NEW ORLEANS (press release) – Local businesses in New Orleans, Passion Lily and Beatrix Bell, are thrilled to announce their collaboration on a limited edition zero waste jewelry line. Katie Schmidt, designer and founder of sustainable clothing brand Passion Lilie, collaborated with local jewelry designer Beatrix Bell to launch the line in the wake of the pandemic.
“I had all these fabric scraps cut into small pieces, some of which came from mask making,” Schmidt says. She started working tirelessly making masks at the start of the pandemic because that’s what was selling. “I wanted to use those leftover bits and not waste them. The idea of a jewelry line came to my mind and I’m not a jewelry expert.
Although Schmidt was not, she knew that her friend and fellow small business owner, Beatrix Bell, was. Schimdt and Bell credit Louisiana culture for bringing them together (they shared hotel rooms together at the International Festival) and the pandemic for allowing them this opportunity to collaborate.
“Festivals are such an important part of our business,” says Bell. “It’s a huge way for us as creators of this New Orleans market to do marketing. Even though I’m not selling during the festival, making that human connection is vital and we don’t have had this for a whole year.
Bell, which has a store on Alger Point, says the vast majority of its business comes from tourists. Though she’s had to pivot drastically to maintain her business during the pandemic, much like Schmidt, she calls projects like this the “silver lining.”
“There’s a room for every type of customer,” she says. “The remaining fabrics are all unique, which gives each piece its own personality.”
The colors of the collection are both neutral and vibrant. Schmidt says she relied on Bell’s expertise to create unique, handmade designs. The collection includes tasselled pieces, larger pieces and a few others. As a bonus, the fabric is lightweight so statement pieces are comfortable, which was a unique and fun challenge for Bell who usually works with stones and metal.