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Birds N Bones: Where The Dark & Beautiful Collide

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In a technology-saturated age in which internet sales are key to a business’ success, one may surmise a great deal about a company based on their social media presence and web site. Upon visiting women-owned and operated, Birds N Bones Jewelry’s website, we are taken to an enchanting artisan world where every single detail is carefully curated: from the beautiful hand-crafted jewels, to the stunning photography in their lookbooks, right down to the layout and choice of verbiage on the website.

Dark Forest Nymph Editorial Shoot by photographer, Rebekah Jule. Featuring custom five pincher beetle necklace.

They even have a wonderful weekly blog, The Forge Collective*, which is a collaboration with three other creative women to who share information about astrology, gemology, and travel, as well as behind the scenes videos and information about Birds N Bones designs and upcoming collections.

It was immediately assumed that whomever is running this company is passionate about the work they are putting out into the world and wanting to connect with their customers on an intimate level; and after speaking with Zoe Cope and Ashley Lagasse, this assumption was confirmed. These ladies are not just sharing their jewelry, they are baring their souls. We are here to witness it, wear it, and share it.

Zoe Cope and Ashley Lagasse

Zoe Cope and Ashley Lagasse, met at the Academy of Art University. Upon discovering that they shared a similar aesthetic and both hoarded dead animal parts, they became fast friends, and shortly thereafter, business partners. Zoe shared about the positive professional aspects of having this personal history with Ashley, “I think since we started the company together while in school we are able to openly discuss ideas and designs without taking any criticism personally because we had to do critiques while in college.”

Over the next four years, their friendship and business grew into what is now Birds N Bones: self-described as “Where the dark and beautiful collide.” Zoe and Ashley believe that jewelry should be worn with intention and connection. “Consider our pieces to be the special elements in your jewelry arsenal. The ones you wear to feel powerful, to feel strong, to feel magical, to feel mystical.” Browsing through their incredibly-crafted catalogue, these descriptive words definitely do come to mind.

Jewels from the Curio Draconis collection, photograph by Autumn Rose Northcraft.

Their designs are inspired by and/or made from real samples of animals and nature to which they feel connected, then manipulated and repurposed to coexist with the human form. Other inspirations and influences are the death/life cycle, geology, gemology, astrology, mythology, botany, alchemy, and Mother Nature.

Jewels from the Entomology Collection, photograph by Aubrey Janelle Photography.

“Our pieces aren’t just for adornment, they are created to fit seamlessly into your life.” Birds N Bones aims to cultivate awareness and authority in their customers and help to elevate each personal aesthetic; Just as their web site is not just a standard, boring storefront; but instead an experience that informs the customer precisely who and what they are supporting/representing with their purchase.

Jewels from the Classic Collection, photograph by Cherise Olvera.

It is clear that a plethora of time, love, and intention went into creating this business. But was it as effortless and free-flowing as the dreamy photos in their look books make us feel? Ashley explains:

“There is nothing organic about the growth of our business other than the natural specimens that we use, haha. Mapping out a business plan is tough work and involves a lot of personal sacrifice… I spend most of my evenings and weekends filling orders and doing all of the paperwork that comes along with owning your own business. Zoe and I wear ALL the hats in the company, from financial reports to social media/marketing, and even stellar customer service.”

In addition to their sacrifices and desire to share parts of themselves with their customers, Zoe and Ashley want customers to also share with them, and greatly value their feedback. Their latest collection, The Entomology Collection, was actually client-curated.

Jewels from the Entomology Collection, photograph by Aubrey Janelle Photography.

They released three mini collections last summer and the pieces were chosen for the final collection based on the orders and feedback from their customers. This collection features found pieces of the forest (twigs, bugs, etc.) cast in recycled silver or brass. 

Here’s a video they made last year before they released the mini-collections. 

Additional Birds N Bones collections available on their website include: Classic, which utilizes bones, teeth, skulls, and taxidermy eyes;

Jewels from the Classic Collection, photograph by Cherise Olvera.

Curio Draconis, which is inspired by dragons and the moon;

Jewels from the Curio Draconis Collection, photograph by Autumn Rose Northcraft.

and Simplex, which offers a more minimalist style.

Jewels from the Simplex Collection, photograph by Carmen Blu.

So what’s next? The ladies shared what they are working on: another client-curated collection, inspired by ocean themes! There will be three mini collections prior to the release of the final collection, which again will take customer feedback in order to choose the most desired pieces. Zoe is the creative director and plans to shoot the lookbook at the Oregon coast because of its rugged, dark, and dreamy coastline. “We aren’t going bohemian beach babe vibes, but instead going in an alluring and mystical sea siren direction.” We can’t wait to see what these boss babes come up with!

Dark Forest Nymph Editorial Shoot by photographer, Rebekah Jule. Featuring jewels from the Entomology Collection.

Shop their Bird n Bones full selection on their website and stay up to date with all their magical workings on Instagram.

The Forge Collective Blog is written by two amazing creative women: Courtney Goe and Elizabeth Mikutowicz. Danae Tarragona does the imagery and copy for Birds N Bones newsletters which feature content unavailable on any other platform, like Design Spotlights and Behind the Scenes. Birds N Bones owner/creator, Zoe Cope skypes with Courtney, Elizabeth, and Danae once a month to plan topics. The ladies all have unique, individual skills that allow the blog to have really meaningful content. Courtney is a gemologist and also really talented with astrology, so she writes about the astrological climate and pairs it with info about a particular stone. Elizabeth is an avid traveler so she does a feature called Dark Ventures that focuses on less traditional destinations. April is their one year blog-iversary! This is a unique asset to their business that shows aspects of interests for their clients to connect with, beyond jewelry.

View Zoe Cope’s other creative work.

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About The Author

Julia is a Jane-of-all-trades, master of none: Pittsburgh photographer, writer, art therapist, feminist, collector, curator, creep, and crazy cat lady. She has her own online shop specializing in Victorian mourning antiques, and also is an assistant at Curiosity Shop tattoo/vintage shop. An introverted old soul with a passion for small businesses and all the beautiful things. Follow her on Instagram.

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