Winden Jewelry is off the chain. Greenpoint based designer Rebecca Mapes crafts pieces with delicate but tongue-in-cheek enthusiasms. Punchy diamond lips and tiny little ear studs, babe and sis 90s throwback name plate necklaces give a carefree and off-beat vibe. (Prices range from $55-$1,199).
I personally love Winden’s undertone for nostalgia and humor. Not to mention, most of the jewelry is on the smaller scale, which is perfect for layering pieces or giving a hint of subtle flash.
Rebecca produces her jewelry in her home studio, no doubt being influenced by a Brooklyn vibe. Sitting down in the Winden HQ, I got the dish on Rebecca’s inspiration, her favorite neighborhood digs, designing jewelry, and her adorable dog, Oliver.
GP: What is your vision behind Winden? What were you doing before?
Rebecca: Winden came about very naturally; it started with the Embrace Cuff, and an extreme determination to have my own business. I had been wanting to make the cuff for 6 months before I was able to do it. I saw this amazing antique bracelet while perusing ebay, and I was just so in awe of it. When I lost the bid I knew I had to make something inspired by it. The end result was completely different than the object it was inspired by, and it spurred the growth of the rest of the collection.
Before I started Winden, I was working at In God We Trust. I spent three years working and learning, and having a great time with all the people who are part of that team. Ultimately being there is what really made me want to have my own company — I feel very inspired by what the owner, Shana, has accomplished. The people that put their time and effort into IGWT are very dear to my heart.
GP: What is your creative process like? Do you design with a particular customer in mind?
Rebecca: I don’t think my creative process is very structured; it ends up being totally different for different pieces. The Pet Name Collection was inspired by the weirdest little baby ring that I found on ebay. It was a tiny gold ring that had “baby” scrawled in pierced metal along the top. I just thought it was so weird and beautiful, and it brought about the whole collection. My designs are heavily influenced by the jewelry making process as well. That’s what I love about making jewelry, you get an idea and then it takes on a life of its own by way of the material.
I don’t really design with a particular customer in mind — I think my process is more organic than that. I’ve never been very good at designing when I have to try and confine myself to something; it’s always better when it just flows out of me. After I make something I always get excited and think “I can’t wait to give one of these to my sisters!”; or, I’ll text an old friend I haven’t spoken with in awhile and say, “This made me think of you!”
Rebecca: The Bud Necklace is a favorite of mine, I just think it’s a lovely gift, and I’m sort of obsessed with gift giving. I love the Money Studs too. I’m set on getting a fourth piercing in my right ear so I can wear all of the symbols at once; I think that would be awesome/hilarious. And I have to give a shout out to the Diamond Hear Studs, they SPARKLE!
Rebecca: My biggest goal is to be able to continue doing what I love. That would make me really happy. Besides that, I want to focus on commitment jewelry — I get a lot of satisfaction out of that.
Rebecca: First of all, my ideal day in Greenpoint is WARM! Although if you asked me this question in July my answer might be different.
Getting coffee at the Variety on Driggs Ave. with my best buds and my dog, and drinking it on a bench in McGolrick Park. Going to brunch at Greenpoint Heights with my boyfriend, and ordering one of their specials. Spending a good chunk of time with my pup at the dog park. And falling into some antique jewelry internet holes would pretty much complete my day.
Greenpoint is so wonderful, you can have the most magical day and not leave a five block radius. I might be guilty of making a habit out of that.