How to design a new jewelry collection: a 15 step tutorial.

No. 1: Sit down. No. 2: Open sketchbook, turn to a blank page. No. 3: Stare at that page. No. 4: Put hands on head and massage ideas out of brain while appearing super focused to people like your business partner, employees, and dogs. No. 5: Freak out and make blanket statements like, "I have no idea what I'm doing." No. 6: Ask yourself silently if you should look for a new job. No. 7: Pick up your favorite pencil (okay, maybe I just recently bought a $20 pencil and so now I have a favorite pencil) and force it to the blank page. No. 8: Start drawing, dangit. No. 9: Make comments out loud like, "I don't have any more ideas. I shouldn't be allowed to do this," but like in a sweet, optimistically self-depracating way. No. 10: Be impressed by your own drawings that are somehow becoming cohesive. No. 11: Freak out. No. 12: Get really excited about something you just drew. No. 13: Allow yourself to be impressed by yourself. No. 14: Find the flow. No. 15: Call yourself a genius (outloud, loudly) and ride that wave until you have a full collection. Okay, maybe it's not juuust like that; but for me, it's close. My point in creating the tutorial is to demonstrate that the creative process behind any kind of design is extremely individual. What works for me could be the absolute worst idea for you and vice versa. I have some serious moments of insecurity and doubt in my process that I believe lead to a certain vulnerability that helps me find what I'm looking for. And then I allow myself to celebrate every single small victory along the way. jewelry designer at work With this latest collection, Unu, I wanted to go back to the beginning and breathe new life into the classics. I started out almost 8 years ago with what I had, pushing from where I was standing. That meant mostly vintage shapes whipped into a betsy & iya world with signature findings: ear wires, clasps, a specific angle to the wire, an asymmetrical pop of turquoise in chain, recycled materials, unexpected combinations of parts. I wanted to do my own thing with the resources I had. Since that moment many of the original betsy & iya pieces, with the exception of a few pieces like The Goddess Isis earrings and Leafy Deco, have been retired. Our processes and resources have expanded and improved greatly since those first days and they do with each new collection. So my challenge was to take those original shapes, design qualities, and b&i values that we have all come to love and meet them where we are now. In these pieces you will find contrast, spins on simple and classic, bold yet quiet, familiar yet completely new. I'm proud of the result: fresh, wearable, sexy, sophisticated, original betsy & iya–everything us from the ground up. betsy and iya Unu collection I hope you all like it as much as we enjoyed bringing it to life. Sending all the good creative vibes your way, ~Betsy
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