Q&A with Ann Spence, Founder and Designer of SHEBEE
Where do you find inspiration?
I can trace the inspiration for many of our pieces to the game of "dress up." Something I still enjoy! My grandmother had a really fun and slightly wild sense of style which meant she had a stellar costume jewelry collection. Some of my new filigree pieces are based on an old pair of brass earrings I used to play with at her house. The first studs I designed, which we still make, were partly based on the stick-on earrings little girls wear. I love how they look like candy. But more seriously, I also love looking at classic jewelry design. Bulgari is one of my favorites and I always go back to their books, looking at shapes and colors in their vintage collections. I think it is important to have fun with getting dressed, accessories and especially jewelry are a big part of that!
How has SheBee changed since the launch in 2011?
Color and iconic shapes were, and still are, major themes, but just about everything else is different! We started with skulls. I was obsessed with colorful, happy skulls, and putting flowers in their eyes. We started with metal, but settled on crystal for the eyes because of the sparkle. Some customers asked me to make earrings - but I didn't love the idea of skull earrings with a skull necklace, so I started making the candy colored topaz studs. That turned out to be popular, and the semi-precious collection was born! We still make some beaded skull pieces for the die-hard fans, but these days I'm only designing gemstone pieces.
Describe your design process.
Every collection starts with a shape. A circle, a triangle, a hexagon, a star, a sphere... We've started with every one of those shapes. Color is another starting point, normally two colors, for example the frost green and deep blue we used in this winter's collection. Then we build on those themes, building up shapes for long earrings or studs, repeating shapes in necklaces and balancing them for rings and bracelets.
What do you enjoy most about being a jewelry designer?
There are two things that come to mind. The first is pretty obvious, and that's the moment when I first see completed samples. It's like Christmas, and I get to dress up in all the new designs! The second thing I love is working with so many creative people at different levels of the business. I used to work as a painter and as a writer, which are both pretty isolated professions. Getting feed back, support and building work relationships is a real pleasure for me.
Describe the SheBee woman.
I am a girls' girl. I love my girlfriends and I think of them first. They are the original SheBee girls. So from there, I'd say the SheBee woman picks out her jewelry, and she has fun with it. She loves to share with friends and she's not afraid of trying something new. She also loves champagne, but that's probably obvious.
What is next for SheBee?
First we'd like to establish a new world order based on peace and love. In addition to that we're looking for more retail partners, especially in London and Los Angeles.
For ages I have wanted to post about SHEBEE on Juler's Row, so excited today is the day. I am very attracted to SHEBEE's amazing color combinations and unique designs. The designs are fashion forward, but also very wearable. I think jewelry first and foremost should provide happiness to the wearer and I think Ann's designs definitely accomplish this. As someone who alternates from wearing a lot of black and pops of bright colors, SHEBEE jewelry would be a great addition to my wardrobe. Below is a small glimpse of the collection, to see all of the amazing jewels visit SHEBEE.com.