By Haylie Navarre
Becca Baudry isn’t just creating jewelry for her accessories brand Savannah Jane; she’s helping to create a thriving community of local artists in Baton Rouge.
Baudry thinks the New Orleans scene for local artists tends to overshadow Baton Rouge, despite many participants being from the Baton Rouge area. One way to increase exposure to the community is through pop-up markets, a low cost way for vendors and small businesses to promote and sell their goods.
In February, Baudry organized a girls’ night out pop-up market at Blend wine bar. She was inspired by previous pop-up events that weren’t getting a very large attendance. “Girls’ Night Out” was an easy, universal theme that she thought could gather an audience.
She has her hands in an upcoming event that she expects will be even bigger. Baton Rouge artists and merchants will have a chance to showcase their work at Tin Roof Brewery on May 30 from 5 to 8 p.m., accompanied by food trucks and live music.
Baudry will be participating with a booth of her own showcasing Savannah Jane, her brand named after the mischievous instigator of her two childhood pets. Her chocolate lab, Savannah Jane of Glenridge, led many escape attempts accompanied by Baudry’s other family dog, Charleston. Baudry said every time the pups would run off that her dad would put up signs reading, “Tow lost dogs. Four sad kids.”
Before she found her bearings as a jewelry designer, Baudry actually made her fashion industry debut as a dressmaker. She quickly realized there were lots of factors at play: different sizes, different colors, and customer’s different body shapes. Baudry said everyone wanted their dress customized to them, but the garments had already been made.
Jewelry making was a way to get her “creative juices flowing,” but gave her more control over the outcome. She hand makes one-of-a-kind designs. Sometimes she’ll borrow patterns or stones from one design to the next, but she usually only makes one of each piece.
The first piece she designed was based off a necklace she saw during a visit home in Atlanta, Ga. It featured a purple druzy, a mineral stone veiled in tiny crystals. Baudry said she instantly thought that she would wear it, as well as her friends.
Baudry keeps up with the trends in fashion, but often her inspiration for a design will come from the stones or beads she works with. She likes working with natural colors that are able to be worn with anything. And the LSU alumna admits purple and gold elements tend to frequently catch her eye.
“If I see something I like, I just get it and make it,” said Baudry.
She likes to experiment with different techniques and beading patterns. If she likes the result, she incorporates it into a design. If she doesn’t like it, she just takes it apart and starts over.
One of her favorite designs is a recent creation, a long matte gold chain with a skinny white cross that resembles a dogwood flower. Essentially, she designs for those with a similar style to her own.
“I wear everything that I make,” said Baudry.
During fall and winter months, she also makes fur vests and infinity scarves. And soon the brand will also include headbands made by Baudry’s younger sister. A simple knotted design, which Baudry said is great for keeping flyaway hairs at bay.
Baudry said she would love to land the brand in boutiques around Baton Rouge, as well as back home in Atlanta. But said she’s content to be where she is now. She admits it’s all still pretty new, since starting out in October.
“If it’s always a hobby, I’m OK with that because I love doing it.”