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Tuesday , December 14, 2010
Accessories (And Q&A): Nashelle
When I first saw the jewelry of Nashelle, I had that rare feeling of being mesmerized by the grace, simplicity and beauty of the design. There's a lovely quality of serenity to the designs from Nashelle, a line based out of Bend, Oregon -- they echo the shapes and motifs of nature and are a bit Art Nouveau in feeling and are so elegantly done that each piece is like a little piece of art. It's a line for people looking for something personal and organic in feeling -- for those looking for genuine emotion and meaning rather than flash or trendiness in their fashion. Plus, Nashelle is totally fair trade and uses recycled metals and recycled 14k gold, kicking in an eco-friendly angle to their operation.
Nashelle designer Heather Beeson was also kind enough to answer a few questions for us about her background and inspirations behind such lovely work.
Tell us a bit about yourself -- where you grew up, what your childhood was like, where you went to school, did you study fashion or anything like that? I grew up in Alaska - it was both beautiful and intense. I grew up halibut fishing, crabbing, salmon fishing. Learning how to drive a boat when I was a toddler. Hiking amazing mountains, getting lost in the vast beauty of the glacial snowfields beyond the glacier. Tomboy at heart with a drive for fashion and amazing friends that are life long with a crazy spirit.
What were you up to before Nashelle? And what was the impetus behind starting your own jewelry line? How did it get started, and how has Nashelle grown and changed since its beginnings? Growing up I thought I was going to be a shoe designer or dress maker. I envied all of my friends that could make jewelry. For me, it did not come naturally. After studying metal art at the University of Alaska Southeast, it opened up a whole new world of design and from that I became inspired by the simplicity of metal and stone combined.
I started Nashelle Jewelry 7 years ago. Many remember me sitting on my living room floor day after day creating. In the year 2005, shortly after I gave birth to my first son, I decided to take my little business to a national level. The response continues to be tremendous and I am so grateful that I have been able to turn my passion in to my lifelong career.
What do you think makes Nashelle different? We take pride in the fact that we use all recycle 14kt gold fill and recycled sterling silver materials. Also, none of our designs are mass produced or out sourced and we have no intention of that ever happening.
What are the greatest inspirations for your work? My children are a great inspiration as well as simply being alive! When I work, it is almost as if the designs come naturally to their own completion. I pay a lot of attention to the changing of seasons and draw on nature for inspiration but I also pay a lot of attention to the many facets of women and how we change our look depending on our mood.
You're based out of Bend, Oregon, which is very cool and different! What do you like about Bend? How do you think being based out of there as opposed to a traditional fashion capitol contributes to the uniqueness and identity of Nashelle? I love Bend because it is always sunny and the community is amazing!
In 2006, I leased a large warehouse in the industrial area of Bend, Oregon to facilitate our growth. We are now a team of 7 amazingly talented designers. Each person brings a different element to the company and to the Nashelle line. We spend each day listening to great music, while designing and creating gorgeous jewelry.
What other companies/artists/designers do you admire, and why? Anthony Nak- I really admire his work.
What's in store for Nashelle in the future? More amazing designs for every woman!
Any advice for girls/boys out there dreaming of launching their own line? When I started I was knocked down, but you gain confidence and a thick skin. Persistence and a great support group are essential!
Who are some of your favorite bands/musicians? India Arie
What's your favorite clothing item or outfit lately? Love my Fidelity and Chip & Pepper jeans. I'm either in knee high boots, stilettos or barefoot
What are some of your favorite places in Bend (or anywhere, really)? I love Mexico and the Perseverance Trail in Alaska.
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