I have a really hard time wearing jewelry that isn't even moderately ironic, a preference I think I developed in response to covetable, non-ironic jewelry costing mad bank. So ghetto hoops and feather/bone-laden tribal stuff (way mystical!) have been my jewelry wardrobe staples for a long time, ever since it wasn't my Bat Mitzvah anymore and no one wanted to buy me Tiffany sapphire heart pendants.
But I also haven't salivated over jewelry in a long time, especially jewelry I could definitely afford on my unpaid intern budget. Betsy and Iya have finally satisfied my "go big or go home" approach to jewelry as well as my fiscal constraints. Portland-based jewelry designer Betsy Cross ("Iya" is her nickname for her older sister, whom she counts as an inspiration but not a business partner) handcrafts eclectic, affordable jewelry that perfectly balances audacity and femininity. Taking equal inspiration from boozy jazz baby deco, 50's cocktail party glamour, and 90's grrrly grunge, Betsy and Iya jewelry has something for even the pickiest, tightwad-iest ladies (me!). Portlanders can check out Betsy's jewels in the flesh at these local retailers, and anyone can purchase Betsy and Iya at their Etsy store.