At French Bailey, we handcraft distinctive jewelry using organic metals and uncommon objects. We're always on the lookout for new and interesting materials. Sometimes we find them; sometimes they find us.
We named FRENCH BAILEY after our moms. A big city girl from the Bronx, Ellen French was compassionate and playful, with sparkling blue eyes. A small-town girl from the West, Susan Bailey was sassy, creative, and long-legged. Their imagination and inventiveness are the inspiration for our designs.
What is your favorite stone? I love making anything with labradorite, which could be a reflection of my heritage: My mom’s family was from Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada. I know this because I went through a period where I was obsessed with genealogy. As in, stay-up-until-all-hours-poring-through-online-documents-about-my-ancestors obsessed. Of course, it’s also possible I just like labradorite because it’s pretty.
If you won the lottery, what would you do? I’d quit my day job and start a jewelry company! Just kidding, we already did that. Which is not to say the Lottery Gods shouldn’t still feel free to make me a winner.
If dinosaurs were alive today, would you have one as a pet? Yes! Emphatically, yes! I’d have a Styracosaurus (look it up) because they look fierce and dangerous, although now that I say it out loud, I can see how maybe they wouldn’t make the best pets.
How did you start designing jewelry with Korri? We worked down the hall from each other at another job and she routinely pestered me to make jewelry with her. She finally wore me down. I’m glad she did, though—it’s been a fantastic collaboration. Everything about FRENCH BAILEY reflects both our personalities, and both our design aesthetics.
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? Next on my list is Moscow, because there are 5 Van Gogh paintings I want to see in the National Pushkin Museum. Travel is one of my passions—I basically balance my budget between airfare and shoes.
How many pairs of shoes do you own? I can’t share that number. It’s inappropriate.
What else do you collect? I don’t know that I set out to collect anything specific, although I seem to have a lot of empty journals, postcards, scissors, and Stabilo Point 88 pens lying around. You might also say I collect candy, insomuch as I buy heaping bags of it, but I guess once you eat it it’s no longer a collection?
How did you start designing jewelry with Patty? I pestered her until she gave in! It was a great victory. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t regret it.