Six years ago, newbie jewelry line Betsy & Iya held one of their first studio events in a tiny space on NW Raleigh with an even tinier crowd eating a cheese-and-cracker plate while admiring a small collection of earrings carefully lining the wall.

My, how things have changed.

The husband-and-wife team of designer Betsy Cross and business development leader Will Cervarich have become top brass (pun intended) in the city’s accessory scene.

Not only are they the prom king and queen of the event circuit, the two developed the concept of Little Boxes, the Black Friday small business alternative that joins together 200 local, small companies in a fun and community supportive way. Always the ones to support their fellow artists, the two long ago moved away from the tiny studio into their own flagship store on NW Thurman that carries their gorgeous and varied in-house line in addition to other local designers like Takara and Maple XO.

It looks like all that good karma is paying off. This week, the Betsy & Iya team officially take their line to the next level as they celebrate a massive shop expansions after five months of renovation to fit a host of other new lines, more production areas for the growing staff, and, most importantly, more room for B&I inventory. And in typical Cross and Cervarich fashion, they want to share the party with the people.

Head to the shop Friday evening starting at 6 pm (2403 NW Thurman) for a full-fledged bash. Guests can check out the newly renovated production and office spaces while scoring mega raffle prizes and sipping on cocktails from New Deal Distillery, wines from Union Wine Co, and treats from Pacific Pie Co., QUIN Candy, and Portland Creamery.

Pieces from various contributors that will be part of Katz' installation wall.

And on the fine arts end, Friday will also see the unveiling of an original commissioned artwork created by local artist and designer Emily Katz honoring the city’s artists and makers, entitled “Maker Shrine.” Betsy Cross commissioned the piece to be constructed strictly out of materials donated by artists and makers citywide as an homage to the local network Betsy & Iya proudly represents. Material contributors include Beam & Anchor, Folly, Magbig, Mazama Wares, Caravan Pacific, Tanner Goods and several others.

Finally (as if the cocktails, shopping, and people watching weren’t enough), partygoers can also see an on-site creation of the Betsy & Iya “One-of-a-Kind” cuff. Sheet metal will be displayed for guests to scratch, scuff, and make their marks on; following the party, singular cuff bracelets will be cut from the metal to commemorate the event. The “One-of-a-Kind cuff” ($89) will be available for advance purchase at the party, and given away as a prize to the first ten customers who make a purchase at the party. 

“Doubling our retail location’s square footage in the past three years of business is such a testament to the vitality of our customers,” said co-owner and designer Betsy Cross of the milestone. “We are thrilled to mark this moment, and honor our extended family of peers, fans, and colleagues we’re lucky to share the city with.”

If this is what one small business can accomplish in a few short years, we can’t wait to see what they do in another six. 

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