Guys don’t really know how to buy jewelry. If it is time for a new addition to your jewelry box, ladies, you have to hint specifically. It’s important to communicate to men how want something that makes you feel strong while enhancing your femininity. Of course, that’s almost impossible for most men to decipher.
Instead, just send him to chat with Austinite Breanna Whitener, designer and creator of BreMarie Jewelry. Her line of rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings captures exactly what you’re looking for.
The City of Austin has temporarily banned public gatherings. Please stay home. The Austin.com calendar is only for live digital events at this time.
“My jewelry combines strength and femininity,” Whitener told Austin.com. “Jewelry itself is a raw metal. The material itself is strong, and the process to turn it into jewelry is loud and messy. Suddenly, you come out with this shiny, dainty little piece of jewelry. That in itself is a juxtaposition of ideas.”
Whitener wants her jewelry to stand the test of time and be in style no matter the era. That means you’ll be wearing her jewelry when a lot of your other jewelry is collecting dust. “I want my jewelry to transcend trends. I want it to be classic in a modern way,” she said. “I want my customers to feel beautiful, a little bit polished, and a little bit special knowing they have something a little bit different than what everyone else has. Maybe it makes them feel a little extra special that day.”
While Breanna Whitener’s jewelry will stay on your body years to come, she also has a long history to give her perspective on her craft. “I’ve really been making jewelry my whole life,” she said. “As a kid, I just loved to make anything that I thought looked interesting at all. I remember gluing beads onto a coin that I glued onto an earring back and gave to my mom. She wore it. Bless her heart. She told me at the time she got tons of compliments.”
While Whitener knows her mom was just being an encouraging mom, no one is going to feign praise with her current designs. They have a classic sensibility with touches of modernness.
After several years as a graphic designer, Whitener took her lifelong passion for jewelry making from a hobby to a career. The leap wasn’t difficult for her. As a graphic designer, she favored clean lines over busyness, and as a jewelry maker, she still tends toward the simplistic. The straight lines she produced in her digital designs are now a little curvier in metalwork but still not overpowering or distracting.
One difference she’s identified between her former and current fields is the role of imperfection. Digital things can be perfect, but well-crafted handmade jewelry is perfect in its imperfection.
Whitener uses recycled metals, sustainable materials, and fair trade gemstones. “It is possible to create nice things without harming the earth’s resources,” she said. “All these materials are not new. People have been making jewelry with the same materials and the same tools for hundreds of years, so there’s no need to do more damage.”
As you peruse her designs on www.bremarie.com, you’ll notice each piece bears a woman’s first name.
“I name my pieces after women in history who have accomplished something of significance — women who have done something good. There definitely was a time when women weren’t even allowed to do as much as we can now. I think that deserves to be honored in some way,” Whitener said.
The naming process typically goes one of two ways. Either the piece evokes the name of an historic female, or the woman’s story inspires a piece. “Just reading a lot about significant women in history, I’ve learned a ton about people I’ve heard of but didn’t really know what they did like Florence Nightingale. I’ve heard that name my whole life, but I didn’t know she pioneered the nursing field,” Whitener said. “Before her, hospitals were completely unsanitary, and people were dying from those conditions. She came in and did something about it.”
Perhaps when you wear the Florence Ring you feel a little bolder and ready to clean up an unhealthy situation. Maybe when the Lillian Necklace lays on your chest, you feel a bit better equipped to help those around you like Lillian Wald in the Henry Street Settlement at the turn of the 20th century.
Though Whitener names her pieces in honor of history’s heroines, they aren’t her only catalysts for ideas. Her source of inspiration varies all the time.
“I don’t like to say I get inspiration from everything, but I do. Some days it’s obviously nature as there are so many inspiring things in nature. Other days it’s maybe a color combination I see somewhere or just interesting shapes I see in my son’s toys laying on the floor. It’s just being aware and observant of what’s around you. That being said, I have some of my best ideas right before I fall asleep when everything is shut down and turned off in my mind,” she said.
Strength and femininity make a dynamite combination. In jewelry and in women, those qualities are hard to resist when working together. BreMarie pieces provide just the right highlighting to show off those qualities in you.
Feature photo: Jenni Roberts, courtesy Jenni Roberts Photography.