This maker has been around at betsy & iya for longer than anyone, except for Betsy and Will (and Gingham!), obviously. She's excelled at every job she's had here, and she's had a lot of jobs. Let's take a look at Barrie's timeline:
blog content contributor
part time maker/part time sales associate
part time maker/part time marketing/part time wax carving expert
design assistant/marketing/production coordinator (these are her titles now!)
What?! Yeah, Barrie's made herself absolutely indispensable to the b&i family. She really knows the ins and outs of life here and is always quick to help out on a project or answer a question. Her creativity really gets to shine in her various roles, and there's no doubt many of you have gotten a piece of jewelry that's passed through her hands or read a blog post she came up with.
She also somehow finds time to bake delicious treats for all of us (can baker-of-the-best-rice-Krispies be put on a resume?) and has become shop-dog Maurice's best friend. Oh, and did I mention she's been a model for us on both the website and the insta? Seriously, what can't she do? Read on to learn more about betsy & iya's very own Barrie Chan!
Name: Barrie Chan
Title: Design Assistant & Production Coordinator
Hometown: Born just outside of Boston, MA. Moved to the Bay Area, CA when I was 10. Moved to Portland, OR when I was 20... Maybe I'll move somewhere new when I'm 30. Any suggestions?
One day, I will go here: Japan, it has a beautiful balance between bustling city life and quiet countryside.
Best thing about my job: Being able to work with a team that is constantly striving to move forward and make cool s**t.
When I’m not working, I’m probably doing this: Depends on the time of year. Nice weather: biking around town, camping, hiking. Not so nice weather: yoga, binge watching TV shows with lots of popcorn, baking.
This will always be in my playlist: Mmmmm, The Strokes. As well as a handful of classics like Etta James, Ray Charles, and The Mamas & The Papas.
Zodiac Sign: Taurus, but I'm not stubborn.... I'm not.
I've been making jewelry since: Since 2014? I started here, at betsy & iya.
Items of jewelry you most often make: Custom jewelry!
Before I was a Maker at b&i I was... Working the betsy & iya sales floor/college student.
Describe your path to becoming a maker in an ice cream flavor & why: Boom Chocolatte(TM) Cookie Core (Mocha & Caramel Ice Creams with Chocolate Cookies, Fudge Flakes & a Chocolate Cookie Core) Because I am all over the place, constantly juggling tasks, and working in different departments. And at the core, I'm a part of something truly makes me happy.... And I love bringing baked treats to work.
Favorite b&i Piece to Wear: My Catenary Ring necklace always gets the attention it deserves. ;) (But secretly, Will & Betsy made one-of-a-kind cuffs for all their staff a few years ago for Christmas and I think mine was the prettiest. Don't tell the others.)
What are some of your favorite tools to work with: Wax carving tools and our microscope. I'm the lead wax carver for all custom projects/prototypes and it's a fun material to work with. Using a microscope allows me to add immense precision to my work to bring Betsy's designs to fruition.
Do you listen to music while you make? If so, what are some of your fave jams? I like to listen to the pop hits from the 2000's from when I was a teen. A little bit of Ciara, little bit of JT, and obviously Queen Bey. I also like listening to Podcasts like Myths & Legends, 2 Dope Queens, and Strong Opinions Loosely Held.
Being a maker has taught me: The power of communication and problem-solving.
My favorite piece of jewelry to make is and why: Custom wedding/engagement rings. I feel really honored to be a part of two people's journey of love together. A ring can tell a powerful story, and when a couple is willing to let me help tell that story it makes my heart full. What can I say? #imaromantic
What's your favorite thing to do, or place to visit, in the Portland area? I think my favorite thing is trying new restaurants and going back to old favorites. Whenever I have friends/family come visit all I tell them to do is fast for a week and get ready to eat when they get here. Favorite spots include: Mee Sen Thai, P's & Q's Market, Marukin Ramen, Grassa, the list goes on.