My, what a busy spring! In addition to welcoming three new people to our production staff, we retired 22 styles from the betsy & iya line in April and we are currently busy getting ready to introduce new jewelry (!!!) to the world. This time of year always makes me reflect on our buildout, which happened in May 2014. I can't believe it's been two years in our expanded space. Not a day goes by that I don't feel grateful for a workspace that is comfortable, functional, and of course, beautiful. Over the course of these two years, things have changed a lot as we've settled into the space, particularly in production where people, materials, and tools are moving almost constantly throughout the day. To capture the where we are now, we welcomed photographer Micah Fischer
into our world to shoot some updated snaps of where all the jewelry making magic happens. Here are a few of my favorite shots from that day. Enjoy!
Lights, camera, action! This is a typical scene on any given weekday as our makers arrive, review their to-do lists for the day, and get settled into the production groove. Side note: the banner you see was made by Barrie and Betsy and hung just as the expansion was complete. It was created by laying down sheets of scrap brass from our etched pieces on top of canvas; different colors of spray paint were applied, then the sheets removed, leaving the imprints of the jewelry that form patterns.
Concentration level= 110%. I love this picture of Spencer hammering away on the now-retired Uni cuff. The sound of hammering - which happens frequently throughout the day - can be heard when people are shopping in our brick & mortar, hammering home (yeah, I went there) the fact that all the betsy & iya jewelry you can see/touch/try on/buy is made right here onsite.
Our Sly Night earrings
get a rinse after they come out of the rotary tumbler. The brass pieces are kept together on a wire ring so that they don't go all over the place while spinning around and around for several hours. The pink things you see are bits of plastic that strengthen and finish the brass by hitting it over and over.
Behold the green flame! Boric acid and denatured alcohol are used as flux on this Novi piece (flux is a chemical cleaning agent that keeps the metal clean as it heats & is applied before soldering). All chemicals react to fire differently, and this one creates a rad green flame as soon as it meets the heat. Cool, huh?
Taylor putting in work forming Scania cuffs
. Each betsy & iya piece has its own formula for production. It's so neat to see makers learn these processes and run with them, often working together to make them even more streamlined.
Our makers meet as a team on Tuesdays and Thursdays. During this time they share goals for the upcoming week, discuss QC notes (quality control), and brainstorm about how to make each part of the day-to-day routine more efficient. It's all business and very, very serious. Like, no smiling allowed.
JUST KIDDING. I mean, it totally is a serious time to discuss business, but also, just look at Madeleine. This is a group that knows how to have fun while also working hard.
Here they are, the betsy & iya Production Team, April 2016. From L to R: Taylor, Barrie, Shayna (back), Gaby, Madeleine, Diana, Betsy, and Spencer. Want to see/know more? We offer tours of our production studio during shop hours, 10am-6pm, Monday-Friday. Just inquire at the register about availability. Thanks for taking this virtual tour with me and here's to many more years of making the jewelry you love in this space! -Anna