If you've been reading our blog or following betsy & iya on social media for the past three years, you're already familiar with the man, the mane, the metal manipulating master, Matt. His role here - much like his hair - has gone through an evolution; he started as the face of our brick & mortar, working the floor, manning our booth at shows, and occasionally assisting with buying. His transition from shop boy to production man happened a little over a year ago, and ever since, he's taken his signature humor, determination, and physicality and put it into every single piece of jewelry he makes.
Let's get to know more about Matty, or as I like to call him "the one who made me a believer in man bling:"
Name: Matty (to his betsy & iya family), Matt (to friends), Matthew (to everyone else)
Hometown: Chicago, IL (obvious from his expert snow shoveling skills below)
Star Sign: (middle child) Leo
I've been making jewelry for: One year as a full-time maker
Items of jewelry you make most often: I make most of the wire hoops in the collection (Badlands hoops, Conatas hoops, Colubrina hoops,, Alameda hoops, The Span hoops). I also spend a lot of my time forming earwires.
Before I was a maker at b&i I was: Unhappy at my other job. (note: now Matty is totally happy. Coincidence? I think NOT!)
Describe your path to becoming a maker in an ice cream flavor & why: I guess I would say Coconut Bliss Vanilla with a jar of peanut butter on the side. It's an alternative choice that you stumble upon in a desperate situation, but then you are pretty much stuck with it.
Favorite b&i piece to make: Badlands hoop earringsSimple Sterling knuckle ring, as demonstrated in this selfie taken during Snowpocalypse 2014....
What are some of your favorite tools to work with: My hands. Manipulating metal into pieces of art with my body everyday is a pretty amazing job for a Thespian. Editor's note: didya know Matty is an accomplished ACTOR?! You can catch him in his latest role as Bunce in Shaking the Tree Studio's production of "One Flea Spare" opening Friday, February 28th!
Do you listen to music while you make? If so, what's your current jam? What's that? Driver roll up the PARTITION please??
Being a maker has taught me: To see all the important little details that make up the whole world around me. And a better understanding and appreciation of good craftsmanship.
I feel like I'm cheating as a writer to just say "Matty's sooooo funny!" but he keeps me laughing like few people in my life can and I really don't know any other way to describe it. His knowledge of pop culture is sharp, his sass is matched only by his wit, he can do spot-on impressions, all while never more than 5 feet away from a tub of King Harvest hummus (probs Jalapeño flavored). Matty embodies the hardworking and fun-loving spirit of betsy & iya. Want/need/can't survive another day without more Matty? Follow his adventures (and those of his ManBun) on Instagram @mkerrig #bereadyforselfies. If you have specific questions you'd like to see answered in future maker profiles, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cheers, Anna ***Song of the Moment: You're the Inspiration by Chicago***