Etta + Billie begins with two monumental people in my life: my grandmothers. Their stories are ones of adventure, sacrifice, and tenacity. These women taught me what it takes to be a maker, someone willing to take risks in order to witness great results. Their memory and influence will always be vital parts of my work.
Even as a teenager, I’ve always been a collector. I would try and get a hold of as many lotions and body products as I possibly could. I was able to create another world through smell, and it seemed that the possibilities were endless. It was this exploration that laid the foundation for what would later become Etta + Billie.
Yet, it wasn’t until I stepped away from a stifling office job that my dream started to become a reality. There was a desire to create a useful product that could alter anyone’s mood, as well as a desire to develop a process that didn’t involve cheap chemicals, ingredients which are found in most bath and body products on the market.
As adults, we’re the caretakers of so many things: kids, employees, communities. But often enough do we forget to nurture ourselves. Our daily routines are an essential part of our life, so it’s imperative that we include the time to care for ourselves. At Etta + Billie, I’m dedicated to providing a sustainable product that not only cleans the body, but clears the mind, preparing us for every new journey in life.
Alyson Thomas of Drywell Art
Drywell Art is the creation of me, Alyson Thomas. Drywell Art started in 2010, a few months after leaving my attorney past behind me. What began as a daily drawing challenge for this self-taught artist has grown into a full-time six-figure meat, booze, and food art business. I might be a genius. Probably not.
Everything in my shop started as an original artwork, hand drawn & watercolored by me. Serious research of food, butchery, beer & cocktails is required to create accurate, sometimes funny, and always 100% original diagrams. No stock images, no shortcuts, no nonsense. Well, maybe a little nonsense.
I have created custom illustrations for numerous companies, including Fleisher’s Meats, Williams-Sonoma, Chronicle Books, The Bruery in Placentia, CA, Padrecito in San Francisco, and Il Cane Rosso in Dallas, TX.
Drywell Art HQ is in San Francisco, where I can patronize nerdy cocktail bars, attend butchery demos, drink homebrew, and watch the wild parrots eating in my backyard. Seriously.
Kendra Renee of Kendra Renee Jewelry
Artists rarely plan on becoming artists. I didn’t. I was a little girl in Vermont who, while making sequin tiaras for my dolls, would predict pastry chef one day and pathologist the next. I was a college student in Florence learning as much about tagliatelle as I was about David. I was a metal-working apprentice still on the cusp of learning where my art lived.
I didn’t plan on becoming an artist, but passions have an unexpected way of sneaking up on you. You don’t even realize they are there until you’ve spent three hours hunched over the same piece of silver and sit up still smiling with something beautiful in the palm of your hand. But once you do – once I did – it’s like they had always existed, just waiting to be discovered, and nothing else could feel so right.
The jewelry you wear should speak to you. It should inspire confidence, joy and strength. It should harmonize with your body, yet it shouldn’t blend in. It should be noticed.
The jewelry I create is just that, the result of meticulous craftsmanship and the shapes and textures I dream of every night. I craft each piece by hand: the bowl-shaped pendants, the clasps of the necklaces, the posts of the earrings. I dream and I draw then I sit and I cut and I form and I forge and I solder and I hammer and then I send you a little cream colored box with my initials embossed on the outside.
My jewelry is elegant. It is unique. And most of all, it is wearable.
The only thing you can do that will ever break my heart is leave your favorite pair of earrings in a box waiting for the right occasion. My jewelry is made to be worn.
Marja Germans Gard of Marja Germans Gard Studio
I started on my career in metalsmithing while pursuing a Ph.D. in Psychology. To distract from the stress of dissertation analyses, I escaped to a local jewelry studio and fell in love with all manner of jewelry techniques. Once my degree was complete, I left academia behind and began to pursue metalsmithing full time (with a several year hiatus, during which my two wonderful kids arrived on the scene).
In part influenced by the arrival of my kids, I've prioritized an environmentally conscious approach to my work. In this line as in my first jewelry line, lemonade handmade jewelry, I use recycled and fair-mined metals whenever possible and take pains to minimize the chemicals used in my studio. All Marja Germans Gard Studio jewelry is made by hand by me and my two part-time assistants in my small studio in the San Francisco Bay Area. I also collaborate with a local independent small business to cast some components of my pieces.
Marja Germans Gard Studio jewelry collections are notable for clean lines and striking details, mixing metals and textures to create looks that are eye-catching but still perfect for everyday wear. The streamlined silhouettes and dramatic details in the designs make for an impactful look that pairs equally well with a chic black jumpsuit or jeans and a moto jacket.
Samantha Barsky of Noteify
Samantha Barsky is the owner and creator of note•ify, an eco-friendly, city-inspired paper products and soft goods company. Samantha started note•ify in 2009 after working for 10 years in the San Francisco advertising scene as an art director. She loves to travel and uses her original photography to influence her stationery designs. Samantha’s favorite spots outside of the U.S. are Africa, Amsterdam, Vietnam, Cuba, and Mexico.
Sharon Zimmerman of Sharon Z Jewelry
Modern Jewelry with a Modern Conscience.
Made in the heart of the Mission, Sharon Zimmerman’s jewelry is made from 100% recycled gold and silver and lab-grown stones for beautiful jewelry that works with your ethics. Believing that form is nothing without function, she designs jewelry with clean lines, subtle textures and patinas for modern, fine jewelry that can be worn every day.
Bess Petty of Bird Vs. Bird Designs
Bird vs. Bird Designs, based in Oakland, California, is a one-gal operation from illustration, to graphic design, to product development, to production and sales.
Hatched in 2007, Bird vs. Bird quickly grew from an experimental handful of pouches and bags I made to sell at a local art gallery into an Etsy store and from there into a regular presence at Bay Area craft fairs and at stores around the country.
Bird vs. Bird Designs has been an Etsy Featured Seller, and has been mentioned in a variety of blogs and publications, including Dwell Magazine’s Friday Finds and the Oakland Museum of California’s Member Magazine.
All the bird, animal and botanical illustrations featured on Bird vs. Bird products are the original work of yours truly, Bess Petty, and reflect my life-long love for nature and birdwatching. I have chosen in particular to highlight many of the birds I have seen in my home territory of Northern California. I also hand-make all the products in my line, always with an eye to using recycled and salvaged materials where practical. Many signature items, such as my coin purses and stickers, are printed on materials saved from my day job in the commercial sign industry that would otherwise end up in the landfill.
Liz Oppenheim is a jeweler and metalsmith. She practices the art of Misturo, loosely translated as “honey wax”. It is a traditional Japanese wax sculpting technique, said to have originated between AD 710 to 794. The jewelry application of this technique was developed to mimic the natural striations of bamboo leaves. Not available commercially, Liz cooks the wax in her studio by combining organic beeswax with pine resin. Once warmed, she pulls and stretches the wax carefully coaxing out the lines and furrows and then shapes it into its final form.
After choosing her favorites from the dozens of models, they are cast in gold or silver using the lost wax technique.