Artisan Spotlight: Baleen

When we first saw Baleen's powder coated brass bracelets we fell in love. These beauties are simple and elegant yet they have just the right amount of playful color. The dynamic duo behind these chic pieces believes that beautiful handmade jewelry should be both fashion forward and affordable. Husband and wife team Billy and Leah have been creating handmade goods since childhood. Now their inventive and artistic forces have united to create a beautiful line of jewelry. 

Baleen Handmade Bracelets

When did you first start creating and designing handmade goods?

We both started making things with our hands as kids, which evolved into selling our handmade goods in our early twenties before we ever met.  I (Leah) was sewing things and Billy started a silk-screened T-shirt company.  When we first started dating we both started our own companies, Leah doing women's swimwear and Billy doing men's jewelry and leather goods.  Then after a while we decided we wanted to design and run a business together - that's when we conceived Baleen.

Billy and Leah of Baleen

What drew you to making jewelry? What do you enjoy most about it?

Making jewelry is really gratifying - you can think up an idea and within a few hours or less, you have a proto-type or even a final piece.  We love to see that process in a shorter time-window and to bring new designs to life as we come up with them.  

Handmade Baleen Bracelets

What is your creative process when you’re trying to create a new product?

We both bring creative ideas to one another all the time, then Billy will usually mock something up and we'll analyze it together, then edit accordingly.  We love pure, simple, uncomplicated design - and we always want our pieces to be affordable, so that gives us parameters to work within that we actually really enjoy.  Its a fun challenge and the best part is that we get immediate response from our customers, so we know when we get it right.

Billy and Leah of Baleen Creating

How did you come up with your company's name?

It really was as simple as "we like how this word sounds" and as a bonus it's a whale reference and we both really love the ocean.  We spend a lot of time in Hawaii, and are based in the Pacific Northwest, so we are kind of like the Humpback whales in that we migrate to warmer waters every year.  That was a fun coincidence and we just took it from there.  

Baleen Handmade Bracelets

Any other interesting facts or stories you’d like to share? 

We just got married on Maui! :)

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