here at betsy & iya definitely fall into the former category. Why wouldn’t we support a day that encourages celebration through physical transformation, requires creative expression, and rewards those who participate with candy?!
I seized the opportunity presented by a whole month of cobweb decor and rubber bats hanging from ceilings to dig deep into the Halloween archives of my coworkers in hopes of gaining some unique insights into his/her respective personalities (revealing some embarrassing photos was also a goal). I asked each of them to name a favorite costume from childhood, the plan for this year, and also his/her ultimate Halloween getup.
Favorite Childhood costume: Geisha. I even had the socks and platform wooden sandals to wear, but it was pouring rain and I had to wear sneakers.
This year: Frida Kahlo
Ultimate dream costume (no budget, no rules, no shame): This is real tough but I will say its a tie between a group Abba costume (platforms, sequins, jumpsuits) and Malificent, but only if I can turn into a dragon when I don’t get my way.
Favorite costume from childhood: Milky Way bar. Hands down.
This year: Concept costume- “The Government Shutdown”
Ultimate dream costume (no budget, no rules, no shame): David Bowie in this beauty by Japanese designer Kansai Yamamoto
Favorite costume from childhood: “I Dream of Jeannie” was my favorite show on Nick & Nite as a kid and I was beyond jazzed when Mama Reed repurposed one of my dance recital costumes into a perfect, pint-sized version of Barbara Eden’s signature ensemble. *arm cross/head nod/wink*
This year: Hopefully making my dreams of being Robert Plant – my rocker spirit animal – come true, complete with sock bulge.
Ultimate dream costume (no budget, no rules, no shame): Cleopatra, Elizabeth Taylor version. Dark wig, dramatic makeup, bling for days, need I say more?
Favorite costume from childhood: What does any girl from the ’90′s love more than to dress up like a Disney princess for Halloween? Or just every day life? I definitely rocked this Belle costume as long as I could until it didn’t fit anymore. It even came with a crinoline cage for full skirt affect! They just don’t make ‘em like that anymore. That Halloween was particularly memorable because my older brother dressed up as Superman (typical) and we ran around the house while I screamed, “Help, help!” and he would shout out, “I’ll save you!” and would run towards me, pick me up, put me down, then I would run off somewhere else in the house and scream the same thing only to repeat this over and over until we left to go trick-or-treating.
This year: I’m pretty sure I’m going to be a hashtag. That’s right, the simple yet powerful “#.” I can totally appreciate pop culture costumes.
Ultimate dream costume (no budget, no rules, no shame): This is the opportunity where I’ve been invited to Heidi Klum’s famous halloween party and I’m ready to blow everyone out of the water: cut my hair, add product, throw on my beater, Hawaiian shirt, high waisted pants & belt, boots, and a serious thirst for saving animals. That’s right, I’m getting all Jim Carrey on your ass and turning myself into Ace Ventura, Pet Detective!!! Specifically, When Nature Calls. My “desert island” movie with some of the best one-liners out there; “Aaaaalllrighty then. Take care now. Bye bye then.”
Favorite costume from childhood: Here’s the thing, I think I’m getting too old to remember my favorite costume as a kid*! However, I can tell you three of my favorite costumes of all time: Michael Jackson (specifically from “The Way You Make Me Feel” video), Prince from Purple Rain, and when I dressed up as Will in his motorcycle outfit. (<—-um, wait a minute, there’s a theme here…errrr).
*So instead here’s a picture of baby Betsy (and “Iya,” her sister Ashlyn, on the right) in a random outfit that looks like a cross between a clown and Tony the Tiger.
This year: This year? I don’t have plans yet because I always tend to decide the day of..but if I could guess I’d say Maurice or Gingham.
Ultimate dream costume (no budget, no rules, no shame): Anaconda. Full body suit, a material that resembles real snake skin and a super long tail—like 30 feet long.
Favorite Costume from childhood: For some odd reason I had decided that I wanted to be a sumo wrestler for Halloween, and not only was my costume huge, it was also inflatable. Can you imagine little tween Kate in a skin colored suit complete with a diaper thing? To top it off, this was a costume made for a young male sumo wrestler so the costume also had man boobs, which made me feel uncomfortable so I covered those bad boys up with a scarf. I really don’t know how my parents let me leave the house looking like that.
This year: Sandy from Grease, not the Sandy from the beginning of the movie, but at the end where she starts to wear leather and pretends to be a greaser. It’s just too bad I don’t have a young John Travolta to sing “You’re the one that I want” with.
Ultimate dream costume (no budget, no rules, no shame): Kristen Wiig in the SNL skit where she is singing with her sister and she has tiny hands and a huge forehead. That’s pretty much the best costume ever.
Favorite Costume from childhood: I was that little ragamuffin kid that didn’t dress up on Halloween but walked around with the other kids anyway. One year though, my best friend Allie’s mom helped us assemble Scarecrow costumes. From the looks of it I am wearing my older brother’s overalls and button up, but I felt pretty cool anyway.
This year: My beau Gordon and I will embark on our first “couple’s costume” this year: Sabrina the Teenage Witch & Salem Saberhagen.
Ultimate dream costume (no budget, no rules, no shame): Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers. I would need dancing lessons, a vintage gown, and spot-on 1930′s hair. Gordon is a great dancer, so he’d just need the tux. We’d be the talk of the town I tell ya!
Favorite costume from childhood: Tightrope walker. I pretty much looked like a ballerina in white slippers.
This year: An Emmy Statue
Ultimate dream costume (no budget, no rules, no shame): Beyonce. My cat would be Blue Ivy.
Favorite costume from childhood: I remember getting ready for my second grade Halloween costume party as a Knight. I had real (plastic) armor, and a sword (they made me leave at home). I felt cool.
