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Style Pooh-Bah Q&A: Rebecca Norman, Jewelry and Handbag Designer

April 11, 2012

 

 

Recently, I caught up with Rebecca Norman, a designer who creates limited-production handbags and jewelry in her Southern California studio. Her designs consist of eclectic jewelry pieces and classic handbag shapes that incorporate a bohemian vibe. 

Rebecca has shared with Style Pooh-Bahs, what inspired her to design and what’s next for her collection. So, sit back, pull-up a chair and check out the creativity, designs and insight of Rebecca Norman.

 

 

 

 

Naima Turner: Rebecca, when did you first develop a special ‘spark’ to design jewelry?

Rebecca Norman: I grew up in Taiwan, which has a long tradition of goldsmithing and personal adornment.   Having jewelry custom-made at the local goldsmith is very common in Taiwan so every time I had some money I would go to Min Mei, the goldsmith near my school, and he would custom make tiny pendants for me which I would layer on my necklace.  Min Mei would allow me to watch the goldsmiths making his creations and I was hooked.  In high school I decided to become a jeweler.


Naima Turner: What was the first piece of jewelry that you ever made?

Rebecca Norman: A super cheesy silver and turquoise cuff that broke the first time I wore it.

 

Naima Turner: Well, you’ve come a long way since then because there’s nothing cheesy about your collection now! And, so tell me, with an established niche for jewelry making, what made you want to design handbags?

Rebecca Norman: I had been doing leather and silver cuffs for some time and the move to small leather goods seemed logical.  My first leather bags (and still my favorites) were one of a kind clutches that feature prong set gemstones, like turquoise and agate, hand hammered metal details and hand stitching. Originally, I only made them for my own store (Rebecca Norman Boutique in Solana Beach CA) but then I started selling them at wholesale a few years ago as well.  From there the line grew and now includes cosmetic bags, hobos, and shoppers.  I still make the one of a kind clutches and they are my best-selling bags. 


Naima Turner: Are there any accessories that you’ll be incorporating into your brand?

Rebecca Norman: I love home accessories so I’m working on a collection of hand stitched leather pillows for the holidays.

Naima Turner: They sound like they’ll be amazing, I can’t wait to see them. Where do you draw inspiration from each season for your collections?

Rebecca Norman: Every season brings new inspiration from a different place..Right now I am reading a wonderful book from the Mingei Museum called San Diego’s Craft Revolution – it features amazing jewelry, ceramics, and art from the mid century modern era and it is so inspiring.

 

 

Naima Turner: Do you make custom design items for customers who want a special piece for themselves or want to buy something for someone else?

Rebecca Norman: I do make custom items.  Right now I am working on a charm necklace for a lovely gentleman who wants to surprise his wife with a charm necklace that tells the story of how they met, who their kids are, and what is important to them..It’s fun and challenging to make something that is wearable and tells their story in a poetic and visual way.


Naima Turner: Are you looking to have other retail locations in other cities/states in the future?

Rebecca Norman: Yes, I have been actively looking for the right spot in the Los Angeles area for some time now; it’s important to be in the right neighborhood and in the right space.


Naima Turner: Where can my readers find your items?

Rebecca Norman: In addition to my store, we sell to many independent retailers throughout the United States.  A list of them can be found on my website: www.rebeccanorman.com.

 

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One Comment leave one →
  1. April 11, 2012 4:48 pm

    I’m dying over that turquoise stone clutch!! Fabulous!

    xx

    ashley

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