October for all Indians means only one thing! The most vibrant Quarter of the year is here! Every year I remember as a kid, the whole atmosphere at home and at school used to undergo a shift when October sets in and I realize the same excitement has transcended well into adulthood as well!
The most important part of festivities, after food of course is clothes! Festive shopping is the real deal and there can be no one who can say no to wearing cheerful and colorful clothes and jewelry on such joyous days!
When Rebecca Reubens, the face and soul of Baka a line of Sustainable jewelry reached out to me to see if I would be interested in trying out their new range of semi precious jewelry and review about it on my blog I thought the timing could not have been better! How fulfilling it feels to wear something which is made with care and all the ethics you believe in and is festive at the same time! Needless to say I was jumping with joy when I received my care package from Rebecca!
This brand and the beautiful woman behind it are both so interesting and intriguing that I could not do justice to them by just writing one blog post so I am splitting this story into two. That way I get to showcase more jewelry from their collection and tell their story in a little more depth.
Right off the bat, I was so curious to know how the name Baka came along. I always ask how a brand got their inspiration to come up with a name because I struggle naming things! 😛 Baka as Rebecca puts it, is loaded with whimsy and nostalgia. It is basically her name which her brother shortened to baka as a toddler, and the name stuck since then. Baka is also a typical Gujarati slang word for ‘dear’. Lastly, Baka means ‘fool’ in Japanese. Being a fan of Japan for their minimalism she loved the idea of being called a fool who didnt know how tough and almost impossible the journey was going to be and just went with the flow and landed up with this beatuiful line of jewelry.
Rebecca is truly a Superwoman and a jack of all trades. She works at the intersection of craft, design and sustainability with Baka while also being a mom and doing a PhD, writing a couple of books, and running a architecture studio! Phew I had to drink some water just listing out what she does!
One look at their Instagram Handle will show you how Baka Jewelry is minimalist, festive, subtle and well-made all at once and I can honestly vouch for the quality and well-made designs. For this look I chose to showcase the Garvi Gold Earrings made out of recycled brass and gold plated. Rebecca says the gold plating is given not to increase the precious value but to make the earring hypoallergenic. Baka works with recycled metals- such as brass, aluminium, steel, silver and gold. They are open to using any material really though Bamboo has a soft spot in their heart because of Rebecca’s relationship with Bamboo goes back to her design and architectures college days.
Sustainability being such a broad and all compassing subject, another conversation I like having with everyone who follows sustainability in some aspect of their life is their idea of sustainability. What sustainability means to them. Rebecca says “The possibility that all life can flourish (not just exist) in our world forever through a fine balance between the different systems that comprise our world is sustainability.” So nicely said! A PhD at the intersection of craft, design and sustainability at Delft university in the Netherlands made her realize the whole is always more than the sum of the parts. This is why the brand looks at sustainability with a holistic lens.
A design studio on one hand and a sustainable line of jewelry on the other; how does a person fade the lines between two such varied but not really varied activities? Rebecca says being always interested in the idea of fashion and jewelry she always flirted with jewelry design in her decor studio Rhizome for a long time. One day she finally decided to go all in a give jewellery a shot. Baka to her was just a rearticulation of space. The ear was her ceiling and the shoulder her floor! Because the artefact is so condensed- what she always saw in meters was now few millimeters. She sees it as natural and organic progression. Something that was bound to happen.
Heading a team of around 10 at the studio Rebecca knows the importance of following a collaborative process and she says Baka is a result of that very synergy!
After thinking long and hard about the right outfit which would do justice to this stunning pair of earrings I decided to go with the traditional saree! After all what other outfit does festive like this lovely six yards of weaved magic?
This is a two decade old silk cotton saree impeccably maintained and cared for by my mother in law! My favorite pass time since I got married is raiding her saree closet! 😈 They don’t make sarees so intricate and beautiful like this one these days and that’s what makes it so special.
Learning about this brand has left me curious for more. I want to know more about the production process, about the ideation, about Rebecca’s personal journey and even about her interior design work.
Baka releases their jewellery in small affordable and contemporary edits. You can purchase her collection online at Gaatha, Nete and Nimai as well as on her own Instagram page. She also sells her ware at her design studio Rhizome in Ahmedabad and at Options Ahmedabad and Melange Mumbai.
I love such interactions with entrepreneurs who are trying to do things the right way and not a day goes by when I don’t feel grateful that I get to interact and tell the stories of such amazing people. Let’s support and show some love for Baka By Rebecca Reubens because it does help that while doing things the sustainable way, her jewellery is nothing short of gorgeous too! 🙂