Today we’re thrilled to be featuring Betty Alida! These jewelry pieces will be kicking off our handmade weekend in Austin at our West Elm Pop-Up on May 14th and our Austin Fair May 16+17. Get ready, Austin!
Betty Alida jewelry is designed and handmade in Austin, Texas, by Jennifer Gaewsky. Created in 2014, Jennifer’s line was named after her maternal and paternal grandmothers, Betty and Alida. The designs began as a passion project and stem from a desire to create unique and beautiful pieces with high-quality materials and skilled craftsmanship. Jennifer has had a strong love for art and design since childhood, when she first began exploring jewelry construction.
During the day, Jennifer is a pediatric physical therapist – but for her entire life, she has explored all types of craft from pottery to wood working to painting. She spends much of her free time learning and exploring new mediums. For Jennifer, there is something about the limitless aesthetic potential of materials that she finds addicting and she loves to create and uncover that potential. Jennifer created Betty Alida in 2014 in response to this love for making and creating, as many others do.
Jennifer is highly inspired by her surroundings, finding and absorbing inspiration everywhere. The abundance of countless highly talented artists in Austin and the city itself breathes their influence. Jennifer’s multi-colored pendants are actually inspired by the Graffiti park at Castle Hill, a large, dynamic, outdoor art gallery in Austin.
“After I spend all day absorbing inspiration, I process it, synthesize it, and make sense of it when I go for a run. That is my brainstorming time and I tend to do a lot of my rough designing during those runs. Sometimes they come to my when I am sitting in Austin traffic. Next I sketch the design and test it out on the loom. I can’t tell you how many designs look amazing in my head and terrible on the loom. But if it works out, great! And that’s how I have come up with my current designs that I will be bringing to Renegade.”
Jennifer utilizes a simple bead loom that she has grown to love after countless experimentations. Using Japanese Delica seed beads, she carefully selects the colors, creating bright, colorful palettes. Although time-consuming, Jennifer’s attention to detail shines in the colors she chooses. Once the piece is woven, it is secured in a slide bar and chain, giving the designs their unique look.