A Little About Us.
Q: Did I pronounce your name right?
A: Maybe! If you said “bet-see,” then you’re halfway there. If you said “eye-yuh,” then you win. All together now! “bet-see and eye-yuh!” Woohoo!
Q: Where else can I touch/try on/ogle/smell/buy your jewelry?
A: If you’re near Portland, you should stop by our brick & mortar location. If you’re not, we sell to independent boutiques all over the US. Here’s a list of stores that carry betsy & iya designs.
Q: Do you offer gift certificates?
A: Yes! You can buy a gift certificate online.
Q: So we know who Betsy is, but who is Iya, anyway?
A: When Betsy was a little girl, she called her big sister Iya. “Ashlyn” was just too much to handle. Ashlyn inspires Betsy with her beauty and poise. Think of iya as a silent partner who whispers secrets to Betsy that balance your favorite jewelry on that beautiful precipice of spunk and grace you crave so cravily.
Q: Do you make all this stuff?
A: Yes, we make all of the betsy & iya jewelry in our Portland shop and studio!
Q: Do you do custom work?
A: YES! Yes yes yes! Contact us and we’ll talk.
Q: OMG, I broke my favorite piece of your jewelry! Can you repair it?
A: Not to fear–we almost definitely can repair it. Fill out this Repairs form to get the ball rolling.
Q: I lost one earring. Do you sell half-pairs?
A: We do. The fastest way to handle this is to call us so we can determine which side you’re missing, the replacement cost (usually 50% of retail), and charge your card immediately. We’re at 503-227-5482, option 3.
Jewelry Materials, Care, and Maintenance.
Q: My jewelry is tarnishing. What can I do about that?
A: Tarnish occurs naturally when certain metals are exposed to air and moisture. We love the patina brass develops and typically don’t polish our own brass jewelry. However, if you don’t like the patina look, we sell polishing cloths that will bring your brass, silver, and sterling silver filled ear wires back to their original luster. Do not attempt to clean chemically oxidized surfaces (darker metal parts) or use polishing cloths plated metal as they can be damaged by the abrasiveness of the cloth. To clean plated metal, try a squirt of Windex on a soft, non-abrasive cloth.
Q: Got any other tips on cleaning jewelry?
A: Sure thing! You can use warm water, a mild dish soap, and a non-abrasive cloth as a first step. If it’s really tarnished, it’s time for a science experiment! Line a small bowl with aluminum foil, and add 1 T baking soda and 1 T salt on top of the foil. Add enough hot water to cover your jewelry and mix to dissolve the baking soda and salt. Place your jewelry in the bowl. Remove when mostly clean or after 10 minutes have passed. Rinse and dry with a non-abrasive cloth.
Q: Can I polish my jewelry by dipping it into a chemical polishing dip?
A: We don’t recommend it and we cannot by responsible for any damaged caused by dip polishing your jewelry. We’ve seen sterling silver chains become brittle and break after being dipped. Additionally, dip can react in unpredictable and sometimes unfortunate ways with oxidized, wax-sealed, and painted surfaces. Your best bet is one of our polishing cloths. It takes a little extra muscle, but your jewelry is safest this way. We’re always happy to help with polishing in-house for a nominal fee. Just drop us a line.
Q: Does plating chip off?
A: When we plate, we plate for keeps. We use thick silver and gold plate. As far as plating goes, it’s some of the highest quality you’ll find. This is not “flash plating” that will crack and chip in the first few months. You’ll get even more life out of the plating by treating it nicely, so avoid moisture, don’t stack bracelets that may rub against each other and damage the plating, and don’t wear it to the beach.
Q: What is oxidized metal?
A: Oxidization is a fancy word for rust, basically. It’s just that when brass “rusts,” the oxide is black instead of, well, rust colored. Just like rust, oxidization will wear away with time, especially on non-recessed surfaces.
Q: What can I do to make sure my jewelry stays as lovely as the day I bought it for as long as possible?
A: Humidity, hair spray, and perfume are your jewelry’s archenemies, so spray first, accessorize second, and keep your jewels out of the bathroom, shower, kitchen sink, hot tub, sprinkler, monsoon.
Q: This ring/bracelet/necklace turned my skin turned green. What’s going on? What should I do?
A: OMG, your finger is about to fall off! (We’re kidding.) Some people’s body chemistry reacts with brass this way. The good news is there’s nothing harmful about the reaction; in fact, some people use it to gauge their body’s copper levels. You can reduce the likelihood of this reaction by avoiding moisture when wearing your jewelry, so take it off before you shower, wash your hands, work out, or have a sauna dance party. Here’s some more information about skin reactions and jewelry.
Q: I have very special skin that gets sore/itchy sometimes when I wear certain jewelry. What are your ear wires/chains made out of?
A: That sounds like a reaction to nickel. Good news! Our jewelry does not contain any nickel. All of our ear wires are handmade sterling silver-filled wire. Necklace clasps and closures are sterling silver. We also work with a lot of brass, bronze, and steel.
Policies, Shipping, and the Boring (but important) Stuff.
Q: What are your shipping time frames and exchange policies?
A: Click here.
Q: Can I use something I found on your website in my blog/ecommerce store/newspaper/magazine/etc.?
A: All content (images, text, video, etc.) on our website is copyrighted and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Please contact us to request any use outside the parameters allowed by the Creative Commons License. Unauthorized use of copyrighted material is not cool and just might get you a letter from our lawyer. Remember, we’re little guys, and we’re probably on your side, so just ask us if you’ve got a cool idea involving our content. It never hurts to be on the up-and-up.
Q: I think my line would fit well in your shop. Will you take a look at it?
A: Sure! Please use our contact form to introduce yourself. Make sure you attach images (or point us to a website with good images), and include pricing and all other pertinent wholesale information. We do not look at products in the shop without first looking at your product digitally. Please do not come by the shop with product without an appointment first.