Two weekends ago, my roommate and I happened upon an adorable pop-up shop taking place in a local Oshkosh, WI church. It was called Andy & Ole's Pop Up Shop and it featured vintage and handmade wares from two area women who attend the church. One of the women's daughters-in-law, Rebecca Johnson, offered her handmade jewelry line, Northeast Proper, which is what really caught my eye.
Northeast Proper pieces are minimal and delicate, while bringing a little interest to an otherwise nondescript outfit. I love the mixture of metals and stones Rebecca uses and the simple construction of each piece. What struck me the most was how reasonably priced all of the pieces were. Nothing exceeded the $20 price point, which is why I had to snag four pieces (I wanted some of her rings and about six more bangles, too).
I had a chance to ask Rebecca a few questions:
1. Where/when did Northeast Proper start?
Northeast Proper started 4 years ago in Minneapolis, MN. My husband, David, and I were living in Northeast Minneapolis and fell in love with the name Northeast Proper as a brand that all of our artistic endeavors would fall under. And now, living in Northeast Oshkosh, I decided to carry over that brand to my jewelry. I started creating jewelry because I knew what I wanted to wear, but could never quite find that perfect piece.
2. What materials do you use & how did you decide on your jewelry’s aesthetic? It’s very minimal and dainty, which I love.
I like minimalist pieces that can be layered and worn with a casual t shirt, as well as a nice dress for a night out. I am very inspired by nature. As a young girl, I collected rocks and shells and loved going to gem and mineral shows with my parents. I use brass, gold, sterling silver, semi-precious stones and minerals in my designs, and typically choose stones that remind me of my rock collections from childhood.
3. Do you have any long-term goals for Northeast Proper?
Well, right now my plan for Northeast Proper is to finally get an online shop going, and we’ll see what happens from there! But really, I just want to learn more and grow in my craft.
4. What does being a Midwest jeweler/artist mean to you?
Being a midwest artist is an interesting thing for me! I grew up in Mississippi, so I think in my soul I will always feel like a Mississippi artist. I contribute a lot of the aesthetic of my work to the fact that I grew up in the south, and I’m so excited to explore more of what it means to be an artist living in the midwest.
5. What are three essentials to your makeup bag?
I use Aloette Maximum Moisture Complex every single day. It's my favorite! I'm also a huge fan of Even Better Compact Makeup by Clinique, and I can't leave the house without Rimmel Scandleyes Mascara!
6. What have you read recently that you really loved?
Walking on Water by Madeline L'engle is such a great book. I've read it a few times, and it's probably one of my favorites! I'm currently reading Eiger Dreams by John Krakauer, and so far it's amazing!
Make sure you visit the new Northeast Proper online store & Rebecca's dreamy blog. She can also be reached on Facebook, Instagram or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. A huge thank you to Rebecca and her family for having Northeast Proper be the first Midwest artist featured in my "Meet the Midwest" series!