Kristin and Klaudia Weixelbaumer are a dynamic sister duo from Cape Town, South Africa, to watch out for. Together they began producing well-crafted jewellery for their brand Black Betty in 2012 and have never looked back since. Combining their backgrounds in advertising and interior design, they continue to produce the perfect marriage of simplistic and graphic wearable art. Lola Who interviewed Kristin to get a glimpse into their essence and to find out what makes them tick.
Lola Who: What drew you to jewellery, specifically sustainable and ethical jewellery?
Kristin: My explorations in my grandmothers jewellery box began at a young age. I could lose myself for hours in this treasure chest, but it was only after studying stones and their properties that I knew that this was what I wanted to do with my life. After working in advertising, I realised I wanted to create something pure that would last forever. The fact that jewellery gets passed down generations answers that for me.
Lola Who: What is it like designing a collection as sisters? Does it ever get tough balancing your personal and business relationships?
Kristin: We love working together, constantly feeding off the others energy. In this way, we can balance each other out when one is feeling uninspired or throwing her toys out the cot. The fact that it doesnt feel like work is the best part, so we take it everywhere, we share our thoughts and ideas wherever we go; from walks up mountains, to driving places together, gallery missions, cooking at home, eating out The day becomes one big canvas if we allow for it.
Lola Who: Where do you go to get inspired.
Kristin: For me personally, I love being outdoors and find inspiration when allow myself to let go. If I had to choose one space, it would definitely involve coffee, music and time on my balcony at the foot of my mountain.
Lola Who: Name your inspirations: One location, two style icons (one dead, one living), and one activity.
Kristin: In order: Lions Head, Audrey Hepburn, Amal Alamuddin, Kitesurfing.
Lola Who: What is your most treasured item in your personal jewellery collection and why?
Kristin: The Snake Ring. It was designed by my grandmother, passed down to my mother (ruby) and copied for Klaudia (emerald) & my fingers (Polki diamond). Rings are my main obsession.
Lola Who: If you had to pick one design philosophy, would you choose minimalism or materialism, and why?
Kristin: Minimalism; less clutter, more space, unless its rings on fingers!
Lola Who: What do you take away from this quote, “One should either be a work of art or wear a work of art.”
Kristin: Why is there a ‘or’ in this sentence? Wear art. Be art. Live art. Eat art. Its the brave and daring that stand out.
Lola Who: What type of woman do you have in mind when designing your line? Does it change in every collection?
Kristin: From the Treacle Range to the Skulls to Shapeshifters, Skinny Joy and Polki Diamonds, our woman always changes. We aim to create something for everyone. We would love to see Kate Moss in Black Betty.
Lola Who: What are the next steps for your brand?
Kristin: To break into the international market while building on our local South African creativity.
Make sure to check out Black Betty online !
Black Betty on Facebook: facebook.com/blackbettydesign
Black Betty on Twitter: twitter.com/BlackBetty_2
Black Betty on Pinterest: pinterest.com/blackbetty02
Black Betty on Instagram: instagram.com/blackbettydesign/