Husband and wife Will Cervarich and Betsy Cross design their line of bohemian, artfully-constructed jewelry out of their brick and mortar store in Portland, Oregon. There, they sell pieces from their private label and items from fellow independent designers and artists across the country, demonstrate production techniques in their open studio and manage their growing staff of ten.
“More than selling something and making money, it’s about an experience and connection to the work; it’s about a lifestyle, ” says Betsy.
The customers that flock to betsy & iya are looking for something off the beaten track. Bracelets and necklaces made from matte and oxidized metals etched with graphic elements are the mainstay of the line.
Neither Betsy nor Will have any technical training; their recognizable style developed intuitively. Betsy says that her lack of experience lets her think outside the box. “I’m a huge advocate for education and training, but not knowing has forced me to think and create in unconventional ways. I am not burdened by the idea that there is a right way to do things.”
Each piece in the betsy & iya collection comes with its own poetically-worded micro-story, to foster a connection between the customer and the object. Their latest collection, Voyage, is inspired by Betsy’s travels through Portland, Mexico and Scandinavia, and takes influence from various places and times in her life.
“The only way I know how to create is to draw from experience: place, color, culture, people, nature, temperamental weather, good food, art, — basically, anything that has real soul to it.”
This piece was originally published as part of a series of Etsy artists featured on Capsule’s We Are The Marketplace. See the full line on Etsy Wholesale.