Usually, betsy & iya custom work is solicited when a couple is getting ready to pledge to spend all of eternity together. Engagement and wedding sets have comprised the bulk of Betsy's design work outside of betsy & iya collections. But last fall, a different kind of custom project came across Betsy's bench that piqued her interest. It was the perfect combination of timing, a strong concept, and wanting to thank people who give so much to a deserving nonprofit. Enter, the Friendly House pin. Friendly House is an organization that does amazing work in Portland - and they also happen to be our neighbors up on NW Thurman St. The mission of Friendly House is to "create a thriving community by connecting people of all ages and backgrounds through quality educational, recreational and other life-sustaining services." They commissioned these pins to thank their highest level of donors, the Bridge Builders. Over the course of a few weeks, Betsy sketched and designed the pin, consulting with Friendly House staff along the way. Once the design was finalized, it was put into production. betsy & iya hosted a reception for the Bridge Builders at the end of February where they were presented their pins, and also treated to snacks, drinks, and after-hours shopping at our brick & mortar. Here are a few behind-the-scenes pictures of how the pin was brought to life.
I absolutely love glimpses into Betsy's sketchbook. It's like the portal to her creative soul! Here you see a variety of options for the pin, and the asterisk on what would become the final design.
The pin backs have been soldered on! I always find it super interesting to see the patterns left by the torch before they're cleaned off.
The front of the pin before it gets oxidized (which turns the recessed areas black).
And here are the pins in all their glory! The design was inspired by the Fremont Bridge and the letters "FHBB" stand for Friendly House Bridge Builders.
If you - or an organization you love - is interested in custom work, please head to our Contact page and select "custom jewelry design" from the dropdown menu.
Thanks to Friendly House for involving us in thanking the people who fund your work! Hashtag neighborhood love.