Interview & giveaway! betsy & iya
Tell us bit about yourself, your company.
B&I: My name is Betsy Cross. I started betsy & iya in March 2008 with nothing to lose (literally) and have been busy designing and making jewelry ever since. The line is carried in 80+ boutiques around the country. Last August, my husband, Will, quit his big-boy job to come on board with betsy & iya full time. Since then, we've driven across the country twice with our shop dog, Gingham, selling to stores along the way. Annnnnnnd we're about to open a brand new retail space where we'll stock our line among many other hand-picked sundries!
When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?
B&I: Oh-so-many-things! I love music and I love dancing. I've always drawn and painted. I have a BA and MFA in theatre, and right before I started the betsy & iya, my mom suggested I go into pharmaceutical sales (the mere thought of which made me know for certain I had to do something creative with my life).
Is there a certain person, place or object you draw inspiration from?
B&I: I love traveling. I dream of spending my winters designing in Santorini or Crete. I taught outside of Mexico City for a few months after grad school. I love old places, bright sun, bold colors, spontaneity, laughing, exploring. I have picture after picture of stuff like peeling paint on weathered doors, a bowl smeared with blueberry juice, moss growing on concrete, little things I see on my travels. I try to imbue my designs with all of this. Play, wonder, color, delight...
If you had no boundaries: money, time, space, support, etc. what dream project would you pursue?
B&I: Well, I'd travel for sure. But I'm not sure that I'd change much about my day-to-day. I love my job. I love building the business. I love working with my husband. I love figuring out how to pay all the bills while staying creative, vibrant... But if money and time were no object, I would probably take more time to create new designs... you know, like spending a good solid month every season just designing. I could also see myself REALLY getting sucked into home design if I had the time and dollars.
What’s your favorite thing to do to kill time? Any secret Internet time wasters, guilty pleasures?
B&I: Designformankind, spicy hot chocolate, falling into the rabbit hole of internet window shopping...
Where do you like to go when you just want to get away? A beach, a mall, a market? What’s your favorite type of spot to go unwind.
B&I: What is this "unwinding" you talk about? We're always working! But I am trying to be more reasonable with our work schedule and make more time this summer for friends, beers, beaches, walks with the dog, and lots of well-deserved sleep. I love sleeping. So. Much.
If you only had one more meal to eat on this world what would it be? (It can be several courses)
B&I: Chef's choice at Toro Bravo. Surprise me.
What do you love about most UCU’s Summer Show?
B&I: I've never done the summer show! I'm excited to see Seattle in the summer. I can say that the winter show was sooo well curated. Sometimes these shows are overwhelming. So big. So much to see. I loved the size of the winter show. Big enough to get lost, but small enough that you could find your way out before your feet started hurting.
Tell readers what they should expect to see when they stop by and see you at UCU.
B&I: Well, I'm REALLY hoping that my new line, The Music is ready for UCU. 99% sure that'll be there. I've got a bunch of fierce new Punky Plastic designs and of course, my smiling face!
Betsy and Will are offering their Retro Avenger necklace for one of you lovelies to call your own! Leave a comment below before midnight on Thursday 6/30 for your chance to win!
I enjoyed reading a little about your business. The necklace is lovely:-) Thank you for a chance to win a piece of your jewelery..I loved your postcard necklace also!