Billy has been part of our family here at Blackbird for some time now. A few years ago he set off on his own to begin what is now known as Vim Beget. With Vim Beget, Billy handcrafts each piece himself one at a time. He begins with spooled wire that is spun into coils and cut into separate rings, then hand woven into a strand of chain. Billy favors using German Silver and genuine leather in is pieces for their strength and beauty.
Bottom line, Billy rules. We wanted to give you all an opportunity to hear directly from him, so we asked him a few questions after our lovely trunk show. He was generous enough to tell us about himself and some of his favorite must have pieces while still leaving room for the mystery that surrounds his brand. Thank you Billy!
Billy: I get asked that every once in a while. I usually say first that both Vim and Beget are english words. That surprises most people. But most people know them when they're put into context. Vim roughly means energy or life. I think in latin it meant "life force". It's used commonly in the phrase vim and vigor. Beget means to create. The phrase violence begets violence is pretty common.
The story behind the combination of those two words actually meaning something to me starts about two years ago and I was living in Germany, working a one year job contract. It turned out to be far from the experience I imagined. The country was wonderful. Europe in general was amazing. But the job was terrible so I was doing a lot of reflecting on whether the decision I had made to take the job was a good one. I came to the comforting conclusion that everything in life past or present creates the future, and that something good had to come of this. I found the two words one night while trying to think of a name for the company i wanted to start when i got back and realized they summed up exactly what i was feeling. "Life Creates."
Blackbird: How long does it take on average to make a bracelet? A necklace?
Billy: I'd say the average bracelet takes about 4-6 hours and a necklace 8-10.
Blackbird: What coating/finish are you using for your new two tone pieces?
Billy: That's a secret. Two people in the world know the secret and one is me. I will say heat, chemicals and parts of a newt are involved.
Blackbird: What are the spikes made out of?
Billy: The spikes are made of German Silver sheet. Each side is cut out by hand with a jewelers saw and then they're soldered together. They are hollow.
Blackbird: How would you describe the style of your pieces?
Billy: I think minimal is a good word. I've always been a little hesitant to accessorize with elaborate jewelry. If it's done right, I don't find it terrible on other people but it's just a personal preference that my accessories are a little more soft-spoken yet masculine.
Blackbird: If you could recommend one piece from your line that everyone should have, what would it be?!
Billy: I'd have to say the Merus or Satis bracelet and necklace. They can be worn with anything. Merus is the more robust cousin of the Satis. I'd also have to say the Signum ring. A good classic signet ring in your wardrobe is pretty key.
Blackbird: Tell us something weird or interesting about yourself- something the average Joe might not know.
Billy: Hmmmm..... I guess the only thing I can think of is the weird phases I used to go through as a kid. Between the ages of 7 and 8 I would occasionally convince myself that my parents and the rest of my family were aliens. I don't remember being scared about the idea, just curious about how life would be after they told me and shared there extraterrestrial lives with me. And around the ages of 10-12 I had an OCD thing where I did a lot of math in my head when it came to objects around me and trying to find number patterns. Like 3 cookies on the table, channel 21 is on the tv and it's the 7th of june. 7x3=21 WHOA!!! I was a weird kid. It went away. Then I saw the movie Pi and became weird again.
We just received some re-stocks of Billy's best selling pieces (they fly out the door) and are currently taking pre-orders for all of the new pieces in Billy's collection. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or to place an order.
Vim Beget- Merus Bracelet
DETAILS: A medium-weight, hand-woven JPL double-wrap bracelet. Measures 16" long. Made from German Silver.
Vim Beget- Cervidae Wallet
DETAILS: Made from a single piece of soft deerskin; hand-cut, waxed, and meticulously pinched and folded to create five separate compartments. Three deep compartments work perfectly for cards and cash while the other two are meant for coins or other small objects. Fully customized Lift-the-Dot snaps; originally designed for use on utility pouches for WWII soldiers.