Artist Collab Series: betsy + iya

This extra special line of jewelry was designed hand-in-hand by Portland jewelry favorite Betsy & Iya and Tender Loving Empire. Inspired by inclusivity and community - the idea that individual unique shapes are made better when together - the pieces in this collection will quickly become an everyday choice.

The Tender Loving Empire Artist Collab Series was dreamed up at the end of 2017 as the TLE team was considering new ways to empower and engage with our local community of makers. Over many brainstorming sessions, coffee dates, studio visits, and email threads our teams worked together to discuss and decide everything from product choices, packaging materials, color swatches, process videos and more. The result is five curated collections inspired by TLE’s core values, co-designed by Tender Loving Empire and some of our favorite vendors: Upper Metal Class, The Far Woods, Penrose, Sissy Moon and Betsy & Iya. We’re ecstatic to share these products with you over the next several months, which will be available exclusively at Tender Loving Empire shops and at

Shop the collection


Meet Betsy

How did you get started?

During graduate school, I took a job at a super duper awesome bead store in Arcata, California. I needed money, but I refused to take a job that didn't align with my personal values and goals. SO I decided to start a jewelry business– it checked the boxes of creative and challenging, AND I could be my own boss.

Favorite thing about being a maker?

We are taking on a ton of custom jewelry projects these days which means I get to interface with customers on a much more intimate level. With these more in depth projects, I have the chance to really get to know the people I'm designing jewelry for and I try my best to incorporate their stories into the work. Seeing their faces when they get to pick up the final piece– it's a huge honor to work with people in this way.

How do you integrate your values into your work?

Everything must be founded on honesty for it to work for me. The designs must be true to who I am and what this business strives to be– one founded on connection, inclusiveness, warmth, love. It is our goal for everyone who walks through our doors to feel like they belong here, in how they interact with our store and employees, how they experience the production space, and how they feel wearing the jewelry. All of my work hinges on that.

Advice for beginners?

There will be moments when you are unsure and you will never get the absolute answer you need to move forward. The answer lies in the risk and what comes after. You can plan and dream and plan for all of your life, but at some point (many points!) you will just have to close your eyes and jump.