The Story of Don Biu
Katrina Beck is celebrated for her beautiful, serene, ahead of their time designs. Less known is she is also working hands on in her home studio hand making the jewelry- lots of jewelry. Their creation supported her as she reestablished herself in the fashion business after moving from Canada to Bali before marrying in 2012. In a new feature in Glamour UK magazine top original styles where chosen and by the end of this year her shop will boast more than 500 unique designs.
A native to Vancouver, British Columbia, Katrina emigrated to Bali pursuing advancement in her artistic studies. In her home city she had been both painter and respected fashion representative of Menard Agencies, wholesaling Levi's and Bench to shops accross Canada. However getting permission to grow her business in jewelry in Bali was a slow bureaucratic process- to all intents and purposes, she had to start again. While she was doing that she had an offer from an aging silversmith, Master Suarna to study under him in exchange for helping him sell off the last of his stock. In Bali Suarna had run a silver jewelry business for over 50 years, passed down to him from his family from generations before.
Sure enough Katrina learned the age old skills of traditional silversmithing with use of footpump and fire. Before long after her marriage her husband joined her in training and they began producing their own line called Don Biu. As the brand grows and continues to be completely created by hand a second brand they created called Hand Carved Cast Away uses molds (although she continues to finish each one and attach stones and bezel by hand).
The variety and volume of jewelry Katrina has produced is quite mind-boggling. In her busiest months Katrina and her assistants have turned out as many as 1,000 pieces. Their shapes range from simple, dainty earrings to ovoid rings and carved cuffs as you might expect to see in antique wood carvings. There are flowers, eyes, moons and shells, mythical creatures and ethereal symbolism.
Most carry beautiful gemstones hand cut into unique shapes such as Marquise and teardrop. These tiny art pieces are expressions of her love of the Universe and Nature.
Katrina's jewels are here to demonstrate her genuine work, how she stuck to simple outlines and silhouettes from her home country while adding intricate beauty of detailing learned from Balinese art.
Together with her husband Katrina has and continues to create a grande collection at the same time as raising her daughter Lunaria-Blue and building their house which is being created with hand carved teak, rock and iron wood. Although still a young family, through grit, inspiration and the support of wonderful customers Don Biu has mailed out more that 28,000 packages with the promise of many more to come.
Connecting and exceeding with customers has been important on a
personal level since day one and in order to be a part of people’s story Don Biu continues to offer customizations such as stone changes and free engraving and on every item available.