About Barbie Jones
About Barbie Jones
Barbie Jones is a colorful jewelry designer and collector extraordinaire of antique jewels as well as all things interesting and inimitable.
Barbie studied fine arts and art history at Miami University, Oxford Ohio and at the John E. Dolibois European Center in Luxembourg, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Fine Arts, with a concentration in European studies.
Barbie possesses a strong sense of color, dimension and design with bright reflections of multiculturalism, which have been cultivated through living abroad and her many adventures in Mexico, the Middle East and throughout Europe. Her design philosophy is “In order to look forward with grace, elegance and savvy one must constantly revisit the exhilarating, classic cornerstones of the past.”
Barbie may look to the classics for foundation and inspiration, but she is consistently four steps ahead of the current fashion trend, which enables her clients from, Rock star to royalty, to set the standard – not follow behind.
Since I was a child, I accompanied my parents on antique treasure hunts and many auction adventures. My collecting passion soon became jewelry. Several years ago I had the opportunity to purchase around 10,000 pieces of vintage and costume jewelry from a collector simply thrown into cardboard boxes. I became a child again digging through ancient treasure. We placed necklaces on the dining room table, bracelets on the piano, earrings on the coffee and numerous end-tables. The entire house became a museum showroom of jewelry past. I had all the great designers from Coro-Craft, Chanel, Miraim Haskell, Oscar de la Renta, Hatie Carnegie and Willaim Spratling all staring at me just waiting to tell me their story. I quickly realized that I liked the signed pieces best. I also discovered many broken pieces at the bottom of every box. I could not just throw these injured beauties away. I had taken a semester of metal-smithing in college so I was just dangerous enough with a blow torch to start designing my own jewelry. I began incorporating these little forgotten treasures into new creations, making them come alive once again.
My passion unexpectedly became a business when I was invited by my best friend to her studio for their album recording session in Nashville.
It was here that I met the lovely Dolly Parton who instantly upon our meeting, decided she wanted the large turquoise jewelry I had fashioned and was wearing around my neck.
The current, Star Spangled, An American Collection incorporates three of my passions; politics, fashion and supporting American manufacturing. Having also worked in the world of politics, I saw a niche and a need for women to have quality, gorgeous classic, yet fashionable American Made products which represented their strong political convictions, their particular party affiliation and embodied the patriotic American spirit of every woman. Fashion can be a very powerful non-verbal force. I believe great fashion speaks volumes without saying a word, so therefore it became my goal to create something which every woman could wear to the office or out to lunch with friends and be proud to wear it, delighted to wear something gorgeous which is made in America and thrilled to wear the symbols of the party of their particular passion without having to necessarily talk about it.
When researching, existing politically and patriotically inspired jewelry I found most were made in China. How unpatriotic! And so unattractive, that women would wear it once and then throw it in the back of their drawer never for it to be seen again until the next convention 4 years later. I decided to change that. I set out to create something that would bring women together, wearing jewelry, that not only looks gorgeous but baubles that would make politics fun again for everyone and at the same time help to sustain and create new American jobs. I strongly believe supporting American manufacturing is something that all sides of Political ideology can agree upon.
Lastly, I have dedicated this line to my great ggggggg Grandfather Dr. Joshua Babcock who was one of the original signers of the Rhode Island Declaration of independence, a Revolutionary War General, State Supreme Court Justice, the first man from Rhode Island to graduate from Yale University, an original founder of Brown University and a colleague and friend of both George Washington and Benjamin Franklin. Basically, Grandfather Babcock was the Rhode Island Rock star of 1776 and a true American Patriot.
Little did I know that the story which those rescued 10,000 pieces of antique jewelry would tell me, would one day become part of my own American story. It must be in the genes.