Our September profile is Kirstin Weixelbaumer, designer and owner of BlackBettyDesign.com. Founded in 2012, Black Betty aims to create unique and distinctive pieces for those who are drawn to striking jewellery, with an emotional connection. Black Betty believes that gemstones and jewels have a mysterious way of finding their owners. Using natural hand-cut gemstones and precious metals, they create pieces that play with the boundaries between contemporary style and ancient beauty.
Describe yourself in 3 words
Passionate, bold & energetic
What inspired you to start your own business?
Many things inspired me; my creative design background, a trip to India that connected me to crystal healing and gemstones, and my entrepreneurial blood that runs thick in my family. All this, along with my passion for jewellery of course.
Where does the name ‘Black Betty’ come from?
‘Betty’ is a term we use to encompass all women and all that we are: our strength, femininity and unstoppable force. For us, the term ‘Black’ represents her inner force. There is nothing more beautiful and powerful than when a woman owns and rocks her black. She is at her most confident self. She is sexy, courageous, positive, captivating and happy. You can see it a mile away and feel it when she enters a room. Her energy is felt by all. For a woman to be this, she needs to have accepted all of herself, the dark and light.
Women empowerment is fundamental to Black Betty. We want women to be their best, true selves- flaws and all. The stones we work with are naturally flawed, because this is what makes us unique, this is where our power lies.
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
This is always changing, it’s the most exciting part of my job and of the business. I started the journey through being inspired by gemstones, notably the polki diamond gemstone that gets its magic from its flaws and imperfections. I also find inspiration from exploring the beautiful darker side of things such as snakes and skulls.
Along with these core foundations, I always allow myself to be inspired by my surroundings- by the earth, by the people I interact with including my wonderful team, by inspiring stories and people. Storytelling is a core of our jewellery making process, each piece of jewellery needs to have a story to tell.
What role does Digital Marketing play in growing your business?
Digital marketing has played a massive part of Black Betty’s growth. Covid-19 really showed us that the digital space and the online experience is such an important part of the business that we cannot ignore. It’s what got us through those hard times, and it’s what has allowed us to grow further.
What are the main differences between customers who walk into your shop and those who purchase online?
The main difference is the locations of our clientele, obviously! But it has been absolutely interesting to see all the far and wide destinations customers are buying our jewellery from in South Africa. It definitely gives us ideas about extending our store branches to other cities in SA.
At AdMarula we are privileged to meet and work with so many amazingly creative women doing their thing and making a name for themselves in all different industries. What advice do you have for aspiring female entrepreneurs?
My advice is to passionately and fiercely go after your passions and goals. There will be setbacks and there will be difficulties, especially being a woman in business, but allow these times to be lessons that only allow you to grow stronger.
When I’m not working I’m…
Exploring mountains and seas and spending time with my beautiful famiglia.
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