Years ago, I stumbled upon the Twitter account of a girl in Arkansas. It was an easy follow because, in addition to fiery tweets and a whip-smart sense of humor, this girl just so happened to make jewelry that I really wanted to buy. Stacey Bowers is the designer behind the indie jewelry brand, Bang-Up Betty, and she’s the perfect embodiment of her brand, which is as outspoken and empowering as she is.
Stacey is as cool as you expect her to be after flipping through the Bang-Up Betty store. Her offerings are nothing if not political statements disguised as attractive, benign – dare I say cute – charms and jewelry. You can’t help but recognize the thought and care that goes into each design. Nothing is too loud, and everything has a healthy balance of wearable and clever, always with a giant dollop *middle finger to oppressors*.
There are a ton of feminist jewelry brands to devour, but Bang-Up Betty has all my favorite flavors.
It’s been fun to watch Bang-Up Betty grow over the years, and she’s just getting started. Now, in addition to hand-stamped jewelry, you can pick up vinyl stickers, enamel pins, tote bags, and tees featuring best-selling Bang-Up Betty designs.
Speaking of those designs, it’s high time you saw what kind of temptation I deal with on a daily basis.
Here are some of Bang-Up Betty’s best designs:
You might recognize a couple of her more famous enamel pins from their inclusion in our ACA Enrollment Period Giveaway! That’s because Stacey believes everyone should have fair and affordable access to healthcare. She generously donated both the Liberal Vagenda and I Believe in Science pins to be included in the prize pack!
There’s still time to enter the giveaway! You could have these two pins in your hot little hands by the end of the year, if you’re lucky! Don’t forget, there are daily entries…
And now for something completely different!
A 5-Minute Interview with Stacey Bowers of Bang-Up Betty
B&B: Growing up, when did you discover that you were a highly creative smart-ass? Was jewelry always your medium?
BUB: My cool older sister used to take me to our local bead shop, Argenta Bead Company, when I was a preteen, and I learned the basics of jewelry-making there. When I was 16, the bead shop hired me. I took a long break from jewelry to go to college and start my career in publishing and marketing. I kind of stumbled back into it as a joke, teaching myself to make curse-wordy stamped bracelets for my friends during the holidays in 2012. People thought they were really fun, so I decided to keep making them, and gradually grew this beast into a business.
B&B: If Bang-Up Betty were a real woman instead of a lady-cat mixed with a brand, what kind of woman do you think she would be?
BUB: Well, let me stop you right there, because Betty the cat is a boy. (B&B: !!!!) But if Bang-Up Betty were personified, she’d be a smart, snarky, quick-witted feminist who takes no shit and loves to volunteer.
B&B: What is the best part of buying gifts and goods from indie artists? Who is an indie artist you’d love to secretly finance, if you could?
BUB: When you buy from an indie artist, you are making their dreams come true. Every time someone buys something from me, I feel self-doubt and confusion melt away for awhile, and I’m proud of myself for ever having the courage to put my work out there. Also, turning your art into a living that pays your mortgage and puts food on the table is such a boss feeling. There are so many artists I’d throw all of my money at if I didn’t have a mortgage. I would completely cover my walls in embroidery by Yes Stitch Yes. I’d fill every room with candles from Let’s Put a Bird on It. And I’d buy all of Jason Jones’ art.
B&B: Fill in the blank: You wake up one morning, get a cup of coffee and sit at your computer. You open an email, look at a Style Report, and immediately spit coffee all over your screen: _______ is wearing your jewelry.
BUB: Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
B&B: Okay, last question. If you could only make one of your designs forever (heaven forbid), which would you choose?
Probably my smash the patriarchy necklace. People seem to find such joy and empowerment from that piece.
If you can’t get enough of Stacey Bowers & Bang-Up Betty, here is an awesome mini-doc about her by Megan Pappalardo Films.