06 Feb Effortless, Caribbean-chic with BECK jewels
“The feeling I strive to create for my client is of a casual elegance, one that will allow her to feel part of our effortless, Caribbean-chic lifestyle. As soon as she puts on her BECK jewel, I want her to feel special no matter what she’s wearing or where she’s going…”– Designer, Rebecca Zeijdel-Paz
Combining elements of art, travel, and her Caribbean heritage, Designer Rebecca Zeijdel-Paz is the creative force behind BECK Jewels, a laid-back, yet unique line of handmade jewelry. Orginially from the Dutch Caribbean, Rebecca designs and crafts each collection from her studio in Brooklyn, NY. We spoke with Rebecca about the core of BECK’s story, opening up about inspiration, her creative process, and much more!
Have you always had a passion for design and jewelry? What is your background?
My desire to become a jewelry designer came from a love of art, design and gemstones. I grew up idolizing fashion designer Carolina Herrera, after interning with her I was inspired to return to my home island and begin creating my own line. Upon returning, I fell completely in love with the island of my childhood, mesmerized by colors I had never noticed before, by its history and lifestyle. Instead of fashion I was more interested in creating unique pieces that could capture my new tropical surroundings.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I’m inspired by everything around me. I love to travel and keep mementos, unique reminders of how that specific place made me feel, they can be anything from a great record to a rare candle, a shell or even the notepad from the hotel. Having these little souvenirs scattered around the studio allows me to easily pull from special memories. Also, I live in a very visual community, there’s so much creativity going on in Brooklyn and going back home often allows me to blend my Caribbean influences as well.
What is your creative process?
I create for a woman who is both laid-back and daring, elegant and eclectic, she is a dreamer and is adventurous. I begin by researching past and modern muses that encompass these qualities; I then create moodboards that reflect our lifestyle, our muses as well as other inspirations for the collection. With all this in mind I begin sketching a variety of designs, playing with the stones, creating a variety of versions until I fall in love with the final piece.
What does a typical day look like in BECK Jewels Studios?
There is not one ‘typical day’ at BECK… one day we’ll focus completely on work, the next day we’ll go in search of inspiration in a museum. Each day is a new day. While working we have all types of music in the background and favorite candles burning, I love creating a positive atmosphere.
If you had to pick one, what is your favorite piece of jewelry that you have made to date?
A couple years ago I was asked to create a piece for a Breast Cancer Awareness event, I really wanted to create something special, a piece that could make you feel both strong and feminine. I eventually created a piece with rose quartz because of its incredible properties. It is believed that this stone speaks to your heart chakra, evoking beautiful feelings of unconditional love for others but also for our selves. Since creating this piece, rose quartz has become one of my favorite stones.
In one of the world’s most demanding markets, how do you plan on staying relevant/fresh/innovative?
Now more than ever people are valuing their communities. With BECK we get to have a local community as well as an incredible global community of clients. When someone wears something you handcrafted, you develop a very special bond with them. We truly care about our clients, they are our muse, as they grow so do we.
Do you have any other passions outside of the studio? If so, do you feel like they translate over to your professional success
I love to paint. I have huge paintings all over and I’m constantly rotating them or painting over them. I once found this ginormous white canvas left out on Bond Street, its now in our living room on its third lifecycle- tomorrow who knows how it will look like and where it will be. Whenever I feel stuck creatively I love to paint, play with different colors and add a new layer to the canvas, always changing. It’s so fluid and relaxing, I get great ideas while painting.
What advice would you give young designers who are currently trying to find their place in this industry?
I wish I had known how important it is to be part of a creative community earlier in my career. As an entrepreneur I used to always want to do everything myself, but I have finally realized how much you can grow when you take in artistic input and constructive criticism from other creatives. At first it may sting, but listen and take it all in. This industry can be challenging, it’s wonderful to have others to share with, root for and learn from.
About Rebecca: Originally from the Dutch Caribbean, Rebecca Zeijdel-Paz, designs and crafts each BECK jewels collection from her Brooklyn, NY apartment. With a passion for art, Rebecca studied in Florence, Italy in hopes of being inspired by “the masters”. However, it was not until her apprenticeship at Carolina Herrera New York that she became truly inspired to create her own jewelry line. During this time, Rebecca was exposed to a sophisticated lifestyle, not typically associated with her country. As a result, the young designer used BECK jewels to depict a new image of the isalnd, Curacao, and to introduce it artistically to the world.