This year: So. My hair is getting out of control. This is a fact. I’m not cutting it, and plan on using it to my advantage this All Hollow’s Eve. I’ll be going as everyones favorite Mother, Mommie Dearest. I’ve got the hair. I can turn on the tude. And I can make a pretty terrifying Faye Dunaway playing Joan Crawford face. I’m doing it right now….
Ultimate dream costume (no budget, no rules, no shame): They ultimate costume for me would have to be a group effort. I would love to find a crew that would go as all the Clue characters. Everyone looking sharp, and staying in character is a MUST. Simple, but effective.
Favorite costume from childhood: Ummm…. I don’t really remember many kid costumes except the few that I can find pictures of*… I’m going to cheat and say my favorite costume when I was a kid (at heart) was the hatch from Lost and Betsy was the black smoke. This was right as Season 3 was picking up, I believe. I had a box around me (the majority of my costumes involve boxes worn as clothing), and a keyboard to type in 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 32 with those keys scraped down. Betsy was just nuts looking; big teased hair and black smokey makeup and black clothes… No one knew what we were until we told them, but I loved it.
*This adorable kid pic of you & Amory should jog your memory, Will!
This year: Oh man, that sort of decision is usually made with about 2 hours to spare. If I had a party to go to tonight, maybe Miley Cyrus? I’ll just let your imagination work on that for a bit.
Ultimate dream costume (no budget, no rules, no shame): Iron Man, but completely functional.
*find these images and more on our Pinterest page*
And here you have it, Internet- the good, the bad, and the downright cheek-pinchably cute (hi, Barrie!).
We hope you have a very happy and safe Halloween! Commence sugar rush…
***Song of the Moment: Iron Man by Black Sabbath***
How many times have you had a great idea escape your mind before you got the chance to write it down? In my life, this has happened many times and always causes much frustration. I mean, I’ve probably had several, potentially human race-altering ideas disappear due to distractions, driving while brainstorming, or just old fashioned forgetfulness. Granted, capturing these spur-of-the-moment epiphanies has become easier in the digital age, with countless note-taking, voice recording and calendar reminder apps available for your omnipresent phone, computer &/or tablet, but in the heat of the idea-generating moment, there’s really no substitute for the good old pen to paper way of recording. Especially in a workplace like ours. Enter: writing on the table.
We initially covered the large table upstairs that we use as a communal desk, meeting area, and storage surface with paper for an event a few weeks ago, and as you can see below,the paper – albeit refreshed – remains.
After the party and before we’d gotten a chance to clear the table, I had one of my first weekly Monday meetings with Betsy & Will in which we discussed all the components of betsy & iya that I would need to understand as I acclimated to my job: our jewelry, our shop, our current and potential consumer base, etc. During this time, Will enthusiastically jotted down notes and drew charts to accompany his points. Had he already picked up on the fact that I’m a visual learner, or was he on to something with this whole “write it out” approach? Probably a bit of both.
The notes stayed on the table after the meeting and well into the next week, and before I knew it, they were surrounded by similar script. To-do lists, shopping lists, “OMG I can’t forget this image ratio” lists and of course, the occasional doodle, turned our paper covered table into a veritable idea canvas. At least while seated nearby, my worries about remembering this blog post idea or that product detail dissipated. A giant notebook at my fingertips- brilliant!
There’s a good possibility you’ve seen our table tablet in action and didn’t even know it; I’ve taken full advantage of the surface as a fun way to showcase new merch for social media photo ops.
It might not be around forever, nor is it the most permanent way of jotting down ideas, but putting pen to paper on the table top has become one of my favorite things at work. It’s the daytime equivalent of having a notepad near your bed for those middle of the night “eureka!” moments.
Good ideas (and we have a lot of them flying around here) are always worth writing down. And it is comforting to know that at least during the hours from 9am-6pm the “wait, wait, hold that thought!” exclamations are kept to a minimum.
***Song of the Moment: Roar by Katy Perry***
One remarkably sunny Saturday in October, I noticed something out of place as I walked to work. Seemingly out of nowhere, a festive banner appeared across the street from our shop that made me stop in my tracks. I probably would’ve had a different reaction if the sign said something about a fall parade or encouraging the neighborhood to Trick-or-Treat, but instead, it said this…
Say whaaaat?! I hear plenty of people bemoan the early onset of holiday decor this time of year and suddenly, I counted myself among them. I even pulled out my phone to double check the date (hey, it was early.. ) and when I confirmed that it was just barely October, my memory caught up with me. Earlier in the week, producers from the NBC TV show Grimm came into the shop to inform us that our darling little block would be transformed into a December set for filming. That’s right, the banner, holiday window displays, and fragrant Christmas tree stand were all for the Grimm set. Well in that case, good bye caring about premature decorating and hellloooo, Hollywood!!!
Despite being one of “those people” without a TV, I know about Grimm and how it – along with Portlandia – has helped put Portland scenery on screens well outside of our Pacific Northwest bubble. It seems like all Portland residents have a “Grimm filming nearby” story or friends who’ve appeared as extras.
We were jazzed to welcome Grimm to our ‘hood as they have been awesome supporters of betsy & iya, featuring our Talus necklace in an episode last year, and providing a fun energy boost wherever they turn up around town. And even if it was a few weeks early, a little holiday cheer never hurt anyone.
With our constant activity and blend of dynamic personalities, we often joke that the adventures of the betsy & iya team would make a fab TV show. The emotional ups & downs! The trials & tribulations! The costume changes! Right?! Until this pitch gets picked up, we’ll settle for proximity to television greatness.
Look for a peek of our brick & mortar shop in an episode sometime in December.
***Song of the Moment: Applause by Lady Gaga***