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Small Talk with Foundrae

Small Talk with Foundrae

In 2015, Beth Hutchens was in her early 40s, working as the chief executive of a clothing company she’d founded but sold. Business was good and she was making a comfortable living, but, as she tells BE, “I’d lost my passion.”

Through some conversations with friends and family, Hutchens realized she needed to switch gears and do something that felt both meaningful and creative. Enter FoundRae, the wildly successful fine jewelry brand she based on the notion of symbolism. Through 18k gold medallions, chains, earrings, bangles and rings, FoundRae customers can share the tenets (Strength, Karma and Wholeness, to name a few) that resonate most with them.

Below, Hutchens answers BE’s mini questionnaire.

Broken English Jewelry - Small Talk with Foundrae founder, Beth Bugdaycay

How did you come up with the idea for FoundRae?

Everything started with the symbolism. Before I designed a piece of jewelry, I had our lexicon. It started off with four tenets: Strength, Karma, Dream and Protection. Wholeness launched six months later. A year after that was Passion, which we renamed Vivacity (it was intended as a symbol of living a full life). And then Resilience and Internal Compass. We hadn’t done a new tenet in three years, and then came Reverie. It’s very autobiographical, it’s about life. The whole point is we have that knowledge inside of us, but we have to access the unconscious to bring it out. We have so many layers.

How would you describe your signature pieces?

There’s not really a single piece that we consider a bestseller. Necklaces as a category are bestsellers, for sure. But the jewelry is all about these 10 tenets and getting more layered within that. We have collectors who like to add dimension to what they already own.

Which tenets are most popular with your customers?

It depends on the time. During the pandemic, Resilience was crazy over-the-top popular. That was interesting. And depending on the time of the year, sometimes people are more inspired by Internal Compass. True Love tends to celebrate a lot of milestones. We really feel we’re creating modern heirlooms. When you put something on, we don’t want you to take it off. So when we create a new piece, we’re saying, ‘This looks good with what you already have.’ We’re not replacing things.

Tell us about your newest collection, Horizon.

It’s about where the sea meets the sky. It was, for me, the feeling of optimism, boundless opportunity. I was inspired by the idea of new beginnings. What tenets help me achieve that feeling of expansiveness and limitless freedom? I created a few more medallions and a sleek collar — it’s fluid, like water and has a really high shine. It’s an entirely new silhouette for us. And I made these gemstone heart slides that go on it. It’s very creative because you can put whatever you want on it. There’s something playful about it, but very sexy.

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Broken English - Foundrae - Shop necklaces, bracelets, charms & pendants

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