by Hannah Gray | Photos by Zach Alston
“We never sat down with the intention of ‘Hey, let’s start a jewelry company,’” muses Jacquelyn Stafford Buckner, one half of the sister duo behind Twine & Twig, a nature-inspired and eco-friendly focused accessories line. Along with sister Elizabeth Stafford White, the pair transformed what began as a personal jewelry-making hobby into an internationally recognized brand.
“We’re the kind of people who want something that other people don’t have ….you don’t want to walk into a party and see someone wearing your same dress or your same shirt,” continues Buckner. And in a mass-produced marketplace, avoiding such faux pas are largely unavoidable, which is why, White says, “We were like ‘well if we can’t find it, let’s just create it.’” With that mindset the pair began to design and manufacture pieces catered to their own personal styles, and without intending to do so, the sisters started a conversation.
Whenever White or Buckner would wear one of their own pieces in public, admirers clamored to know where they too could purchase one of their own. Word of mouth and “the power of Instagram” catapulted Twine & Twig into high-demand status. “All of the feedback we get from friends and customers that wear it, they say that everywhere they go someone stops them and asks them about their necklace. That’s just so cool because we’re women and we shop, and it’s so great to buy something that people ask you about.”
It’s not hard to see why these pieces are surefire icebreakers: antlers and seashells are signatures, as are the leather straps they are attached to. The jewelry is not dainty, rather, the styles are intended to make a statement and add flare to an ensemble. And though the outward appearance of each piece of jewelry is captivating, the story behind its construction and materials is noteworthy, too.
Twine & Twig, at its core, is an eco-centered company. From an early age Buckner and White were exposed to the outdoors and capitalized on nature’s gifts. Their childhood backyard in Greensboro, N.C., provided them with their first foray into their roles as makers as the sticks and shrubs that littered their lawn became their first materials, their forts their first products. Combined with summers spent at their grandparents’ beach home on Florida’s Sanibel Island searching for shells, the sisters have always appreciated the beauty of the earth. They also fight to preserve it.
“We’ve just definitely made sure to only use companies that support our philosophy about not harming any animals and staying really eco friendly.” Every antler featured on a Twine & Twig piece has been naturally shed, and the duo refuses to deviate from this self-imposed rule. “We’ve even had people ask us if we can make one with an antler that their husband had shot the deer or something like that and we just don’t.”
With an unwavering ethos and constantly growing fan base, Twine & Twig’s Fall 2015 collection will bring with it the signature style that has come to be expected from the brand, albeit with a few enticing changes. For the first time the sisters are “focusing on black, dark gray and chocolate brown for fall,” along with “carved Moroccan sheep horn bead[s].” The feel of the new collection deviates from those of the past: “I think that this fall line will be something you can wear to a wedding and cocktail parties and really dress it up,” predicts Buckner.
Far from where they started, the pair who once handmade each piece themselves now employ a hardworking staff and collaborate with many vendors to meet demand. “It was kind of just a natural progression to go from having necklaces, now we have bracelets, and now we have added the ponchos and the clutches and the pillows, and we’re slowly just branching out.” After hearing their story and seeing their pieces, it’s undoubtedly clear how Twine & Twig’s success is just that, “natural.”