In honour of the end of the Summer 2016 Rio Olympics, I decided to share one of my favorite chats with New York based, Brazilian-born ‘Nomad, Jackie Barbosa, founder and designer of GBGH jewelry. I met Jackie at a trade show in Vicenza last spring and her effortless grace and warmth immediately struck me. You know I’m a jewelry fiend, so after seeing her designs, unlike anything I had seen before, she had my heart. GBGH stands for Go Big or Go Home and Jackie seems to bring this passionate zest for life to everything she touches. This jewelry is not for the wallflower.
This is one of the first video interviews I recorded on my camera so bear with me, the sound is TERRIBLE (lots of Italians in the background) in the first half. But to make it easier, you can also read the transcript of our chat below. Check out Jackie’s most unusual menagerie of pets growing up…
’N A Perfect World hangs with GBGH designer, Jackie Barbosa
Nneya Richards: So everyone knows that I’m a huge jewelry freak and one of the first people I met here was jewelry designer, Jackie Barbosa. She’s pretty amazing and I wanted to introduce you all to her. Jackie, how long have you been designing?
Jackie Barbosa: I started designing jewelry 13 years ago.
NR: Thats so amazing.
JB: I just kind of working, Im very self taught. So it was beads and this kind of stuff, metal I’ve been doing since 2010.
NR: That’s amazing. So, what’s your inspiration behind a lot of the jewelry you design? This is really cool.
JB: Basically, it’s nature. *0:45 – 0:47 inaudible* ….I grew up on a country side. *0:50 – 1:02 inaudible* Yeah, I love nature and organic farms and also I like to be free to create not just the natural molds. So I go crazy and I have an idea and I want to try it, lets see what happens and I make it and love it. And I think this is crazy, I love it! Lets make more.
NR: Do you find that you end up making a lot of happy mistakes when you do things like that?
JB: Yes. A lot. Sometimes I make the piece and I don’t really like it. And it sits there for like two months until I’m just like “Oh wow! Im gonna make this with this!”
NR: That’s amazing. So where are you based? Are you based in Brazil still?
JB: No, I’m in Brooklyn, New York. You have pretty jewelry. *points to Nneya’s necklace*
NR: Thank you, I got this in Istanbul.
JB: In what?
NR: In Istanbul.
JB: Really cute. So I’m in New York but I’m a lot in Brazil.
JB: And I travel.
NR: Do you find a lot of inspiration from your travels?
JB: Yeah, definitely. It’s mostly from people, women. Not the places. Their personalities, energy.
NR: And I know you mentioned that you do yoga and meditation. Does that inspire you when you *word inaudible* meditation?
JB: Absolutely. *2:31 to 2:34 inaudible* I’ve seen so many jewelry. *laughs* And before I started working with metal, this happened. I started having visions and visions and I was like this might be a sign. Like a lot of dreams come true.
NR: Jackie has amazing aura. It’s amazing to be around her and she has a…some pretty fun stories about growing up in Brazil. Tell them what you were telling me about last night.
JB: *Laughs* So yesterday something really fun happened because this girl was sad and she had a funeral for her bird and then the other girls said she has a funeral for her frog. And I thought having a frog was bizarre. And then I remembered that I grew up with very, very wild animals. Like lions and panthers and sloths are my favorites. I don’t know how you say it out in English but those birds with big wings and colorful, red, green…
NR: Not peacocks?
JB: No I had peacocks! *Both Laugh* Monkeys!
NR: She had a panther that went out in the living room.
JB: Panther is usually in my living room, yeah.
NR: Do we see any of the animals in your jewelry?
JB: Actually, no. Do you? Maybe the Tiger, like the pattern here. Like this for example. But no, not really.
NR: So now I’m gonna have Jackie take us through some of her favorite pieces.
JB: I don’t really have favorites because they all are offs and sometimes they go, they have to go. *laughs* I’m kidding.
NR: *Laughs* They’re like your babies that you have to give away.
JB: I stop being attached to them. But like this for example, is a brand new piece. I started using a different technique to set this tone, as you can see. And I’m really obsessed with this rock was the first one, you’ll see the other pieces. Don’t have more yet. This rock, it’s name is peacock horror, and I love it. I’m kind of obsessed with it now. And then this open necklace is *word inaudible*..I really like this too. Uhh, yeah! I like the big necklace, very more lately. I’m in a new phase. And I’m a cuffs girl.
NR: Ahhh, yes. That’s beautiful.
JB: As you can see.
NR: What material is that?
JB: This is a druzy, like with a quartz crystal.
JB: Most of my pieces, ahhh, they are kind of an experiment. And this one happened and I love it, the way it fits.
NR: That’s beautiful, I love that.
Music plays over clips of Jackie helping and showing jewelry.
JB: Thank you so much for your time here. You’re so cute!
NR: You’re too cute. *laughs*
Credits/End of video