Meet Seattle jewelry duo Baleen. As one of our newest vendors, we couldn't be more excited about their designs! It was a pleasure to visit Billy and Leah in their Ballard home studio.
Nube: How long have you made jewelry?
Baleen: Billy has made jewelry for about 5 years now, when he started his other line of men's jewelry, Vim Beget. During that time Leah was helping and learning many of his processes too. One of the earliest pieces, which was a lengthy hand-woven chain necklace really made us excited
N: How did you get your name?
B: We really liked the word Baleen and then realized it was a bit of a combo of both of our first names. Baleen is a whale reference and similar to some whales we "migrate", from our home in Seattle, to Maui multiple times a year to get to the warmer waters.
N: How do you split your time between Seattle and Maui?
B: We usually go to Hawaii every 5 months or so and take a nice hiatus from our routine. We are super lucky to have family (Leah grew up there) and a place to call home there. It's generally a time for re-charging and re-focusing for us. We do a lot of research and development and design work there. It's such a relaxing place and ideas just naturally flow, plus we get really great perspective and come up with ideas and see things we wouldn't in the midst of our daily routine.
N: It seems travel is a large part of your lifestyle and inspiration?
B: Travel is so important to us. We are kind of home-bodies in general but we really need to get away and love exploring new places. Our recent trip to Tulum, Mexico was super inspiring. The Mayan culture and history is really interesting and we really loved being exposed to that, through the ancient ruins and cenotes we visited, and seeing art from local artisans and crafts people.
N: After traveling, what are you most excited to return to Seattle for?
B: We always come back to Seattle re-charged and re-invigorated. We usually can't wait to get back to our work studio and flesh out all the ideas we've had, and bring them to life. We're also always very excited to come back to our 3 cats, who we absolutely adore. We love Seattle and our life here, and getting away always makes it that much sweeter.