Sisters Klaudia and Kristin Weixelbaumer have teamed up to to create Black Betty, producing a covetable collection of jewellery cued by the natural properties of the materials they work with. We think the result is a beautiful balance of understated, authentic and stylish. They chatted to us about their current collection and what inspired it… Where did the name Black Betty come from? Betty: the generic female. Black: the sexy within. We aim to help every Betty find her black. How would you define the look of your collection? We combine contemporary jewellery designs with ones as old as the hills. The result is at once funky and simple, modern and classic. Our pieces are unique in that they can be worn by woman who are old or young, extravagant or modest in style. Where did it all start? Having been brought up in a design orientated family, we’ve been programmed to try and make things look good. When I (Kristin) arrived in Jaipur, after 6 months of travelling across India doing courses on the healing properties of stones, I realised I had found the world’s gem stone capital as well as South Asia’s Mecca of jewellery and textile design. What materials do you use in your designs? We wanted the materials used to be real (nothing fake) but affordable, so semi-precious stones set in sterling silver (much of it double gold plated) became our main medium. We’ve added 9 and 14 karat gold and precious stones to our range but have made them very light in weight so it fits in with our look and doesn’t hurt the pocket. Where do you look to for inspiration? The healing properties of the stones and metals are a constant key factor when designing any of the pieces. We believe that you don’t choose a stone, the stone chooses you on an energetic level. What are the trends inspiring your designs for 2013? We aim rather to work on a personal level, trying to create something that doesn’t have a shelf life. A classic gold band with a sapphire on it for example is not a new design but it can never go out of fashion. But if we are to let you in on one trending secret you won’t have really seen yet in SA, it’s the polki (uncut) diamond. Since they are uncut, they have less fire or brilliance when compared to fully cut diamonds. This will be our 2013 signature. Where can we buy your jewellery? We’ll soon be in our new space in the Urban Hub, 142 Buitengracht St, Cape Town sharing with the fabulous brand Lalesso. Viewings are by appointment. http://blackbetty.me/. We also sell pieces through Sitting Pretty, MeMeMe, Mungo & Jemima and Mr & Mrs in Cape Town and MeMeMe, Wunders and the once monthly Collective Market in Johannesburg.