We visited Betsy Barron’s jewelry gallery and atelier, Love & Luxe last week to learn about how the jeweler got started and the mission behind her retail business.
“I’ve been making jewelry since high school. My mother had a jewelry business and would host these parties where women would come over and she would design beaded necklaces for them,” she said. “So I learned a lot about gemstones and basic fabrication from my mom, it was a very organic education.” Barron later got into making her own porcelain “avant garde, ’80s style pieces” which she sold to a little punk rock store in Saint Louis, where she grew up. Later at RISD she fell in love with metal-smithing. In 1989 she made her way to San Francisco and worked for a jewelry gallery. It’s been 23 years since she started her own line.
Barron’s mission at Love & Luxe is to showcase jewelry made by hand in small studio environments, and to offer her customers a unique and carefully curated collection of art. “We want to teach people how jewelry is made. It’s not about the marketing, it’s about the making of the jewelry,” she said. At least 50% of the jewelers are Bay Area based and the studio offers a range of jewelry made with different types of materials so that there are levels of affordability. International jewelers include collections from the Taureg people, a formerly nomadic tribe with a long history of handcrafted silver craftsmanship. SFMade jewelers include Alice Roche, Maral Rapp, Liz Oppenheim and more.
When you go don’t miss the art on the walls, all by artists at the beginning of their careers, most of whom have gone on to show at museums.
1169 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110