Saturday, November 22, 2008

One of A Kind: Barbie's Basement Jewellery

“I’m so gay, I sweat glitter,” says my favourite fashion blogger, the fabulous BryanBoy. As a gay man in a woman’s body, I can kind of relate. There’s just something about sparkly things that gets me right there, similar to the effect of the colour pink on me. That’s why every year, I’m inevitably drawn to the Barbie’s Basement Jewellery (BBJ) booth at the One of A Kind.

BBJ is run by this really nice couple, Robin and Ange, who’ve been together for absolutely ever; I remember seeing them at my very first One of A Kind Christmas show! Some years ago, Robin was facing a possible layoff at her really boring full-time job, so she decided to turn her hobby, jewellery-making, into a business. She sold beaded jewellery at first, but then she conceived the idea of making glass bubble rings with a piece of text underneath over a bed of glitter. Later, she came up with the idea of featuring pop culture images in her jewellery, and another line began. Then in 2000, her partner/future wife Ange hurt herself badly at her day job, and when she was recovering, she decided to join BBJ as Production Manager in 2001. Since then, they’ve expanded to making cufflinks, magnets, key chains, belt buckles and lots more. Their belt buckles are particularly popular and Jessica Alba wore one in the movie Honey. Robin and Ange’s work has also been featured in a bunch of magazines.

My favourites are the glittery pieces, of course, which I really wish I could find a picture of so that I could show you. I got my first one from them a few years ago, and I can’t even tell you what a hard time I had picking something out, because I always just want to bring their whole booth home every time I see it. I ended up choosing a bright red glittered ring with the word “rebel” in it. The following year, I began eyeing these two supercute necklaces – one that says “uptown” over light pink glitter and one that says “downtown” over hot pink – get it? At the last Christmas show, I decided that I was going to get one, and I decided to get “downtown”, despite the fact that I’m really an uptown girl, just because I liked the hot pink better. But there weren’t any more necklaces in the style I wanted, so Robin, who is super sweet, custom-made my necklace with exactly the shade of glitter I wanted, despite the fact that she was in the middle of the demanding show and was probably really busy. The next piece I’m aiming for is the charm bracelet, with five charms on it! I just have to decide exactly which charms I want, which will be a challenge...

Go check them out at the One of A Kind beginning next Thursday at booth N-48! You can also find BBJ products at retailers all over North America, at their secure online store, and at Best of all, they welcome custom orders if you’re looking for something specific!

For more information, visit their website at

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